The conference in Kazakhstan is a great event that brings together brilliant people who wish to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. The energy here is summed up in such words as understanding, accord, cordiality and peace-orientation.

It seems clear as day these values need to be shared by all of humanity and included in every action that we take. However, such an event as the conference cannot help but lead our thoughts to the destiny of the CTBT, its fragility and the international atmosphere in the one global family we belong to that is putting it at risk.  

The urgency of bringing up the nuclear arms abolition agenda in public has been raised frequently during the first day of the conference. And it is not surprising. The public determines the course of development both governments and global society takes.

In democratic and open societies it is easy - in the not fully democratic ones it is one of the challenges that might put even one’s career, life and freedom at risk. But the light of truth is never extinguished, however persistent the attempts are, and if one is exposed to it, he or she will never forget the glorifying beauty of it. The brightest pages of history show us examples of the public rising up to determine their future. And today we are desperately in need of this spirit to return.

We will not bring the CTBT into force until we realize that we all are part of it, you and I, my mother and grandmother, my little sister and all of my family and yours, colleagues, friends – we all are part of this striving for a better and safer world. And only we can make it happen.

Once you see those who have suffered from nuclear arms tests, once you have visited destroyed environments, irradiated ground and water, displaced populations, your heart and soul will burn just as mine did when I witnessed this. We are, despite all the differences that separate us, equally helpless in the face of tragedies that destroy our lives.

It is ridiculous to say it, but by dealing with nuclear arms and praising them we destroy ourselves. This is best represented by the testing of a weapon. Why would you explode your own earth? Why would you do this to the nature and the environment that you live in? Why do we do so when there are so many things to be improved and developed, when we can share the efforts towards delivering prosperity and harmony to the whole world?

The tears and suffering of those who have been exposed to the disasters of this evilness are my tears and yours. We are one in the threat of losing the world we share. And with the eight particular members of the international community being uncertain whether they want to reject nuclear arms once and forever, for the peace of their nations and the world, neither you nor I can sleep calmly.

And if it is as simple as that, why do we spare no effort in achieving the treaty’s entry into force? One of our main goals, not just in our lives should be to regard the destiny of this treaty as representing dignity and respect for ourselves and for the world. To me this treaty means everything and so it does for you, believe me. We have eight missing states and this is not just their challenge, but ours as well. We are part of a global community and must all participate in matters of global peace and security.

The citizens of the eight remaining states should be the first to treat this matter with as much seriousness as it requires. For we have no more time to wait. The world is fragile. We lack the spirit of peace and it is up to us to enhance it. So let’s act now and address these eight states with all the energy that we have for we can’t move forward without them. And we better act immediately before this 8 turns into ∞.


Author: Ilya Kursenko

The opinion piece is the work of the CTBTO Youth Group member listed as author. The views expressed herein are those of the author and should not necessarily be seen as representing the Organization.