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H.E. Mr. Marat Tazhin, Minister for Foreign Affairs

27 September 2008

Statement Summary

MARAT TAZHIN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, said that, while globalization provided new opportunities for the world economy and human development, it also triggered a new surge in political and economic competition worldwide.  It was imperative to prevent the interests of peoples and countries from being sacrificed for the sake of that competition, and it was crucial to preserve the basic principles of international law, including the one on territorial integrity.  It was crucial to avoid double standards while implementing that principle.

Despite numerous efforts, the world was not becoming a safe place, he continued.  There was no international consensus on the issues of disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  The nuclear factor’s role in global politics had not decreased.  On the contrary, it had become more important and the world was on the threshold of another arms race at a higher technological level.  As a country that had voluntarily relinquished the fourth largest nuclear arsenal, Kazakhstan believed it was imperative to develop new mechanisms that would allow adapting the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to the new realities.  He called on Member States to quickly finalize necessary the procedures to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, so it could enter into force and its verification mechanisms could be strengthened.  That was the purpose of an integrated field experiment on onsite inspection being conducted in his country at the former Semipalatinsk nuclear testing ground.

The crisis of non-proliferation regimes had created a real threat of terrorists obtaining nuclear weapons, he said.  Kazakhstan actively participated in the Global Initiative to Combat the Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, and this year hosted the atom-anti-terror exercises and an international conference on the physical protection of nuclear materials.  Combating international terrorism was a global problem that required unity and determination of the entire international community.  Further, the situation in Afghanistan remained a matter of grave concern and strengthening international community efforts for peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan was the way to normalize the situation.  His Government had adopted a special plan on assistance to Afghanistan.

Kazakhstan was committed to the timely and effective achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and had achieved several targets in several areas including poverty reduction, access to education and empowerment of women, he said.  The country was now embarking on the Millennium Development Goals Plus, adapted to their national conditions to set up higher benchmarks and indicators.

Preserving the global energy balance had become more urgent and Kazakhstan understood its increasing role and responsibility as a reliable energy supplier, he said.  It viewed the problems associated with climate change and sustainable development as critically important and expressed appreciation to the international community and the United Nations and its agencies and programmes for their support in mitigating the consequences of environmental disasters in the Aral Sea and Semipalatinsk regions.  He also believed the that special needs of landlocked countries should be fully taken into account in accordance with the Almaty Programme of Action and hoped the upcoming mid-term review of that Programme would end with the adoption of specific ways to assist that group of countries.

[Source: GA/10757]