New York, 20 March 2009 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the entry into force of the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central AsiaThe Secretary-General welcomes the entry into force of the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia. Opened for signature on 8 September 2006, it has now been ratified by all five Central Asian States and will enter into force on
21 March 2009.
The Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia, for which the Government of Kyrgyzstan is the depositary, has five States parties: the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan. The treaty is of particular significance. This will be the first nuclear-weapon-free zone to be established in the northern hemisphere and will also encompass an area where nuclear weapons previously existed. It will also be the first nuclear-weapon-free zone that requires its parties to conclude with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and bring into force an Additional Protocol to their Safeguards Agreements with IAEA within 18 months after the entry into force of the Treaty, and to comply fully with the provisions of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
In order to ensure the effective implementation of the Treaty, the
Secretary-General would like to urge the States concerned to address any outstanding issues that may affect its operation.
As the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons approaches, the Secretary-General trusts that the entry into force of the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia will reinforce efforts to strengthen the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, underline the strategic and moral value of nuclear-weapon-free zones, as well as the possibilities for greater progress on a range of issues in the pursuit of a world free of nuclear weapons.