Statement by Secretary of State – Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan H.E. Mr. Kanat Saudabayev at the general debate of the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (New York, September 25, 2009)
Dear Mr. President,
Dear Mr. Secretary General,
Ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you, Mr. President, on your election to this high post and wish you success during this UN General Assembly session.
Eight years ago, on September 11, Ms. Zhannetta Tsoy, a citizen of Kazakhstan, having kissed her daughter and husband, left for her first day at a new job in New York’s tallest building. Two hours later she perished. Along with three thousand Americans and citizens of other 91 countries she was buried under the debris of what had once been the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers. On that day, as Kazakhstan’s Ambassador in Washington D.C., along with all Americans I could acutely feel how fragile, vulnerable and interdependent our world had become. This terrorist act and the world’s unity in its strict condemnation showed that only together we can make our present and our future safer and better. Indeed, the key to successful resolution of today’s most acute problems is exactly in the world’s unity and understanding.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and our people have supported the global fight against terrorism from the start by rendering assistance to efforts of the International Coalition in Afghanistan. However, there has never been and will never be only a military solution to the Afghan problem. We note with satisfaction that the Coalition members have commenced paying more attention to non-military aspects of security. To the best of our ability, Kazakhstan is also assisting the international efforts to rehabilitate Afghanistan. We provide considerable humanitarian aid to this country, more than that, we are developing a long-term educational program for training qualified Afghan specialists, as we also consider other forms of assistance to that country.
Long-term stability in Afghanistan is impossible without effective measures to tackle illicit drug trafficking. The Central Asian Regional Information-Coordination Center (CARICC) has now been established in Almaty with the support of the UN to fight illicit drug trafficking.
Kazakhstan, as Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2010, intends to define stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan – OSCE’s regional neighbor – as one of the most important priorities of the Organization.
The prospect of nuclear weapons proliferation, along with a risk of their acquisition and use by terrorist organizations remains one of the most serious threats to the mankind.
As a country that has experienced the horrors of nuclear tests, shut down the world’s second largest nuclear testing site, and voluntarily renounced the world’s fourth largest nuclear and missile arsenal, Kazakhstan has an absolute moral right to call for more decisive actions in the area of disarmament and radical strengthening of the weapons of mass destruction non-proliferation regime.
In particular, Kazakhstan deems it is important to ensure the soonest entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. We welcome and support the intentions of U.S. President Barack Obama to give a new impetus to the process of nonproliferation and the reduction of the nuclear threat.
Kazakhstan stands for the strengthening and ensuring universality of the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. We have to acknowledge that the Treaty is asymmetric in providing sanctions only against non-nuclear-weapon states, although the nuclear powers themselves should set examples of reducing and renouncing their nuclear arsenals.
In this regard, we are encouraged by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1887 passed unanimously yesterday, and believe this historic decision will open a new stage in mankind’s efforts create a world free from nuclear weapons. It is gratifying to note that these actions by the international community echo principled positions expressed more than once from this podium by President Nazarbayev, as well as in his bilateral meetings with heads of nuclear-weapon states, as well as countries that cherish such ambitions.
Today, it is necessary to take even more decisive actions. Our President has proposed the development of the new universal Comprehensive Horizontal and Vertical Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty. The configuration of a new treaty and its contents will largely depend on the proposals of all interested states.
An effective measure to strengthen the non-proliferation regime could be the establishment of international nuclear fuel bank under IAEA auspices, and Kazakhstan is ready to consider a possibility of locating it on our territory.
One of the considerable contributions made by Kazakhstan and the Central Asian states to the NPT implementation was this March’s entry into force of the Treaty on the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in our region. The peculiarity of this zone is that it is located between two largest nuclear powers. The zone could play a large practical role in preventing uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear materials, as well as in fighting the nuclear terrorism. We count on the support for the Central Asian zone, firstly, from the nuclear powers, meaning a possibility of providing negative security guarantees.
