On the 8th - 10th June 2017, the International Seminar on Nuclear Security and Disarmament was held in Oslo under the auspices of the Norwegian Nobel Institute and the Norwegian Atlantic Committee, with participants including the heads of international organisations, leading political scientists, and respective specialists in nuclear issues.
The Forum focused on a number of topical global nuclear security issues, ranging from the risk of illicit radioactive materials being trafficked for the production of nuclear weapons, to the increased role of international institutions in its control. It also included a discussion describing the unique capabilities of the new Low Enriched Uranium Bank in Kazakhstan (IAEA BNOU) in addressing a number of international security problems.
At the high-level panel session held during the official opening of the conference, the honorary guests were the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukio Amano; the former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and the current Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Kingdom, Erlan Idrissov; as well as the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), Lassina Zerbo.
Speaking to the participants of the event, the IAEA Director General Y. Amano informed the audience about the manners in which this international organisation aimed at developing cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy. The head of the IAEA stressed that with the advent of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the work of the agency had taken on special significance owing to the IAEA members' binding agreement with the organisation itself on safeguarding agreements.
Referring to modern challenges such as cyber threats, computer and information security issues, and nuclear technology and radioactive material safety, the head of the IAEA emphasised that the contribution of Kazakhstan to nuclear non-proliferation cannot be emphasized enough. According to him, the BNOU is a last resort mechanism for the current situation, as it deals with a wide range of urgent problems in the field of nuclear safety and non-proliferation.
The former Kazakh Foreign Minister, Erlan Idrissov, presented a detailed report entitled "lessons on the initiative to create a Bank of Low Enriched Uranium (BNOU) for the IAEA in Kazakhstan", which not only shows the history of the Bank's goals, but also explains all the initiatives of the Leader of Kazakhstan in this field since our country's independence.
The audience at the Norwegian Nobel Institute was particularly interested in the history of the closure of the nuclear test site in Semei; Kazakhstan's voluntary renouncement of the world's fourth largest nuclear stockpile; and Kazakhstan's implementation of initiatives in the field of global security, such as the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia.
Ambassador Erlan Idrissov particularly emphasised the exceptional role of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, in the establishment and promotion of all of our projects. The implementation of these projects not only contributed to the international recognition of Kazakhstan as a peace-loving and responsible member of the world community, but also allowed our state to take a seat among the members of the UN Security Council (for the period of 2017-18).
During the forum, a number of speakers, including heads of international institutions, diplomats, leading experts, and representatives of think tanks, repeatedly referred to the responsible approach of Kazakhstan in ensuring international and regional security. In doing so, they acknowledged our experience as a unique and deserving example of support for nuclear non-proliferation.
We are incredibly appreciative that the Nobel Peace Institute has become an appropriate and effective platform for informing the specialised expert community about both the current and future peace initiatives of the Republic of Kazakhstan.