President's initiative on establishing cooperation between nuclear-weapon-free zones has received wide support in Geneva

On May 3, 2018 the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations Office in Geneva in cooperation with Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the international organizations in Vienna and the Vienna Centre for Disarmament and Nonproliferation organized a panel discussion in the UN Office in Geneva on the topic “Cooperation among Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones: History, Challenges and Recommendations" within the framework of the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee to the NPT 2020 Review Conference.

The VCDNP Task Force responsible for developing proposals to revive cooperation between nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZ) presented their report at the event. Kazakhstan's representatives actively participated in the Task Force's work and in the development of the report with the aim of implementing the initiative of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev on organizing a meeting of members of nuclear-weapon-free zones. The ideas and proposals in this document could lay the foundation for combining the efforts of nuclear-weapon-free zones' member states and provide the basis for the NWFZ meeting in Kazakhstan.

More than 70 people participated in the event, including Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives of UN member states, delegates of the second session of the Preparatory Committee, heads of non-governmental organizations in the disarmament and nonproliferation area and representatives of the academia.

During the panel discussion Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Swiss Confederation, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations Office and other International Organisations in Geneva Ms. Zhanar Aitzhanova, former Executive Director of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt Dr. Harald Müller, outstanding international expert, CTBTO consultant, former special adviser to the IAEA General director Mr. Tariq Rauf, Director of the Center for International Security and Policy Mr. Alimzhan Akhmetov made their respective statements and presentations. Director of the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies Dr. William Potter was invited to moderate the event.

In her statement Zhanar Aitzhanova underlined the outstanding role of Kazakhstan in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, citing as an example the historical decision of President Nazarbayev on the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, initiative on announcing 29th of August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests and the establishment of the Zone free from nuclear weapons in Central Asia.

Permanent representative of Kazakhstan to the UN Office in Geneva underlined the importance of establishment of nuclear weapon free zones around the world and expressed confidence that coordination between nuclear weapon free zones will serve to the increased effectiveness of their efforts on promotion of the disarmament process and strengthening the nuclear weapons nonproliferation regime. The readiness of Kazakhstan to provide a platform to organize a high-level meeting of the parties of zones free from nuclear weapons in Astana was reiterated.

The event sparked a lively and engaged discussion on the most pressing issues of disarmament, nonproliferation and nuclear weapon free zones.

According to the participants, the panel discussion was one of the remarkable events within the framework of the Preparatory Committee and made a strong contribution to the progress of consolidating the efforts of zones free from nuclear weapons.
Created at : 4.05.2018, 16:25, Updated at : 4.05.2018, 16:25