In his speech, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed that the ongoing acceleration of nuclear programs in some countries, combined with a persistent terrorist menace, increase the risks of doomsday weapons. However, he noted some positive developments in this dimension.
“The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has entered into force; talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal resumed; the New START Treaty was extended, and the U.S.-Russia Joint Statement on Strategic Stability was adopted. Of course, the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction means nuclear powers are unlikely to surrender their arsenals soon. Skeptics might therefore argue that our aspiration for a nuclear weapon-free world by 2045 is wishful thinking. Our historical experience suggests otherwise,” President Tokayev underscored.
The Head of State recalled that this year Kazakhstan marks the 30th anniversary of its decisions to close the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and to renounce the 4th largest nuclear stockpile.
“Fifteen years later, the states of Central Asia declared the region a nuclear-weapon-free zone, the first located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere. Circumstances and strategic thinking can do change rapidly – nuclear weapons are a political choice. I wish to reaffirm Kazakhstan’s resolve to achieve the earliest possible entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. On the positive side, Kazakhstan continues to convert the benefits of renouncing nuclear weapons into human progress,” the President said.
President Tokayev noted that the NPT differentiates the legitimate uses of civilian nuclear energy from the spread of nuclear weapons. In his opinion, nuclear power is becoming an increasingly relevant source of low-carbon energy. In Kazakhstan, a comprehensive feasibility study is underway on developing our own nuclear power industry.
“Achieving a nuclear weapon-free world remains a policy priority of my government. Over the last thirty years, this aspiration has led Kazakhstan into the global anti-nuclear movement. It has become part of our national identity. We are ready to join with you to further strengthen international disarmament and non-proliferation,” Kazakhstan President stressed.