Connect with us


UN appeals for nuclear test ban amid ‘alarming rise in global mistrust’




United Nations Secretary on General, Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for more global action to end nuclear testing, warning against the danger of “collective

Guterres made the call in his message to mark the International Day against Nuclear Tests.

The UN chief appealed for key countries to ratify the international treaty that bans experiments for both peaceful and military purposes.

“This year, we face an alarming rise in global mistrust and division,” he said.

“At a time in which nearly 13,000 nuclear weapons are stockpiled around the world — and countries are working to improve their accuracy, reach and destructive power — this is a recipe for annihilation.”


The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) therefore represents “a fundamental step in our quest for a world free of nuclear weapons,” he added.

The treaty opened for signature in September 1996 but has yet to enter into force because it must be signed and ratified by 44 specific nuclear technology holder countries, eight of which have yet to ratify it.

The countries are China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Pakistan and the United States.

“In the name of all victims of nuclear testing, I call on all countries that have not yet ratified the Treaty to do so immediately, without conditions,” Guterres said.

Sinilarly, the President of the UN General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi, echoed this message during a commemorative event at UN Headquarters in New York.


“Heightened distrust, geopolitical competition and a growing number of armed conflicts have only increased the dangers in our world. Particularly if we consider the regular threats of resorting to a nuclear strike in the on-going war against Ukraine,” he said.

Kőrösi called for “a human-centred approach to disarmament” as investing in nuclear weapons is simply incompatible with global pledges to achieve a more sustainable future for all people and the planet.

He said the CTBT remains “a stark reminder that we have unfinished business” and urged the remaining countries to sign and ratify the treaty.

The General Assembly President also underscored the importance of learning from history “especially at such a moment, fraught with so many dangers.”

He shared the example of a Japanese woman, Teruko Yahata, 85, who was a child when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945, destroying the city. Today, she delivers presentations to people worldwide about the impact of a nuclear blast.


“In the name of all those who suffered from nuclear testing or nuclear detonations, in the name of our loved ones, and the future generations, it is time to prevent global nuclear destruction,” he said.

“It is time to put an end to the threat of our collective suicide.”

The UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, also stressed the urgency for action.

Although the CTBT has not entered into force, it remains “a monumental testament” to the global goal of relegating nuclear weapons to history.

“The unilateral moratoria against tests adopted by the nuclear-weapon States are to be commended.


“However, they are no substitute for a legally binding prohibition against all nuclear tests,” she said.

The International Day Against Nuclear Tests has been observed annually on 29 August since 2010.

The date marks the anniversary of the 1991 closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan, the largest of its kind in the former Soviet Union, where more than 450 nuclear devices were exploded over four decades.


Coup attempt in Burkina Faso



The junta in Burkina Faso, which toppled a military regime to gain power, has announced that there was a coup attempt.

In a statement, the junta said an attempt by some army officers to seize power and plunge the country into chaos was thwarted.

“The dark intention of attacking the institutions of the Republic and plunging our country in chaos… investigations will help unmask the instigators of this plot.”

“Officers and other alleged actors involved in this attempt at destabilisation have been arrested and others are actively sought,” read the statement from Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo, spokesman for the regime.

The military government said it would seek to shed all possible light on this plot, adding that it regretted “that officers whose oath is to defend their homeland have strayed into an undertaking of this nature”.


It said while four people had been detained, two were on the run.

The statement added that the regime launched investigation based on “credible allegations about a plot against state security implicating officers.”

“We regret that officers whose oath is to defend their homeland have strayed into an undertaking of this nature, which aims to hinder the Burkinabe people’s march for sovereignty and total liberation from the terrorist hordes trying to enslave them.”

The junta came to power after two military coups last year, triggered in part by a worsening insurgency by armed groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State that has destabilised Burkina Faso and its neighbours.

Captain Ibrahim Traoré, the junta leader, seized power on September 30, 2022, the country’s second coup in eight months.


From 2020 till date, there have been seven coups across Africa.

Continue Reading


Manufacturers sack 3,567 workers, unsold goods hit ₦‎272billion – MAN



No fewer than 3,567 jobs were lost in the manufacturing sector in the first half of 2023 according to figures obtained by The PUNCH from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

MAN disclosed this in its half yearly review of the economy, which was released on Tuesday.

According to the report, employment generation in the manufacturing sector declined to 6,428 in the first half of 2023.

This was 32.8 per cent reduction in employment generation capacity when compared with 9,559 jobs generated in the first half of 2022.

The report read partly, “In the same vein, a total of 3,567 jobs were lost in the first half of 2023, indicating 1,855 more jobs lost when compared with the 1,709 jobs lost in the corresponding half of 2022, and 850 more jobs lost when compared with 2708 jobs lost in the last half of 2022.”


MAN said the decline in the number of jobs created in the sector during the period further highlighted the unfriendly business environment, resulting from the hasty policies and residual effect of the currency redesign policy that led to the naira crunch.

The report also stated that the inventory of unsold finished products in the manufacturing sector increased to N271.9bn during the first half of 2023, compared to N187bn in the corresponding period of 2022.

This indicated a substantial rise of N84.88bn or 45.4 per cent over the timeframe. It also showed N11.64bn or 4.1 per cent decline when compared with the inventory value of N283.6bn recorded in the second half of 2022.

“This increase in inventory can be attributed to a weakened purchasing power of the consumers, brought about by diminishing real household income resulting from the ongoing escalation of inflationary pressures, compounded by the scarcity of naira in the first quarter of the year and the aftermath of the subsidy removal,” the report said.

It noted that subsidy removal and exchange rate unification policy towards the end of the first half left the economy on the brink of uncertainty, caused a ripple effect that further eroded investors’ confidence.


MAN stated that, “As a result, businesses and foreign investors are increasingly wary of committing capital, thereby hindering economic growth and prospects for recovery.

“The combined effect of these is the resultant higher inflationary pressure, which fuels the cost of production, reducing consumers’ purchasing power and having a greater impact on the manufacturers.”

Continue Reading