On August 29, when the world celebrates the International Day against Nuclear Tests, Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tleuberdi and Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Robert Floyd made a joint statement, according to Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The two officials have reaffirmed their commitments to realizing a world free of nuclear testing and enforcing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
The closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site on August 29, 1991, is a symbolic date for both Kazakhstan and the international community.
The CTBT has been signed by 186 countries and 170 of them have ratified the document. Its verification regime is nearly complete. Although yet to become legally binding, adherence to the CTBT and the norm against nuclear testing has become virtually universal.
Mr. Tleuberdi and Mr. Floyd have invited all states to attend the high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate and promote the International Day against Nuclear Tests at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, which will take place on September 7, 2022. They have also called to continue to observe the moratoria on nuclear explosions.
«It’s time to bring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty into force to promote nuclear disarmament further and establish a more sustainable and safe world for future generations. That is a common goal for humankind in the 21st century,» the joint statement said.
The International Day against Nuclear Tests is celebrated on August 29 by the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly. The resolution was initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan, together with a large number of sponsors and cosponsors to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site on August 29, 1991.
As President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev wrote on Twitter today, nuclear tests had cost a lot to Kazakhstan’s land and its people.
«That was a tragedy and that must not happen again,» he wrote.
The president noted that Kazakhstan firmly adheres to principles of international nuclear security.
The Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site was the biggest site of its kind in the world. Over the period from 1949 to 1989 Soviet military conducted about 500 nuclear tests there. The site was officially closed on August 29, 1991.
From 1996 to 2012, Kazakhstan, Russia and the United States conducted a joint secret mission to collect and dispose of about 200 kilograms of plutonium that was dispersed all over the test site as residue of nuclear explosions. The international Atomic Energy Agency was not notified about the activity. The Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site covers an area of 18,500 square kilometers.