More decisive action needed to achieve disarmament goals Kazakhstan tells UN

25 September 2009Achieving disarmament goals will require more resolute action, a top official from Kazakhstan – which previously had the world’s fourth largest nuclear weapon arsenal, but renounced its arsenal after gaining independence – told the General Assembly today. The Central Asian nation, having endured more than 400 atomic blasts, “has an absolute moral right to call for more decisive actions in the area of disarmament and radical strengthening of the weapons of mass destruction non-proliferation regime,” Kanat Saudabayev, Secretary of State and Minister for Foreign Affairs, said.Addressing the Assembly’s annual high-level segment, he called for the strengthening of the UN-backed Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which forms the foundation of the world’s nuclear non-proliferation regime.“We have to acknowledge that the Treaty is asymmetric in providing sanctions only against non-nuclear-weapons States, although the nuclear powers themselves should set examples of reducing and renouncing their nuclear arsenals,” Mr. Saudabayev stressed.He welcomed the recent initiatives by United States President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on cutting their strategic warheads.The official called for the creation of an international nuclear fuel bank under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), offering to host the facility in Kazakhstan.

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