Distinguished Council members,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am glad to welcome you at this thematic briefing.
We consider Kazakhstan’s election as a non-permanent member and today’s presidency in the UN Security Council as a sign of trust of the international community to our country and our peaceful policy. And I would like to thank those Member-states that supported us.
As the first state from Central Asia in this noble mission we have become the voice of the countries of our region in this important body of the global organization.
A year has passed since Kazakhstan started its term in the UNSC.
We have strived to be proactive, constructive and objective in tackling pressing issues present on the Agenda of the Council.
While chairing Committees on Afghanistan/Taliban, ISIL/DA’ESH, Al-Qaida and Somalia/Eritrea we have been making our contribution to their productive proceedings.
I am grateful to all Council Members for their continued cooperation.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen!
Today’s meeting is the flagship event of Kazakhstan’s presidency at the UNSC and is specifically dedicated to one of the most pressing topics on contemporary global agenda.
Confidence-building measures aimed at achieving the goals of peace and security play key role in conflict prevention and resolution of pressing global issues.
At the 47th session of UN General Assembly I proposed to establish the regional structure for security and confidence-building measures in Asia (CICA).
This mechanism was created as a result of thorough diplomatic action.
Presently the CICA is successfully functions bringing together 26 states of the region.
Quarter of a century later I speak again at the UN on behalf of Kazakhstan as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.
I can’t help but state that cause of increasing mutual confidence among some countries, and at the global level remains acute and is becoming ever more relevant.
Confidence-building measures should remain on the agenda as the most important element in the maintenance of global security architecture, enhancing peace at the global level.
Firstly, confidence-building measures have justified themselves in the process of preventing the threat of total destruction in the second half of the twenty-first century when humankind was at the brink of a large-scale war.
The UN Charter states that our main goal is to “save the succeeding generations from the scourge of war”.
Over quarter of a century at the UN system my country has made a sweeping transition from an owner of the world’s fourth largest nuclear arsenal to a leader in global non-proliferation at the same time closing down the largest nuclear test site in Semipalatinsk as you are aware.
Renunciation of nuclear weapons and the status of a nuclear power was our conscious and sincere choice, a voluntary act supported by all the people of Kazakhstan and duly appreciated by the international community.
Presently, our country is a party to all fundamental international treaties in the arena of nuclear security and has regularized its nuclear free status.
Secondly, the atmosphere of mutual trust may facilitate forming a new model of international cooperation.
A shining example and a practical embodiment of such cooperation is the opening of the IAEA Low-Enriched Uranium Bank last year.
With this Kazakhstan has made yet another contribution towards strengthening the non-proliferation regime and safe use of uranium for peaceful uses.
Thirdly, nuclear free path of Kazakhstan may become an example and serve as a practical guidance to other countries. I am speaking from my own example.
We have both built and strengthened our independent country, achieved its high international standing by renouncing nuclear weapons and securing non-aggression safeguards from nuclear powers. We call upon all other countries to follow our example. We called upon Iran once, and now we call upon North Korea. Those nuclear bombs and rockets do not possess real power and they are abundant in the world. This does not provide true protection. Protection is provided through the trust of the international community.
Fourthly, current possibilities of progress in Science and Technology and realities of globalization make the task of WMD non-proliferation a matter of humanity’s survival.
Increase in the number of countries possessing WMD creates a risk of nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological weapons falling into the hands of destructive forces.
The present day legal framework failed to prevent the expansion of the “Nuclear Powers Club” in the late XX century.
I believe that the so-much needed for strengthening of the non-proliferation regime based on Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) shall require deep mental changes, new multilateral political solutions.
I would suggest the following measures to enhance confidence in the field of non-proliferation.
First. I find it necessary to make withdrawal from NPT more difficult.
The example of North Korea may prompt to a similar action other countries with ambitions to possess nuclear weapons. We know how many states today possess threshold status.
Without doubting NPT, I suggest considering a possibility of crafting a special UNSC resolution setting forth implications for the countries in breach of the Treaty (including sanctions or other coercive measures). We can all see the necessity of it. The presence of international law agreements did not prevent some countries such as India and Pakistan from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Second. We should develop a truly effective mechanism of applying stringent measures against acquiring and proliferating WMD.
Such multilateral treaties shall be approved by certain UNSC resolutions.
As a main measure to remove incentives for possessing WMD, I believe it is necessary to develop a legally binding system of safeguards by nuclear powers to those states who would voluntarily renounce possessing nuclear weapons as well as to the states with non-nuclear status. This is fair and can be done without significant expenditures.