We support the U.S. initiative to hold a global nuclear security summit next year.
I would like to draw the attention of the General Assembly to a proposal of the President of Kazakhstan on announcing 29 August as the International Day for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons. This date has a deep symbolical meaning. On this day in 1949, the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test at the Semipalatinsk test site, and on the same day, in 1991 the test site was shut down forever by our President’s decree. We hope the General Assembly will support this initiative.
Today, the mankind is undergoing the global financial and economic crisis, the largest one of recent decades. According to the IMF, approximately 50 states have edged to the brink of an economic catastrophe. At the same time, the present crisis is largely logical. The world’s economic development and a gigantic leap forward in technologies over the last 60 years could not solve such eternal problems as poverty and hunger. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow. More than a billion people live on less than a dollar a day. With prominent achievements in modern science and medicine, about 10 million children under five die annually because of curable diseases. More than 30 million people worldwide live with HIV, while only thee million of those have access to appropriate treatment.
The economic crisis has caused necessity to rethink and revisit many conceptual approaches that have earlier seemed cut in stone. It once again demonstrated the urgency of unifying all states’ efforts in addressing modern challenges. The leader of our country was one of the first to share his vision for the world’s post-crisis development. He proposed drafting an international law on the single world currency, as well as establishing, in the long run, the World Emission Centre, the World Anti-Monopoly Currency Committee, as well as the World Committee of Market Freedom. The United Nations with its structural bodies and specialized agencies is the singular global organization capable of addressing such problems.
During acute social and economic breakdowns risks of inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflicts increase considerably. Located at the confluence of Asia and Europe, having maintained peace and accord in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country during all the years of its independence, Kazakhstan is ready to act as a “bridge” of mutual understanding and tolerance between the East and the West.
As Chairman of the OSCE in 2010, and of the 2011 Ministerial Conference of the Organization of Islamic Conference, Kazakhstan is eager to fully use this unique opportunity for strengthening constructive cooperation between various cultures and civilizations, adoption of concrete decisions on this issue. In addition, since 2003 our country has hosted three Congresses of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, now supported by the United Nations.
At Kazakhstan’s initiative, the 62nd session of UN General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 2010 the International Year for Rapprochement of Cultures. We call on UN Member States to take active participation in marking this Year.
Kazakhstan, fully supporting the goals of the Alliance of Civilizations, calls on all Member States and organizations of the UN system to contribute to the strengthening of tolerance and mutual understanding in the world.
In modern circumstances, the regional aspect of solving global problems increases. Our country is firmly committed to consistent development of the regional cooperation for security and development in Central Asia.
Currently, a unique security architecture is being formed in Eurasia, with organizations such as OSCE, CICA, SCO, CSTO, and NATO forming its most important elements. At the same time, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), convened at the initiative introduced by President Nazarbayev from this podium in 1992, is now becoming an effective mechanism for strengthening regional security and cooperation.
In 2010, our country will take up the chairmanship of the OSCE. We intend to work for the good of all OSCE member states to strengthen the Organization’s efficiency in addressing new challenges and threats, as well as to further strengthen confidence-building and security measures in the Euro-Atlantic community.
In today’s swiftly changing world, the adaptation of the United Nations to modern realities is an important task for all member states.
Kazakhstan supports the reform process for the UN and its main bodies based on the principle position of the need to increase the effectiveness, authority and relevance for our global organization. We believe that in the modern world there is no alternative now and there will never be any for the United Nations. We support the reforms in three major directions – the revitalization of the work of the UN General Assembly, the reform of the UN Security Council and the improvement of the UN system-wide coherence.
Fifty years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.” Regrettably, these words are often true even today, but they should not be true tomorrow. In the era of globalization and unprecedented interdependence in the world, there should be no place for mistrust, fear, or hatred, while principles of trust, understanding and cooperation should rein. Only by working together can we address with dignity difficult challenges that the mankind faces today and make our world safer and better.
Thank you for your attention.