ASTANA, Kazakhstan, August 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
August 29, 2011, marks the 20th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site which witnessed more than 450 nuclear explosions. In December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution, put forward by Kazakhstan, to proclaim August 29 as the International Day against Nuclear Tests. This became a vivid evidence of the recognition by the international community of Kazakhstan's contribution to the global nuclear disarmament process.
Through all the years of its independence, Kazakhstan, in partnership with other states, has been actively and consistently working on strengthening the non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament regime. We stand for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). We call upon the nine countries, which have either not ratified or not signed this Treaty, and on whose ratification depends the CTBT entry into force, to do so as soon as possible. We are convinced the CTBT will become one of the most concrete and effective instruments of non-proliferation.
The example of Kazakhstan, where one of the world's largest nuclear test sites was shut down by the Decree of President Nursultan Nazarbayev and where a historic decision was made to eliminate the world's fourth largest nuclear arsenal, serves as a convincing proof of the real movement towards a world free from the nuclear weapons. We are firmly convinced that, with the political will of the peoples and the heads of all states, such a choice is possible.
In his message on the International Day against Nuclear Tests, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon noted that, "Every day, more and more people are viewing both nuclear tests and nuclear weapons as dangerous relics of the Cold War, long overdue for permanent retirement." We fully share this position and declare our readiness to continue working closely together with all states and the United Nations in building a nuclear weapon free world.
Commemorating the International Day against Nuclear Tests, Kazakhstan calls on the world to pursue renewed decisive efforts in order to irreversibly ban nuclear tests and build a world free from the nuclear weapons.
SOURCE Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan