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Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations at the First Committee thematic discussion on Nuclear Weapons

STATEMENT

by

H.E. Mrs. Byrganym Aitimova,

Permanent Representative of

the Republic of Kazakhstan

to the United Nations

at the First Committee thematic discussion

 on Nuclear Weapons

  12 October 2011

New York

Mr. Chairman,

 

Closing down the world’s second largest nuclear test site, and renouncing fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world on 29 August 1991, soon after its independence, Kazakhstan over the last two decades has been at the vanguard of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation as part of multilateral action. Marking the Twentieth Anniversary of this historical decision, the country is moving ahead with long term goals, combined with practical steps to achieve nuclear abolition, as part of a global multilateral action.

The immediate target before the international community is to implement the Action Points arising from the Outcome Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference.   As a key step, Kazakhstan therefore calls upon all Member States to ensure universality of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and accept the comprehensive safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its Additional Protocol.  Continued stagnation and ineffectiveness of the NPT regime have made possible the spread of nuclear weapons and the emergence of new de facto nuclear states.

Kazakhstan supports the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) without further delay so that its Preparatory Commission becomes a full-fledged verification organization. My country is engaged in the development and functioning of the International Monitoring System and on-site inspection techniques, through our own 24-hour five tracking stations.    

The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, is striving vigorously to revitalize the Conference on Disarmament (CD), and it is now up to Member States to demonstrate an unequivocal political commitment to overcome differences. The CD has once again to become a robust catalyst to start negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMTC) and the issue of peaceful uses of outer space through a legally binding treaty, which are some of the most pressing items on the global security agenda.   It is imperative to further advance the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) agenda by engaging other international bodies dealing with the issues of space exploration which many countries are embarking on.

With the increasing demand for nuclear energy, Kazakhstan supports multilateral approaches and is ready to host a nuclear fuel bank under IAEA auspices, to allow countries to purchase nuclear fuel, as a means to strengthen the non-proliferation regime. My country supports the legitimate and inalienable right of every NPT State Party to develop and use peaceful nuclear energy in compliance with the requirements of IAEA, and thus eliminate all possibilities of any monopoly or double standards that our President has brought to world attention so often, which is that while some States are allowed to possess and upgrade nuclear weapons, other are forbidden to be engaged even in research and development.

As part of the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, Kazakhstan is fulfilling its obligations to prevent nuclear proliferation and terrorism by upholding the legal instruments of IAEA, and also enacting corresponding national legislation in the country. However, it is crucial that nuclear powers extend full negative guarantees for the zone to be viable - a point made explicit by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev at the United Nations General Assembly on 21 September this year.

My country is an articulate proponent of the Middle East Nuclear-Free-Zone and is ready to engage actively in all deliberations and actions to ultimately achieve this goal. It will also continuously strive to ensure that the entire world becomes a nuclear-weapon-free zone.

Kazakhstan ratified the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, on 14 May 2008, and is an active partner in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.  Kazakhstan last month hosted the 1540 Training Workshop for Central Asian experts, with support from OSCE, ODA and the Governments of Norway and USA.

          And finally, the International Day against Nuclear Tests, observed for the second time this year, through the initiative of my country and other co-sponsors of General Assembly resolution 64/35, has served as an effective advocacy vehicle to harness Governments and public opinion to get rid of nuclear tests and nuclear explosions. To mark the Day and the Twentieth Anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, today in Astana the Forum on a Nuclear-Weapon Free World is taking place (11-13 October 2011).

President Nazarbayev, addressing the Assembly this year, also announced the need to start drafting a Universal Declaration of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World, as the most acceptable step before a legally binding Convention or a framework of arrangements.

We thank the Past President of the General Assembly, Dr. Deiss, the United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Member States, High Representative Mr. Sergio Duarte and the Office for Disarmament Affairs, and Department of Public Information, as well as civil society for their solidarity with Kazakhstan’s efforts to work progressively towards the goal of nuclear abolition.

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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