Stronger political will required to achieve complete global non-proliferation: Kazakh FM

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Geneva, Mar.14 (ANI): Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister, Kanat Saudabayev, has expressed grave concern over the international community's lack of political will to achieve complete global non-proliferation, and reiterated that this is an absolute must to ensure both nuclear security and the peaceful use of nuclear equipment and energy.

Welcoming US President Barack Obama's initiative to convene a global summit on nuclear security in Washington in April and his decision to give a new impulse to an early ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty in May, Mr. Saudabayev has once again reiterated Kazakhstan's determination to be a strong advocate in the global non-proliferation process.

Addressing a Conference on Disarmament here recently, Mr. Saudabayev said that since Kazakhstan took an informed decision to dismantle its nuclear assets in 1991, the country has emerged as a role model of disarmament to be followed.

He said this wouldn't have been possible without a strong political will and consistent efforts of President Nursultan Nazarbayev to achieve a nuclear-free environment.

He said that Kazakhstan saw the Conference on Disarmament as one of the most important mechanisms for strengthening international security.

He said that for the disarmament community, the year 2009, has been momentous.

"We are witnessing a change in the policy on non-proliferation and disarmament of the Unites States of America. The initiative of President Obama has inspired a new hope. The progress in the negotiations between Russia and the United States to conclude a new agreement to replace the START Treaty is of crucial importance," Foreign Minister Sadabayev said.

He further went on to say that Kazakhstan also has big hopes pinned on the upcoming NPT Review Conference, scheduled to be held in May.

In this context, the Washington summit on nuclear security and the NPT Review Conference are the key events, Mr. Saudabayev said: "Kazakhstan supports the goals of the Washington summit and is actively working to prepare for it. The President of Kazakhstan plans to share, at the summit, his vision of further steps to enhance nuclear security."

While accepting that so far there had been a "good climate and good intentions" for promoting disarmament, he said: "there is a need for meaningful commitment by all parties to the (NP) Treaty to responsibly and effectively implement its provisions."

"So far, unfortunately, we have not been able to achieve the disarmament goals and to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and the emergence of new de facto nuclear-weapon states. There is an urgent need to develop clear mechanisms of putting pressure on those nuclear-weapons states that are operating outside the framework of the NPT and to prevent the withdrawal from the Treaty," he added.

Calling for unconditional compliance by all parties, Mr. Saudabayev said commitment to the NPT regime would have to be seen to be embodied in "the unity of the three fundamental elements - non-proliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy and disarmament."

"As for Kazakhstan, we are working on a set of proposals which, in our view, are consonant with the aspirations of the international community as well as with the proposals that have already been made from this podium. We are looking forward to an engaging dialogue during the Conference and to its successful and fruitful conclusion," he said.

It is our deep conviction that the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is an important prerequisite of nuclear disarmament. We welcome the decision of the President of the United States to seek the ratification of the Treaty and we hope that this will send an important signal to those countries that have not yet done so," he added.

He said Kazakhstan is actively cooperating with the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO on all aspects of its work and is making a significant contribution to the strengthening of the verification regime under the Treaty, including the establishment of an International Monitoring System.

A General Assembly resolution adopted, on the initiative of Kazakhstan, in December 2009, and declaring 29 August - the date when the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site was officially shut down - as the International Day against Nuclear Tests, is fully consistent with the objectives of the CTBT, he said further.

"I would like to emphasize the strong commitment of the regional states to the completion of the process of institutionalization of the Treaty and their willingness to engage in a constructive dialogue with the five nuclear Powers, in order to sign a protocol on negative security assurances," Mr. Saudabayev said.

He reiterated that Kazakhstan intends to take its proposed regional action plan to enhance nuclear security, prevent nuclear proliferation and counter nuclear terrorism further.

On the menace of terrorism, Foreign Minister Sadabayev said: "Kazakhstan is a party to thirteen international conventions against terrorist activities."

"Our country is one of the most active participants of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, launched in 2006 by the presidents of the United States and Russia. Kazakhstan has hosted quite a number of activities under the Global Initiative. Very soon, Astana will host a conference, within the Global Initiative, on pressing issues of combating nuclear terrorism," he added.

He said there are also good opportunities for the strengthening of the third pillar of the NPT - the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Kazakhstan, he said, supports the right of all members of the international community to develop nuclear energy, in strict compliance with the NPT and under the IAEA supervision.

He also said that a Commission on Non-Proliferation of WMD has been established in Kazakhstan, under the country's President, which reviews the current state of affairs in this area and makes recommendations for improving the control systems.

He concluded by saying that there is still "an obvious lack of political will" to overcome the differences and hoped the stalemate would be broken to achieve concrete results. (ANI)

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