U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking approval for a UN Security Council resolution to reinforce the norm against nuclear testing, in a move that would coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which the United States signed in 1996.
The Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin quoted National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price as saying that while the administration would like to see the Senate ratify the CTBT, they are “looking at possible action in the UN Security Council that would call on states not to test and support the CTBT’s objectives. We will continue to explore ways to achieve this goal, being careful to protect the Senate’s constitutional role.”
Republican Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) were quick to respond to the proposed UN Security Council resolution with statements of opposition, alleging that President Obama was "circumventing" Congress by going to the United Nations.
On Aug. 15, former Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.)—a lead opposition figure against the CTBT—penned an op-ed with Douglas J. Feith of the Hudson Institute against the UN Security Council resolution initiative.
However, administration officials were quick to note that they "fully respect the Senate's role" toward ratification of the treaty, and that the UN Security Council resolution "is in no way a substitute for entry into force of the CTBT."
August 29: International Day Against Nuclear Tests and the 25th anniversary of the closure of the Soviet Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan.
September 10: 20th anniversary of the special session of the UN General Assembly that overwhelmingly approved the 1996 CTBT by a margin of 158 to 3, with five abstentions, opening the way for signature and ratification.
On Aug. 12, Pakistan announced at a press briefing that it is "prepared to consider translating its unilateral moratorium [on nuclear testing] into a bilateral arrangement on non-testing with India."
This statement is a variation of Pakistan's views on a regional test moratorium. At the June CTBT Ministerial Meeting in Vienna, Pakistan's ambassador said:
Following the first nuclear test in 1974 in our neighbourhood, Pakistan made several proposals for keeping South Asia free of nuclear weapons and missiles including a proposal for a regional CTBT. None of these proposals met a favourable response.
August 5 marks the anniversary of the signing of the Partial Test Ban Treaty, which prohibited the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space, underwater, or in the atmosphere. This treaty was signed by representatives of the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom, marking an important first step towards controlling and ceasing the harmful results of nuclear testing, such as the tests by the United Kingdom in Western Australia.
Collisions, directed by Australian filmmaker Lynette Walworth, takes viewers on a virtual reality (VR) journey into the center of a situation most would never want to be in—a nuclear test.