A Kazakhstan delegation presented the country's position on the need for further coordinated efforts of the international community to reduce nuclear weapons during the 2nd International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, held in Nayarit, Mexico on February 13-14.
Diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also informed conference participants about the actions of the republic to rehabilitate areas affected by nuclear tests, and the specific steps in the international arena aimed at facilitating the process of global nuclear disarmament, including an international initiative of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the ATOM Project, Kazinform cites the MFA's press service.
During the conference, ambassador-at-large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Roman Vasilenko noted that "the need to address the problems left behind by the Semipalatinsk test site is recognized by the international community. Since 1997, the UN General Assembly, recognizing the seriousness of the situation, has adopted six resolutions calling for international cooperation and coordination for the humanitarian and ecological rehabilitation and economic development of the Semipalatinsk region of Kazakhstan. Today we can say that, in view of the measures taken in the framework of the state-level, regional and sectoral programs, as well as in view of the international assistance, the need for more coordinated approach and a more active participation of the international community in this process has not lost its urgency."
Speaking about the efforts under the ATOM Project, the Kazakhstan diplomat stressed that the peaceful call of the President of Kazakhstan has been met with broad international support, and today the ATOM Project's online petition, urging governments of the world to achieve the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), has been signed by about 80,000 people from more than 100 countries .
As noted, since the early days of independence of Kazakhstan the promotion of global nuclear disarmament has been one of the most important foreign policy priorities personally of President Nazarbayev and of Kazakhstan's diplomacy which is reflected in the recently adopted Concept of Foreign Policy of the country for 2014-2020.
"We believe the more nations adhere to such principles of human relations, as dialog, mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation, and follow the examples countries that have already renounced nuclear weapons, the greater chance we will all have of breaking the vicious cycles of war, conflict and mistrust, and reaching the ultimate goal of building a safer world, a world without the threat of nuclear annihilation," the representative of Kazakhstan said.
Conference participants were shown a brief documentary film prepared by the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) with the contribution from the ATOM Project and dedicated to the tragic consequences of use and testing of nuclear weapons and the need for a total ban on nuclear weapons in the world.
This conference was the second such international forum. The first conference, attended by delegations from more than 130 countries, including Kazakhstan, took place in Oslo in March 2013. While the first forum provided an opportunity for government representatives to exchange views and identify further steps to promote the ideas of nuclear disarmament, this forum was focused more on the efforts and the exchange of experience at the expert level.
As noted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, "It is important to deepen our understanding of the effects of nuclear weapons, by approaching the global and long-term consequences of a nuclear detonation, accidental or deliberate, from the perspective and variables of the 21st Century society. Governments, international organizations and civil society are invited to participate with multi-sectorial delegations, at expert-level, with specialists in areas such as public health, humanitarian assistance, environmental issues, and civilian protection, among others, as well as diplomats and military experts."
Along with representatives from 146 countries, the conference was attended by experts from the UN and UN system organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA); leadership and experts of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), the Mayors for Peace, research and non-governmental organizations from the UK, Norway, Switzerland and other countries. Mexican Foreign Minister José Antonio Meade Kuribreña opened the conference, while ICRC Vice-President Christine Beerlie gave a keynote address.
During the event, participants discussed such issues as challenges of a nuclear weapon detonation to national, regional and global economic growth and sustainable development; the impact of such a detonation on global health; and the risk of nuclear blasts and other effects of the detonation of nuclear weapons.
The conference resulted in the summary presented by its chairman, the representative of Mexico, who outlined specific approaches to further advancing the process of nuclear disarmament in the world.
The next such conference will be held in the autumn of this year in Austria, as announced by its Minister of Foreign Affairs Sebastian Kurz on February 13.