Disarmament: Statement by the Delegate of Kazakhstan (UN, 1999)
Allow me to associate myself with the congratulations extended to you on your election to the important post of Chairman of the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the Year 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and to express our confidence that under your skilled leadership the work of the Committee will proceed fruitfully and achieve positive results.
Since we attach the great importance to the decisions and resolutions of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Kazakhstan supports efforts at encouraging the full application and
effective implementation of the provisions of this Treaty. The termless nature of the Treaty strongly reinforces the bases of international stability and security, and creates prospects for progress towards disarmament. 187 countries are already parties to the treaty. In the last four years alone 9 states have acceded to the NPT, and this is an important step towards ensuring its universality.
The wealth of experience gained in post-conflict development provides an additional impetus to the multilateral negotiations aimed at achieving specific practical solutions in the sphere of security, arms limitation and disarmament. It is universally acknowledged that a priority area of the negotiation process is nuclear disarmament and the strengthening of the non-proliferation regime. At the same time, unless we undertake concrete action in this area, we will never achieve our goal. We must recognize that the problems of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation have become interdependent, and that international security can be brought about only through joint efforts by both nuclear and non-nuclear states.
The highest priority role in advancing a solution to these questions in the disarmament field, as we see it, lies with the United Nations. The strength of interaction within the UN will determine the successful progress of the international community towards a secure, stable and prosperous world.
The current session of the Preparatory Committee is taking place at a critical time, when the approach of the new millenium makes it vitally necessary to take careful stock of what has been achieved and to develop reliable parameters for international relations in the future.
Unfortunately, it must be acknowledged that on the threshold of the next century the international community has encountered the threat of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It is becoming quite evident that the new century will not be a safer one. However, a sense of futility should not dominate the international community. Specific steps are needed to eliminate the nuclear threat.
An important contribution to a practical solution to the problems facing the international community in the area of nuclear non-proliferation has been made by the effective mechanisms produced by the IAEA to monitor the turnover in nuclear materials, strengthen the international safeguards system and establish effective cooperation on questions of nuclear energy and radiation safety in the treatment of wastes.
Today’s world is unimaginable without the broad use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. These include not only atomic energy, but also many nuclear-physics isotope technologies and methods, which have found their way into virtually all areas of our lives. There is a progressive development of peaceful nuclear technologies, and in these circumstances the task of maintaining and strengthening the non-proliferation regime will continue to be a highly relevant issue.
Kazakhstan attaches great importance to progress in the implementation of the initiative for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia. We are convinced that the zone in Central Asia will constitute an important step towards strengthening the non-proliferation regime, the development of cooperation in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, the development of cooperation in the ecological rehabilitation of territories which have suffered from radioactive contamination, and will promote general and complete disarmament and a strengthening of regional and international peace and security. Kazakhstan will continue to participate consistently and constructively to establish this zone.
The indefinite extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is one of the most outstanding events in the strengthening of the regime for the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. At the same time, as we see it, there is a clear need to build on that success and to move towards the noble goal of full nuclear disarmament. We hope that the year 2000 Review Conference will achieve successful results.
The delegation of Kazakhstan is ready to continue to strengthen its cooperation with the delegations of states parties to the Treaty to
achieve that goal.