Third. Success or failure of the process of modernization of the global security system directly depends on the ability of the international community to overcome militarist anachronisms.
We should leave behind division of countries into military blocks, whose existence becomes provocative and meaningless.
This is specifically where we need trust among states that is weakening with every passing year.
I have put forward my vision of global anti-military measures last year in the Manifesto entitled “The World. Twenty-First Century” that proposes actions facilitating building a nuclear weapon free world by the UN Centenary. If the international community shall render its support and unity I believe that this goal is attainable.
Fourth. We should definitely bring political trust and a systemic dialogue back to the international affairs.
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) may serve as a good example. The Iran nuclear deal has demonstrated a possibility of a successful multilateral diplomacy in the sphere of non-proliferation.
It became a practical example in solving most complicated issues through negotiation.
This agreement became possible thanks to the atmosphere of trust establishing which is where Kazakhstan had made its contribution as well and by doing so gained the trust of the international community.
I hope for further successful implementation of the JCPOA regardless of certain complications with fulfillment of their obligations by some of the parties to this Agreement. As you may know, two days ago I discussed this matter during my meeting with President D.Trump. I came to the understanding that we can surmount this issue.
A similar constructive approach, in our opinion, may be applied in the matter of settlement of North Korea’s nuclear problem.
It is known, that current developments on the Korean Peninsula demonstrate deep contradictions.
The world is deeply concerned. This problem can be resolved by restoring trust among the United States, Russia and People’s Republic of China. This matter was discussed recently in the White House as well. I believe that our positions converged on this issue. Without the participation of the United States, Russia and China we will have difficulties in resolving this issue.
In this regard, we call upon the stakeholders to reach earliest and constructive settlement of the North Korean issue.
We stand for granting by “the Nuclear Five” security guarantees to the DPRK as an important condition for creating an atmosphere of trust for Pyongyang to return to the negotiations table.
Should the need arise for the stakeholders Kazakhstan stands ready to provide a platform for negotiations.
Confidence-building measures are also relevant as never before for the Middle East where dramatic events are unfolding today.
The conflict in Syria leads to negative implications far beyond the region.
It is noteworthy that mutual trust has become the basis for the Astana platform dialogue which is making its fair share of contribution to the process of Syria peace settlement, augmenting Geneva negotiations.
Seven rounds of talks have taken place in Astana and according to the participants they were all successful and to a certain degree facilitated the solution to the issue.
Fifth. I believe that one of the most effective measures in combating the spread of WMD is the creation of nuclear free zones.
This constitutes a sign of collective trust. We have done so in Central Asia. I hope we will receive proper protection from the nuclear powers in exchange for such action.
I find it important to continue the pursuit of creating a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East.
I call upon stakeholders to resume the work and I hope that differences remaining among some countries will soon be surmounted.
Sixth. Today there is a risk of a new wave of arms race using scientific achievements.
In this regard the international community should strengthen control over the creation and proliferation of new military and information technologies.
I believe that confidence-building measures are also needed in forging common approaches to prevention of militarization of outer space.
All those issues that I brought up earlier in my opinion merit for a dedicated UN meeting where we can discuss the emerging issues, converging the opinions and restoring trust among states.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen!
Today’s realities are such that many conflicts may be prevented and effectively settled provided that mutual understanding and trust among the world’s nuclear powers is restored.
They bear the highest responsibility in the face of humanity to prevent a nuclear disaster. Largest nuclear powers particularly should be at the forefront of the struggle for the nuclear-free world, and show an example of WMD reduction.
However it doesn’t mean that other countries shall stand on the sidelines, as if little depends on them. On the other side, if the great nuclear powers keep stating their intent to retain their nuclear status and modernize their weaponry whilst everyone else is banned from doing so, it will not work well. This is why I call to move in the right direction and cooperate.
The Global community is a single body, strong in its diversity and pluralism that can survive and strive when there is balance and harmony among nations and peoples living on this planet.
Here is why we have to jointly strive for a safer world and equitable world order based on rule of international law.
Undoubtedly, in this matter a special role and a historic mission lays with UN Security Council.
I am convinced that in the twenty-first century humanity is capable of walking a dignified path to the world free from the threat of WMD.
I believe that trust, willpower and intelligence of the global community multiplied by the energy of collective action will prevent our planet from stepping into the abyss of global catastrophe.
Thank you very much for your attention, distinguished ladies and gentlemen.