Just in a month we will celebrate the anniversary of the Second World War ending. There are millions of people in the world, who participated in the battles of the middle of previous century. But the difference between the history and modernity, as a former US Vice-President Walter Mondale noted wittily, is that “there will be no veterans of the third world war”.
The intensity of the new century events forces to look at old security mechanisms in a new way. First of all it includes nuclear security.
Will a small group of politicians, heading nuclear states, be able to make the situation around the mass destruction weapon more predictable? How can we set an efficient control over nuclear technologies and at the same time to assure the right of sovereign states for the development of atom for peace? How can we guarantee actual equality in the nuclear sphere instead of a false one? How fully is diplomatic potential used within the solution of nonproliferation problems?
Hopefully, these and other issues will become a subject for a serious, sincere and fruitful exchange of views within the oncoming Global Summit on Nuclear Security in Washington.
Nuclear Nonproliferation – the Imperative of a Modern Epoch
The threat of uncontrolled extension of the nuclear states club is one of the most serious problems of the XXIst century. If the international community doesn’t reveal political will, the process of extension of the circle of states possessing nuclear weapon can become absolutely irreversible with all potential consequences.
To my mind, the state of affairs within nonproliferation issue is not at all perfect. The Nuclear Weapon Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) doesn’t justify the hopes, as it is asymmetric and suggests sanctions only towards non-nuclear states. It has no clear and strict schemes of reaction of IAEA and UNO on facts of deviation of states from the access of international inspectors to nuclear sites. And finally, NPT allows its members to withdraw from the number of signees without any consequences. All these circumstances reduce the efficiency of the treaty.
That is why, promoting strengthening and assurance of universal regime of NPT, Kazakhstan simultaneously presented the idea of development of a new universal treaty on global horizontal and vertical non-proliferation of nuclear weapon. The given document should guarantee non-use of “double standards” and at the same time suggest definite liabilities of parties and mechanisms of sanctions towards its violators.
Except for that, we are convinced in the necessity of urgent adoption of the treaty on prohibition of production of fissile materials for military purposes, which can become a significant stage on the way of non-proliferation regime enhancement.
Let me remind, that there are about two thousand tons of accumulated surplus of fissile materials in the world. These stocks are not implemented in military sector, but can be used to create nuclear explosives. Are we aware of the fact that terrorists that gained even a primitive nuclear armory can provoke the beginning of serious interstate conflicts?
Unbiased analysis of factors proves that Kazakhstan is an optimal candidate for the potential establishment of international nuclear security training center. Within the frameworks of the suggested center it would be possible to have all urgent field trainings and theoretical seminars. The center would promote the potential of Central Asia in the sphere of improvement of the systems of exporting and in-state control, count and physical protection of nuclear material.
From Moratorium to the Complete Prohibition of Nuclear Testing
For the people of Kazakhstan, that went through the all horrors of nuclear tests, the issue on complete prohibition is an especially important one. This is quite natural, considering that during the last 40 years there were 450 tests on the training area in Semipalatinsk which harmed 1,5 million people. That is why on August 29th of 1991 without any hesitations I issued an order to shut down the Semipalatinsk nuclear training area. Deeply symbolic is the fact that after some years exactly this day was announced as an International Day of Actions Against Nuclear Tests under the initiative of Kazakhstan.
Supporting an absolutely peaceful foreign policy course, Kazakhstan successfully cooperates with IAEA, with the Group of nuclear suppliers, Krakow initiative, Committee of Zanger and Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. To exclude a possible flow of nuclear materials, Kazakhstan established a National Commission on MDW Non-Proliferation, the competence of which covers total range of issues, concerning nuclear cycle.
Kazakhstan gives a special significance to the interaction with the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CNTBT) within the issues of the development of international system for monitoring and methods for local inspections. Within the framework of this cooperation, in 2008 within the territory of Semipalatinsk region they held an integrated field experiment on local inspection.
We are sorry, that some pretty influential states still refrain from signing and ratification of CNTBT. The kind of state of business allow official nuclear states proceed with nuclear testing, and “threshold states” to develop their own missile-nuclear programs with impunity.
In this situation any responsibility lies on official nuclear states. They should understand a simple truth: it’s impossible to modernize nuclear weapon and at the same time to persuade developing states to refuse of the programs on MDW creation. From this point of view the voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing that is observed by world powers is a very important factor, but it is obviously not enough in the long-term prospect.
I call all states, which can influence the coming into force of CNTBT, to reveal a political will, to sign and ratify this document of exceptional importance. Kazakhstan welcomes the decision of President Barak Obama to review the approaches of previous administrations towards the given treaty and to introduce it for the approval of Senate. We are sure that ratification by Senate of the given historic document will incite other states to follow the sample of the USA.
