24 January, 2018

Jonathan Granoff: Kazakhstan has moral authority to call for non-proliferation

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Jonathan Granoff is the President of Global Security Institute. He is an attorney, author and international advocate emphasizing the legal and ethical dimensions of human development and security, with a specific focus on advancing the rule of law to address international security and the threats posed by nuclear weapons. We had a short interview during a high-level briefing on non-proliferation and confidence-building measures, chaired by the country’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, with the Secretary-General briefing.

  Mr. Granoff, as you know Kazakhstan held UN Security Council’s briefing with the presidency of Nursultan Nazarbayev. How do you evaluate its role to solve non-proliferation issues?

– President Nazarbayev exemplified kind of world leadership that so important at this moment in history. He called upon a new spirit of cooperation amongst the countries of the world, particularly those countries that have nuclear weapons. He emphasized the importance of confidence-building measures to change the course those countries follow now. The modernization and expanding of arsenals are dangerous. President Nazarbayev on behalf of Kazakhstan offered to host process that would help to build a new direction for nuclear states to create the world free of nuclear weapons. Kazakhstan has a unique moral authority and practical experience in the elimination of nuclear weapons. The people of Kazakhstan suffered enormously from the nuclear testing, that took place in the Soviet Union. Therefore, they have a unique understanding of danger exposed by nuclear weapons. Kazakhstan also has the moral authority to call progress by giving up a thousand nuclear warheads. They set an example for North Korea and any country that might consider proliferating.

– President Nazarbayev suggests several initiatives on his speech. How far are these initiatives practical?

– He also made a clear commitment of his office to be a bridge amongst any nations that move direction of stopping proliferation and working to achieve the universal enforceable elimination of nuclear weapons. People of Kazakhstan should be very proud of this work.

Every initiative that President Nazarbayev said is quite practical and achievable. The problem is in political will within the nuclear states and that is not something that Kazakhstan is capable of creating. People within the nuclear states must create that.

– You might hear about The Low Enriched Uranium that has been recently opened in Kazakhstan. Will this LEU help non-proliferating actions?

– Hopefully, the uranium bank in Kazakhstan would stop any incentives of any other countries to enrich uranium for energy purposes. Therefore, it could affect on market and strengthen non-proliferation by stopping rational for countries to enrich. They remain to see whether it succeeds. Its intensives are very good. Nuclear energy is not the best way to produce electricity. Last year Kazakhstan hosted Expo-2017 and emphasized better ways of generating electricity for the world such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydro. These types are better than nuclear energy. However, in so far, addressing non-proliferation concerns, I think, Kazakhstan is evidenced an important goodwill step in that direction by offering their fuel bank.

– Some countries such as the US have nuclear warheads. Meantime, these countries are saying others not to proliferate nuclear weapons. Is it fair?

– Let me quote the former president of South Korea Kim Dae-Jung, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. In his statement came out the summit of the Nobel Prize in South Korea he said, “Parents who smoke cigarettes might find it difficult to persuade their teenagers not to smoke.” While we glorify non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, it is very difficult to tell people that they can’t join the cult. The hypocrisy of states extolling the need for nuclear weapons for their security to tell others that it is not for their security is unsustainable. For that reason, Nursultan Nazarbayev’s call for the universal elimination of nuclear weapons is so important. Other world leaders have to follow his way and do the same thing. It is a legal duty for my country, the US, to fulfill its legal obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty to negotiate the elimination of nuclear weapons. It is a legal duty for Russia, France, the UK, and China. They timely began their process. Kazakhstan could serve as a venue for that process to begin. On July 2017 122 countries supported a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Nuclear states do not support this process. Russia’s Foreign Minister S.Lavrov yesterday said that the reason is that it does not deal with underlying security concerns. For whatever reasons, if they don’t support the ban treaty or the nuclear weapons convention, let them begin a joint enterprise between the United States and Russia. It articulates a pathway by which they fulfill their nuclear non-proliferation treaty obligations to eliminate nuclear weapons.

– How do you assess Kazakhstan’s role at the UN Security Council?

– Ambassador Kairat Umarov has demonstrated exactly kind of bridge building spirit. That is the best of diplomacy at the UN. Presidency of Kazakhstan at the Security Council on this critical moment in history is outstanding. The reason is that Kazakhstan has interest capacity and demonstrated bridge-building between two countries that important to the border, China and Russia. It has excellent relations with India and US. So its effort to address regional concerns based on the principles that are learned domestically is to be recommended. Kazakhstan is stepping forward to try and to bring peaceful resolutions in Afghanistan. Kazakhstan is a country with thirty over dynamic ethnic groups and religions. Without any ethnic, religious strife. It is an open society much people can worship freely and not be afraid of triable loyalty’s intervening and creating violence. Domestically Kazakhstan is an example of multicultural, peaceful and developed society. Of course, not of countries in the world are perfect. Kazakhstan has a long way to go and many areas so in the world. Core issues such as education, healthcare, economic development are going right directions.

– Thank you!

 

Abay OTAR

«Egemen Kazakhstan»

 

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