27 August, 2018

CTBTO International Conference to be held in Astana

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From August 28 to September 2, Astana will host the International Conference of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) entitled “Remembering the Past, Looking to the Future". The conference coincides with the International Day against Nuclear Tests on August 29, which was introduced by the UN General Assembly in 2009 at the initiative of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, reports MFA's press service.

The five-day conference will gather together the Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) and the Youth Group (CYG) to discuss the role of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation towardsbuilding a lasting global peace, including by enhancing the status of the Treaty.

As explained by the official statement of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, “The Astana Conference offers an engaging platform for interaction between members of the GEM and CYG. The conference will aim to investigate potential spaces for cooperation between all participating groups to sustain momentum for the universalization and entry into force of the CTBT."

The forum will adopt a Joint Declaration to mark the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Kazakhstan has arranged this conference with a view towards the consistent implementation of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation initiatives of President Nazarbayev. As stated in his Manifesto, The World. The 21st Century, “We should think hard about the future of our children and grandchildren. We must combine the efforts of governments, politicians, scientists, entrepreneurs, artists, and millions of people around the world in order to prevent a repetition of tragic mistakes of past centuries and spare the world from the threat of a war."

Participants of the CTBTO Conference will visit the former Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and the museum in the town of Kurchatov, the center of Soviet nuclear tests. This will enable young people to see at firsthand the catastrophic impact of the testing of this weaponry on people and environment. On August 31, participants of the Conference will meet with the leadership of the National Nuclear Centre of Kazakhstan and with young professionals in the field of nuclear security. On September 1, they will visit the testing ground and seismic station of Krest.

In his speech at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2015, President Nazarbayev urged making a nuclear-weapon-free world the main goal of humanity in the 21st century. “We are the first country ever to close nuclear test site and voluntarily renounce the fourth largest nuclear arsenal and create a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia. It is necessary to create nuclear-weapon-free zones in other regions of the world, particularly in the Middle East. The nuclear powers must provide assurances of the non-use of force for all countries that renounce possession of nuclear weapons." The President of Kazakhstan also proposed the creation of a global anti-nuclear movement. “Every person on the planet can and must contribute to the nuclear test ban," he added.

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