The Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev took part in the solemn ceremony of awarding the “Nazarbayev Prize for Nuclear Weapon Free World and Global Security”.
The First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev presented the awards to the relatives of the former Director General of the IAEA Yukiya Amano, who became the winner of this award posthumously, and to the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Lassina Zerbo.
In his speech, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted the symbolism of the ceremony, which coincided with the celebration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests.
“This year marks 25th anniversary since Kazakhstan signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, our country’s membership in the IAEA, as well as 10th anniversary since the establishment of a Nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia”, said the Head of State.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed that the First President of Kazakhstan is fairly recognized by the world community as the leader of the global antinuclear movement.
“The Decree of Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev on the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site has historical significance. Taken against the resistance of the Soviet military elite and individual politicians, the decision of the First President to close the nuclear test site required great courage and iron will. It has become a catalyst for the entire antinuclear movement”, underscored the Head of State.
The President of Kazakhstan also focused on Elbasy’s initiatives, which had played an important role in ensuring international security.
“Proposals on the establishment in Central Asia of a zone free of nuclear weapons, placement in the territory of our country the Low-Enriched Uranium Bank under the IAEA auspices, Kazakhstan’s mediation efforts in the Iranian nuclear issue, as well as the adoption by the UN General Assembly the Universal Declaration on the establishment of a world free of nuclear weapons, has made a significant contribution to strengthening the foundations of global stability and confidence”, noted Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Nevertheless, the Head of State drew attention to the fact that the nuclear threat continues to be persisted in some regions of the world.
“According to the UN, nowadays there are 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world, and hundreds of them can be activated in a matter of minutes. The situation is aggravated by the increase in conflict potential in international relations and the escalation of financial and economic contradictions. The fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's nuclear program, as well as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty remains unclear”, the President said.
Noting the merits of the award winners - the late former head of the IAEA Yukiya Amano and the Executive Secretary of the CTBTO Lassina Zerbo, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev praised their enormous contribution to nuclear non-proliferation and international security:
“At the helm of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano played a key role in the creation of the Low-enriched uranium Bank in Kazakhstan and contributed to the settlement of Iran's nuclear issue. The activities and efforts of Lassina Zerbo have resulted in the near completion of the international monitoring network for the comprehensive nuclear-test-ban Treaty. He also took the initiative to establish the CTBTO Group of Eminent Persons and the CTBTO Youth Group.
Concluding his speech, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called for continued joint efforts in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. As he said, Elbasy’s antinuclear initiatives should remain important elements of the process of strengthening global security.