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Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations

STATEMENT

by

H.E. Mrs. Byrganym Aitimova,

Permanent Representative of

the Republic of Kazakhstan

to the United Nations

at the general debate of the First Committee

of the sixty-sixth session of the UN General Assembly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 October 2011

 

Mr. Chairman,

Distinguished Colleagues,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

We congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, for your stewardship of the First Committee, as well as other members of the Bureau on their election, and assure you of our full engagement as you lead us through the complex agenda ahead of us. I take this opportunity to thank Mr. Sergio Duarte, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, and his Office for the untiring efforts to support the work of the Committee and that of Member States.

Kazakhstan, through the unilateral closure of the second largest test site in the world on 29 August 1991, has become "the epicenter of peace", as described by the President of the Republic, Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev. The visit of the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, to the former Ground Zero in Semipalatinsk, last year, continues to spur him with even greater conviction to urge the international community to achieve complete nuclear disarmament.

The international community, since we last met, has witnessed several significant milestones for committed political will to advance the momentum for disarmament and non-proliferation.

There have also been very sobering events – the tragedy at the Fukushima plant in February and the 25th Anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, compel us to better protect humankind, sustainable development and the Planet from the effects of radiation. 

While we near the 2012 Preparatory Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), work must begin on several fronts right away in order to report on the achievement of expectations set for 2012 and 2015.  President Nursultan Nazarbayev, addressing the General Assembly last month, stated the need for universalizing and strengthening the NPT, and for increased international control by the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over compliance by all States with their non-proliferation obligations. He particularly mentioned that while some States were allowed to possess and upgrade their nuclear weapons, others are forbidden to engage even in research and development, thus necessitating a review of the relevant provisions of international law. 

In addition, the President believes that having a Universal Declaration of a Nuclear Weapon-Free World would reaffirm the determination of all States to move, step by step, towards a Convention against Nuclear Weapons. Kazakhstan offers its full and unequivocal support for such a convention which was proposed by the Secretary-General’s Five Point Plan.  

Kazakhstan joins the voice of the Seventh Ministerial Meeting on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), held on 23 September, for the entry into force of the Treaty. My country co-operates with the CTBTO to advance the functioning of the International Monitoring System, through the contribution of its own five national cutting-edge 24-hour tracking stations as part of the global effort. With the support of the Government of Norway, an international training centre has been set up for data experts from the Central Asian countries.  

Kazakhstan commends the efforts of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General for vitalizing the work of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and will cooperate fully to ensure that the work of the Conference will bring concrete results on key issues, its methods and expansion of membership, to reflect growing global multilateral engagement. It is imperative to get the CD functioning again to start negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) as a pressing item on its agenda, together with the issue of observing the principle of peaceful activities in outer space. The latter is of importance since Kazakhstan hosts the Baikonur cosmodrome, and is energetically engaged in national and multilateral space cooperation.

Kazakhstan, together with other Central Asian states constituting the Nuclear Weapon-Free-Zone in the region, plays a crucial role in preventing the uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear materials, thus combating nuclear terrorism.  Speaking at the General Assembly on 21 September, President Nursultan Nazarbayev, called for the drafting of an international legally binding instrument on security assurances by nuclear powers to non-nuclear weapon States, and in this aspect, the NPT has not been not effective, in his view.

I am pleased to inform you that, as part of our concrete ongoing actions to secure regional stability, Kazakhstan hosted in Astana, on 27-29 September, the 1540 Training Workshop for 30 officials from the Central Asian region, supported by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Governments of USA and Norway.

Kazakhstan fully endorses the longstanding proposal for a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Recent developments point to a window of opportunity that can act as a catalytic force. My country stands ready to work towards the 2012 Conference on the Middle East Nuclear Weapon-Free- Zone attaining its objectives.

An effective measure to strengthen the non-proliferation regime could be the establishment of international nuclear fuel bank under IAEA auspices, and my country is ready to consider a possibility of locating it on our territory.

 

Mr. Chairman,

Kazakhstan, during its Chairmanship of OSCE, last year, worked towards the future of Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security, in keeping with international norms. The 2010 OSCE Summit, in Astana, further reinforced global and regional disarmament efforts. In 2011, with Kazakhstan as Chair of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the same efforts will pursue.   

Kazakhstan is committed to ensuring that all critical issues are considered at the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (BMSW) to be held in 2012, and that there is effective implementation of BMSW IV at our regional level.

My country wall make every effort to see that the 2012 Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty can result in finalizing a bullet-proof treaty that will prevent irresponsible arms transfers which fuel conflict, poverty and serious human rights abuses, and is in keeping with International Humanitarian Law. President Nazarbayev has called for the establishment of a Peacekeeping Fund to which each State would contribute one per cent of its defense budget. The staggering amounts of money spent on the massive build up of armaments and militarization around the world can be redirected to reaching the Millennium Development Goals for human wellbeing and sustainable development.

President Nazarbayev has also called for proposed establishing an international legal framework for the worldwide information space so as to enforce the global culture for cyber security so vital in contemporary society.

This year, the second International Day against Nuclear Tests (29 August) was observed to help raise awareness globally about the perils of nuclear weapons and tests. It also 2011 marks the Twentieth Anniversary of this historical step. My Government, to commemorate both these events, is hosting the Astana Forum for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World with eminent statesmen, dignitaries and experts.

I am also pleased to inform you about the initiative of Kazakhstan and the East West Institute to begin the Nuclear Discussion Forum. It is a unique and active group as it brings together 30 very divergent Member States, nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon States, as well as, those who are in and outside the NPT, which addresses common pressing issues.

 To conclude, it is our hope that the work of the First Committee this year, reinforced by strong multilateral political commitment, will usher a new era of cooperation and action for global peace, security and stability.

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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