Government leaders, non-proliferation activists and more than a quarter million people from more than 100 countries have signed the petition offered in 11 languages.
(PRWEB) March 30, 2016
As dozens of world leaders, the planet’s nuclear weapons powers and others concerned about global nuclear security gather in Washington, DC for the March 31-April 1 Nuclear Security Summit, The ATOM Project, a global initiative to permanently end nuclear weapons testing and eliminate nuclear arsenals, has gathered more than 250,000 signatures from around the globe for our online petition in support of a nuclear-weapons-free world.
As U.S. President Barack Obama said in 2009, nuclear terrorism is the most immediate and extreme threat to global security. The ATOM Project seeks to eliminate nuclear weapons as a terrorist and state-sponsored threat and, more urgently, permanently end nuclear weapons testing and development. Government leaders, non-proliferation activists and more than a quarter million people from more than 100 countries have signed the petition offered in 11 languages, saying, “I want to let the world’s leaders know that I demand a nuclear-weapons-free world.”
The ATOM Project has become a global phenomenon but was initiated by Kazakhstan, as it was the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev who announced the launch of the initiative at a major international conference on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation in Astana on Aug. 27, 2012.
Kazakhstan suffered from more than 450 nuclear weapons tests conducted over decades by the Soviet Union at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site near what is now the town of Semey. Those exposed to the tests have suffered horrific illness, disability and early death. Children born in Kazakhstan today of grandparents exposed to those tests continue to suffer debilitating birth defects. Kazakhstan knows the horrors of nuclear testing and, through The ATOM Project, has become a world leader in the effort to ensure no such tests are ever conducted again.
The ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador, artist and international anti-nuclear weapons activist Karipbek Kuyukov was among those whose parents were exposed to the testing at the Semipalatinsk test site. As a result, Kuyukov was born without arms but has overcome that challenge to become a renowned painter who has dedicated his life and art to eliminating nuclear weapons, ending nuclear weapons testing and bringing dignity to testing victims.
One goal of The ATOM Project is to bring into full force the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The CTBT would ultimately ban all civil or military nuclear explosions in all environments and was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1996. Despite being signed by 183 states and ratified by 164, the treaty remains in limbo, awaiting the signature and ratification of eight specific countries: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the U.S.
So as the world’s nuclear powers gather again in Washington to discuss global nuclear security and the future of the world’s nuclear materials, let us keep the pressure on world leaders to remove this threat to humanity. Go to http://www.theatomproject.org to sign our petition and show your support for a nuclear-weapons-free world.