Development of Peaceful Nuclear Programs is an Undeniable Right of Sovereign States
Undertaking legal and vitally important for all humankind control measures in the sphere of nuclear security, international community shouldn’t ignore global trends within energy and high technologies. That is why we need a discreet balance between global attempts in the struggle against nuclear terrorism and nuclear programs legitimate from the point of view of international law.
In my opinion, single sanctions – even efficient ones – are not enough here. We can’t corner whole states and peoples, depriving them of their legal rights for atom for peace and by this hurting their national pride. Within this complicated issues we need positive stimuli, motivations and preferences. The states should have economic benefits from remaining within international-legal field and developing only peaceful nuclear programs.
Kazakhstan, possessing big stocks of natural uranium, urgent technologic basis, developed infrastructure, will also use its legal right to develop peaceful nuclear program. We won’t limit only with the role of supplier of raw materials to foreign partners, but we will strive to take a more worthy place within the world technologic chain.
Kazakhstan has always been and still is a strong supporter of the principle of equal access of all states to the atom for peace. That is why Kazakhstan participates together with Russia in the establishment of International Center on Uranium Enrichment in Angarsk, and we welcome and understand the idea of founding of International Nuclear Fuel Bank under the aegis of IAEA. I would like to declare once again with all responsibility, that Kazakhstan is ready not only to locate this bank within its territory, but also to provide a corresponding preservation of nuclear fuel.
I can assure: Kazakhstan will never cross the line, dividing a peaceful nuclear program from a military one.
Reduction of Nuclear Armor is a Real Step to a Nuclear-Free World
In this connection Kazakhstan especially hopes on the attempts undertaken by Barak Obama and Dmitry Medvedev to conclude a new treaty in the sphere of strategic armament. We support the wish, expressed by the UNO Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, for the agreements to carry legal character and to suggest the possibility of their verification.
At the same time, I consider that already achieved and expected successes in the area of reduction of strategic nuclear armaments shouldn’t lead to self-complacence, and especially to an unjustified euphoria. In particular, let’s not forget that significant stocks of tactic nuclear weapon are concentrated within the territory of different regions of our planet.
I think that it would be wise to introduce the issues of reduction and liquidation of tactic nuclear armament into the global agenda in the near future.
To my view, it’s time to consider the experience of regional areas free of nuclear weapon, - southern part of Pacific Ocean, Latin America, South-East Asia and Africa, Central Asia. It can seem unbelievable - non-nuclear areas wait for years of the recognition from the side of official nuclear states and adoption of corresponding protocols. And these all are at the background of repeated declarations of global powers about their sincere intention to nuclear-free world. That is why I suggest to discuss the issue on international-legal status of nuclear-free areas without any delays, suggesting security guarantees as well as respective preferences for the member-states.
To this end, I consider urgent to focus once again the attention of the whole international community, including the participants of the April Summit on nuclear security, on a few principal moments.
Firstly. Nuclear-free world is a grand objective, which can’t be reached in shortest historic terms. However, this is not a reason to put off till tomorrow the things that can be done already today within the issues of nonproliferation, nuclear disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Secondly. The prospect of a nuclear-free world depends greatly on the future international order shaping now. I’m convinced: real multi-polarity is possible only in case, of democracy as an instrument of consideration of the views of various parties will spread also on the sphere of international relations. Only in this case small and middle-size states will stop considering nuclear weapon as a main guarantee of security and will “Beat swords into ploughshares”.
Thirdly. Real move forward to the ideal of a nuclear-free world depends first of all on official nuclear states. Exactly they should be a sample for other states within the issues of non-proliferation and disarmament, not implementing by this “double standards”.
The fourth. Nuclear-free world can become a reality only if all countries and peoples unite their forces, whether they possess nuclear technologies or not. Maybe, there is a sense already today start to discuss the issue of adoption in prospect of a “global declaration of nuclear-free world, which would include the determination of all states to move towards the ideals of a nuclear-free world step by step”.
The fifth. Kazakhstan, which voluntarily refused of the fourth nuclear armor in the world, has been, is and will be a reliable partner of the international community in the issues of non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy. Our policy in these issues remains to be balanced, logical and responsible.
70 years ago Winston Churchill said: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”.
Luckily, today the world is not an arena of nuclear conflicts. But still it is an arena of serious contradictions. And the solution of these contradictions is in hands of few people, making decisions. In the hands of the leaders of states, and each carries his share of responsibility for the split atom wouldn’t split all of us.
Translated by EurodialogueXXI from izvestia.ru
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