UN General Assembly hails Kazakhstan’s efforts for nuclear disarmament
NUR-SULTAN – The United Nations (UN), the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and international atomic energy agency (IAEA) praised Kazakhstan’s efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament at a high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry reported on September 7.
The meeting was dedicated to the International Day Against Nuclear Tests on August 29, proclaimed by the UN in 2009 at the initiative of Kazakhstan.
Noting the irrevocable and harmful consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, Kazakhstan’s permanent representative to the UN, Magzhan Ilyassov, called on UN member states to engage in constructive discourse and efforts to renounce this type of weapon. He proposed that countries contribute to the entry into force of the CTBT, expand the territory of nuclear-weapon-free zones and sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as practical actions.
The High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, spoke on behalf of the UN Secretary General. Special guests included CTBT Executive Secretary Robert Floyd, IAEA Head of Office to the United Nations in New York Vivian Okeke, and civil society leaders.
Nakamitsu stressed the importance of efforts by Kazakhstan and other states to help nuclear test victims and rehabilitate the environment.
Floyd praised Kazakhstan for its continued support of CTBTO programs and its efforts to raise awareness of the devastating impact of atomic bomb trials.
Okeke stressed the importance of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests in promoting the nuclear non-proliferation system and commended Kazakhstan for supporting the IAEA’s Low Enriched Uranium Bank program.
A presentation of the book “Atomic Steppe: How Kazakhstan Dropped the Bomb” by well-known nuclear disarmament expert and senior fellow at SUNY-Albany Center for Policy Studies Togzhan Kassenova was organized as part of the event.
The book focuses on the history of the nuclear test ban at the Semipalatinsk test site, as well as the process of Kazakhstan’s abandonment of the nuclear arsenal that remained in the country after the collapse of Soviet Union.