PARTICIPANTS OF UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPECIAL SESSION CALL FOR "CTBT"
ENTRY INTO FORCE
New-York, September 11: A special session of the United Nations General Assembly to observe the
International Day against Nuclear Tests took place on September 10, 2014 at the
UN headquarters in New York.
At Kazakhstan’s initiative, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in
2009 proclaiming August 29 the International Day against Nuclear Tests. August
29 is the day in 1991 when the President of Kazakhstan, by his decree, shut
down forever the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. As recognized
internationally, the resolution fully reflects the desire of the mankind to
achieve a complete cessation of nuclear testing and, ultimately, the
elimination of nuclear weapons.
United Nations Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon, First Deputy Akim (Governor)
of East Kazakhstan oblast Yermek Kosherbayev, UN High Representative for
Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane, permanent representatives to the United
Nations, other officials and NGO activists participated in the event.
Addressing the audience, the UN Secretary-General emphasized the importance
of the International Day for the world and the mankind and praised President
Nazarbayev’s vision, leadership and courage for contribution to nuclear
disarmament and for his decision to shut down the Semipalatinsk nuclear test
site. Ban Ki-moon shared his deep personal impressions of his visit to the
former test site in April 2010, when, standing near ground zero of the first
atomic explosion there, he called on the international community to bring a
halt to nuclear testing. “If any one of you goes there, you will have the
same feeling and commitment which I am calling for,” the head of the
largest international organization said.
In his remarks, Ban Ki-moon urged to move towards a world free of nuclear
tests and nuclear weapons. The UN Secretary-General specifically called on the
states that have not yet signed or ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban
Treaty (CTBT) to do so without delay to make sure it enters into force as soon
First Deputy Akim (Governor) of East Kazakhstan oblast Yermek Kosherbayev
noted that Kazakhstan and President Nursultan Nazarbayev made the first and
most important contribution to the process of nuclear disarmament, peace and
stability in the world. The world’s largest nuclear test site was closed 23
years ago by a decree of the head of state. The adoption of a resolution in
2009, which declared August 29 as the International Day Against Nuclear Tests,
has become the common contribution of the international community to reducing
the global nuclear threat and implement the CTBT.
He also noted serious consequences of the nuclear tests for the people, as
well as the ecological damage caused to this unique and diverse region of
Kazakhstan. In this regard, he noted that the Government of Kazakhstan has
allocated more than $600 million for the rehabilitation of the region since
According to Kosherbayev, Kazakhstan is grateful to the international
community for its assistance in overcoming the consequences of nuclear tests,
as well as in the areas of human and ecological rehabilitation of the region,
in particular to major donors such as Japan, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, the
United Kingdom and the United States, as well as to regional organizations such
as the European Union and the OSCE. He also noted the assistance from aid
agencies such as the Canadian International Development Agency, the Korean
International Cooperation Agency, the Red Crescent Society in Kazakhstan, as
well as UNICEF, USAID, UNDP, and IAEA.
According to the Kazakh official, Kazakhstan calls upon states, on whose
actions the CTBT entry into force depends, to sign and ratify this crucial document
as soon as possible. This will become one of the key steps in the effective
implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear
Weapons, the most important document on which the security of all mankind
rests. The Government of Kazakhstan has actively advocated for nuclear
disarmament and pressed for bold and decisive action to eliminate the existing
nuclear threat, which has undermines global security.
A High-Level Interactive Panel Discussion on the theme “The Path to Global
Zero” took place as part of the General Assembly session. The speakers
included UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane; Geoffrey
Shaw, representative of the IAEA Director General; Permanent Representative of
the Philippines to the United Nations Libran Cabactulan; Permanent
Representative of Canada to the United Nations Guillermo Rishchinsky, and a
representative of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Felicity
Ruby. Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, Dr. W. Joy
Ogwu moderated the panel discussion.
The participants of the session had an opportunity to learn about President
Nazarbayev’s initiative, The ATOM Project (www.theatomproject.org), and its goal of galvanizing global popular support for the full and
complete legal ban on nuclear tests in the world and for the CTBT entry into
force. Delegations voiced support for this timely campaign which will draw the
attention of global leaders to threats and consequences of nuclear weapon
The subsequent discussion provided an opportunity for UN member states, as
well as invited guests from civil institutions to exchange views on various
issues of nuclear non-proliferation and the need for the international community
to achieve the ultimate goal of a nuclear-weapons-free world. Speakers
expressed gratitude to the people of Kazakhstan and President Nazarbayev for
their contribution to the advancement of the cause of disarmament and
Calling for the CTBT entry into force, delegations specifically stressed
the need for the prompt signature and ratification of the CTBT by states listed
in Annex 2 of the Treaty, including China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, the
DPRK, Pakistan and the United States. The CTBT, already signed by 183 and
ratified by 163 states, can only enter into force after its signing and
ratification of these eight countries.
The Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the United Nations assisted in
organizing the session of the UN General Assembly.