NEW YORK, April 29, 2019 - Kazakhstan, as an active supporter of nuclear disarmament and strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime, firmly supports the strict and complete compliance by all parties of the provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This was announced by head of the delegation of Kazakhstan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yerzhan Ashikbayev at the opening of the Third Preparatory Session for the 2020 NPT Review Conference.
The Kazakh diplomat opened the general debate with a statement on behalf of the Group of States Parties to the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia (the Semipalatinsk Treaty), which this year celebrates its 10th Anniversary of its entry into force. This zone remains the only nuclear-weapon-free zone in the northern hemisphere.
As the Acting Coordinator of the Central Asian zone, the head of the Kazakh delegation urged the United States to ratify the Protocol on negative guarantees (non-use of nuclear weapons) to the Semipalatinsk Treaty, as soon as possible, and expressed hope for the further creation of new nuclear-free zones in the world.
On 3 May, the delegation of Kazakhstan is organizing a special event dedicated to cooperation between nuclear-free zones and exploring new ones so as to make the world safer and more security for humanity.
Kazakhstan approaches the preparatory session with another equally important anniversary date - the 25th Anniversary of its accession to the NPT. Speaking in his national capacity, Yerzhan Ashikbayev outlined the main milestones of Kazakhstan's activities over the past quarter century. He indicated its historical role in the collective multilateral action to strengthen the global security architecture. Undoubtedly, as is widely known, all globally recognized achievements of Kazakhstan are based on the successfully implemented anti-nuclear initiatives of the First President, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Kazakhstan, having lived through its unique path of denuclearization, remains firmly convinced that disarmament is the most effective confidence-building measure. In this regard, concern was expressed about the growing distrust both between nuclear powers and the interaction of nuclear and non-nuclear countries, undermining the effectiveness and unconditional implementation of all the provisions of the NPT.
As a significant contribution of Kazakhstan to achieve the common goal of the safe and reliable use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, the Deputy Minister highlighted the establishment of the IAEA Low-Enriched Uranium Bank, which was inaugurated in 2017. However, it will host storage material for the first time this year. Such a milestone therefore marks the practical launch of an unprecedented mechanism designed to ensure uninterrupted supply of fuel for nuclear power plants in case of political obstacles.
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