Diplomat: Kazakhstan is at the vanguard of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 13 / Trend , G.Dadashova /
Counsellor of the Kazakh mission to the UN Israil Tilegen said Kazakhstan has been at the vanguard of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation over the last two decades by closing down the world's second largest nuclear test site Semipalatinsk and renouncing the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world on Aug, 21, 1991.
"Marking the twentieth anniversary of its historical decision, the country was moving ahead with long-term goals, combined with practical steps to achieve nuclear abolition," he said at 10th meeting of the First Committee of the 66th General Assembly on Oct.12.
He said that the immediate target before the international community was to implement the action plan arising from the Final Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
"Kazakhstan supported the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), without further delay, and Government was engaged in the development and functioning of the International Monitoring System and on-site inspection techniques, through 24-hour tracking stations," he noted.
Also imperative, he said, was to prevent an arms race in outer space agenda, and to further that agenda by engaging other international bodies dealing with the issues of space exploration.
"With the increasing demand for nuclear energy, Kazakhstan supported multilateral approaches and was ready to host a nuclear fuel bank under IAEA auspices, to allow countries to purchase nuclear fuel, as a means to strengthen the non-proliferation regime," Tilegen said.
As part of the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, Kazakhstan was fulfilling its obligations to prevent nuclear proliferation and terrorism by upholding IAEA's legal instruments and enacting corresponding national legislation, he noted.
Tilegen said the Kazakh government was an articulate proponent of a Middle East nuclear-weapon-free zone, and saw the need to start drafting a universal declaration on a nuclear-weapon-free world as the most acceptable step before a legally binding convention or a framework of arrangements.
Following the collapse of the USSR, Kazakhstan inherited the world's fourth largest nuclear capabilities. The USSR's biggest areas in testing, space and nuclear test sites - Emba, Sary-Shagan, Baikonur and Semipalatinsk were located throughout the country.
After gaining independence, Kazakhstan refused Russian nuclear warheads. In 1996, the country acceded to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Kazakhstan celebrates the 20th anniversary of the closing of the Semipalatinsk test site in 2011.