August 29: International Day Against Nuclear Tests

August 29 – is a day of particular importance for Kazakhstan and the entire world community.

Exactly 70 years ago, one of the most tragic pages in the history of Kazakhstan was opened. It was the beginning of nuclear tests, which brought innumerable disasters to ordinary people.

In 1991, on this memorable date, the First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev made a truly historic decision by closing the largest Semipalatinsk nuclear test site with his decree.

The example of Kazakhstan was followed by other countries that ceased the functioning of nuclear test sites, which in turn paved the way for the adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in 1996.

August 29 is the historical date, which has become the International Day Against Nuclear Tests by the UN decision. This year we are celebrating this day for the tenth time around the world.

Thanks to the First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan has rapidly gone from the possessor of the world’s fourth-largest destructive nuclear arsenal to a leading country in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Under his leadership, from the day of independence, our country has been persistently striving to achieve the goal of a nuclear-free world and turning it into the main task of mankind in the 21st century.

Guided by these ideas, in 2015 the First Kazakh President Nazarbayev initiated the adoption by the UN General Assembly of a resolution on the Universal Declaration on building a world free of nuclear weapons.

In 2016, at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, Nursultan Nazarbayev presented his conceptual vision – Manifesto “Peace. 21st Century”, wherein stated that there will be no winners in any modern war. That is why we urge to approach towards the world completely free from nuclear weapons, thereby forming the geography of a sustainable world. It is time to put an end to bloc-oriented thinking and adapt the disarmament process to new historical realities by adopting appropriate confidence-building measures.

10 years ago the Treaty on the Central Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone entered into force. So far this is the last such zone created in the 21st century. We propose tripling our efforts by consolidating the potential of nuclear-weapon-free zones in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Therefore, on the initiative of the First President of Kazakhstan, on August 28-29 of this year in Nur-Sultan, a meeting of representatives of nuclear-weapon-free zones was held.

Putting forward aforesaid idea Nursultan Nazarbayev underlined, “the creation of zones free of nuclear weapons is one of the most effective means in the fight against its spread”.

Kazakhstan continues to work actively to strengthen global peace and security, achieve the goals of sustainable development and prosperity of all nations without exception, rid the world of wars and violence, and also adherence to the principles of international law.

We are the first country which closed the existing nuclear test site, advocates for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and calls on the states on which its entry into force depends to take the necessary measures to ratify it. Kazakhstan has always supported and will continue to support the work of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

Our fundamental support for the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has become yet another evidence of Kazakhstan’s consistent approach to nuclear disarmament. On August 29, 2019, Kazakhstan transmitted the instrument of ratification in the UN as the depositary of the Treaty.

Kazakhstan actively participating in all the global anti-nuclear efforts of the international community, supports the initiative of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on a new comprehensive disarmament agenda. We agree with his opinion that the proliferation of nuclear weapons poses an existential threat to humanity, as “today 15 thousand nuclear weapons are stored in the world and hundreds of them can be put into action in a matter of minutes, which can lead to disaster when entire cities will disappear”.

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