SAUDABAYEV’S VISIT TO NORWAY: NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, OSCE HIGH ON AGENDA
Oslo, October 12: Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev is in Oslo, Norway, for a two-day official visit, where he has participated in the high-level international conference titled “A Nuclear Weapon-Free World: nuclear disarmament strategies, non-proliferation and export control” and is holding meetings with the Scandinavian nation’s Crown Prince Haakon and high-level officials.
Delivering his speech at the conference, Saudabayev briefed the audience on Kazakhstan’s active participation in the global non-proliferation process and contribution to the reduction of the global nuclear threat. According to him, today nuclear disarmament process requires more decisive steps, such as the creation of new nuclear-weapons-free zones, including the one in the Middle East, as well as early drafting of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), which should become, along with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT), an important pillar of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
Kazakhstan is actively promoting the non-proliferation policy within the international organizations, in particular, as the nation chairing the OSCE in 2010, Astana is working on the implementation of the Athens OSCE Ministerial Declaration on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which, in Saudabayev’s opinion, can be the OSCE’s major contribution to the implementation of a global UN mandate to maintain international peace and security.
Besides, Saudabayev said that within the “Corfu Process” on the future of Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security the OSCE participating countries admitted the necessity of updating “Principles Governing Non-Proliferation”.
“In this respect, the upcoming Astana OSCE Summit on December 1-2, 2010, will become a landmark in the progressive movement of the OSCE participating States towards shaping a truly common and indivisible security in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian zones, based on shared values, principles and commitments,” he said.
Speaking of the cooperation with Norway in achieving a nuclear-free future, Foreign Minister Saudabayev expressed his gratitude towards the Norwegian Government for their contribution to launching the Almaty International Training Center for Experts from National Data Centers of the Central Asian Countries which is an important step in strengthening the international monitoring network of the CTBTO.
The conference, co-organized by the foreign ministries of Kazakhstan and Norway, as well as the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), brought together top officials from the IAEA, CTBTO, members of the parliaments of Norway and France, experts and professionals in the field from Kazakhstan, Norway, the United States and other nations.
Speaking at the conference, Norway's foreign minister Jonas Gar Store praised Kazakhstan's contribution to nuclear disarmament and the cooperation betwen the two countries. He also supported Kazakhstan's offer to host an international nuclear fuel bank under the IAEA auspices, the idea Norway also supports financially.
Following the conference, the Kazakh Foreign Minister had a meeting with Minister Store, where they discussed a number of issues in the bilateral relations and interaction within international organizations, including the UN and the OSCE. Minister Store strongly supported the OSCE summit in Kazakhstan in December. The two ministers signed a series of bilateral agreements, in particular, Agreement on visa-free regime between Kazakhstan and Norway for diplomatic passport holders, and the Agreement on readmission of own and third-country nationals.
Tomorrow, on October 13, Kanat Saudabayev is expected to hold meetings with the Crown Prince Haakon, President of the Storting Dag Terje Andersen and a group of Norwegian parliamentarians who are members of the Committee on Defense and Foreign Relations and the country’s delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.