PRESIDENT NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV REPORTS ON PROGRESS, CALLS FOR BOLDER ACTIONS
Seoul, March 27: Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev reaffirmed his country’s strong commitment to strengthening the international nuclear security framework and called for bolder actions of the international community in the nuclear field while addressing the participants of the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul on March 27.
The two-day summit kicked off on March 26 with the official welcoming ceremony of the participating leaders and representatives from more than 50 nations and four international institutions that gathered to discuss the efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear materials around the world.
Speaking at the morning plenary session as the fourth speaker in succession, the Kazakh President attached great importance to the measures and efforts taken in enhancing global nuclear safety during the two years following the Washington Nuclear Security Summit.
He highlighted the importance and results of the NPT Review Conference in 2011 as the number one achievement.
“Secondly, in two years the world eliminated a large amount of highly enriched uranium. More than thirty countries in the world have adopted nationalcommitments to nuclear safety. Third, in 2010, Astana successfully hosted the Conference of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism,” Nazarbayev noted.
The Kazakhstan President also mentioned that at the national level, the country has implemented an unprecedented project of transporting 210 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel to a safe storage. Kazakhstan joined the “Group of Eight” (G-8) Global Partnership against the spread of weapons of massdestruction and ratified the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) to bring it into force by 2014.
As for the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, Nazarbayev emphasised that countries should guarantee the safety of such nuclear industry on the basis of three principles, such as the adoption of legally binding nuclear safety standards, the establishment of mechanisms for rapid response in case of emergency at nuclear facilities, and the granting to all states of an equal access to peaceful nuclear technology and supplies of low enriched uranium (LEU), including through an International Nuclear Fuel Bank.
In this regard, Nazarbayev particularly noted that negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on housing such a bank in Kazakhstan have reached the practical stage which is the country’s concrete contribution to the strengthening of the non-proliferation regime and the nuclear disarmament process.
Since today’s uncontrolled expansion of the club of nuclear states poses a grave challenge to peace and security, Nazarbayev urged the international community to apply the toughest international measures, including isolation and boycotting a country to first use a nuclear weapon.
“Some states mistakenly treat the possession of nuclear weapons as a safety factor. Based on the experience of my country that voluntarily renounced the world’s fourth nuclear arsenal, I can say that the real security guarantees are provided by sustainable economic and social development,” Nazarbayev said.
Highly evaluating the opportunity to discuss the ways of ensuring global nuclear security within international conferences such as the 2010 Washington Summit and this Seoul Summit, Nursultan Nazarbayev offered to hold such gatherings every two year and expressed willingness to hold future summits in Astana.
The 2012 Seoul Summit resulted in the adoption of the Seoul Communiqué which set a target date of 2014 for bringing the amendment of the CPPNM into force, the addition of several nations such as Italy pledging to eliminate their stocks of fossil material, and an agreement between the US, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands to produce medical isotopes without the use of highly enriched uranium by 2015.
The next Nuclear Security Summit will be held in The Netherlands in 2014.