15 NOVEMBER 2001

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Mr. President,

The issue of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation is of special significance to our country. This year we mark the tenth anniversary of our independence, as well as the tenth anniversary of the shutdown of the Semipalatinsk nuclear testing ground, which represented an important step towards a nuclear-free, stable and safe world and its deliverance from the spectre of a global Armageddon. This fact was confirmed when the international community embraced the ideas put forward by the participants of the Conference entitled "The 21st century: towards a nuclear-weapon-free world", held on 29-30 August 2001 in Almaty.

During the Conference its participants paid special attention to the problems created by the Semipalatinsk nuclear testing ground. The harm was done, first and foremost, to the people of Kazakhstan who became a victim of a global showdown. Nuclear weapons tests have caused the destruction of the landscape, ecosystems, economic structure and traditional way of life of the people in the affected areas, which happen to be the historical centers of the Kazakh statehood and culture. We have succeeded in having the United Nations General Assembly adopt three resolutions providing for the rehabilitation of the region affected by the nuclear tests.

We are grateful to our partners who help with the rehabilitation of the territory of the testing ground, including the conversion of the infrastructure. Yet, much remains to be done. We believe that the financial aid, experience and expertise of the international organizations, donor countries and non-governmental entities play an important role in addressing the problems of the affected region. The outcome of the Almaty Conference has demonstrated that the well-being of the planet, that is so cherished, should be achieved not through threats and use of weapons, but, exclusively, by peaceful means, such as negotiations and dialogue.

In this context, we support the continuation of the consultations on the ABM Treaty between the United States and Russia and believe that all members of the "nuclear club" and parties to the ABM Treaty have to work hard in order to come up with mutually acceptable solutions.

At the same time, it is necessary to reactivate a parallel negotiation process, aimed at real fulfillment by the nuclear powers of their commitments to eliminate nuclear arsenals.

Kazakhstan attaches great importance to the initiative of the five countries of the Central Asian region to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia and intends to continue its constructive participation in its implementation.

Mr. President,

To strengthen stability and security, both at regional and global levels, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan A. Nazarbaev, addressing the forty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly, put forward an initiative to convene a Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA). Leaders of 16 Asian countries are to meet, for the first time, in Almaty in the first half of 2002 to discuss threats to regional peace and security, to arrive at a shared vision of forms and modalities of addressing such threats and to agree on confidence-building measures and the establishment of the structures and institutions of the Conference. The work carried out so far shows that compromise solutions, even to the differences that seem irreconcilable, are quite possible. In this context, the Conference represents a forum based on the principles which, conceptually, are new for Asia: trust and cooperation as a means to ensure security and stability.

To strengthen regional security, we also work persistently within the framework of a newly-created Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Its final documents have been circulated as official documents of the United Nations.

Mr. President,

Globalization, which has become a dominant factor of international life, opens up vast opportunities for social and economic development. At the same time, the current global trends are associated with serious problems, which the United Nations should actively help to solve. We call for an increased contribution by the Organization to the improvement of the global context of the sustainable development and to the bridging of the gap between developed and developing countries.

Kazakhstan supports better interaction of the United Nations with the Bretton Woods institutions and the World Trade Organization. The development of a modern world globalization model, first of all, of its economic component, which would take into account, to the fullest extent, the interests of all countries, could become a priority objective of the Organization within the framework of the current reforms at the United Nations. More active efforts by the United Nations to promote the integration of the economies in transition into the world economy are becoming especially important for Kazakhstan.

Against the background of an irreversible growth in global interrelationship, regional integration, actively supported by our country, is gaining momentum. Kazakhstan attaches great importance to the cooperation within the framework of Economic Cooperation Organization, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Eurasian Economic Community, Central Asian Economic Community and other regional economic organizations and will contribute as much as it can to the build up of their capacity and their international standing. We consider it a priority to develop cooperation with the United Nations in such areas as the strengthening of the social security system through the efforts to fight poverty and unemployment; the development of the transportation infrastructure by maintaining and improving highways and railroads; the solutions of problems of rivers in border areas; and the supply of drinking water in a number of regions.

The realities of the world economy today dictate the need to create common transportation environment. Kazakhstan has worked and will continue to work to improve the transit capacity of the countries of the Central Asian region, in particular within the framework of the international organizations. We intend to take full advantage of the geographical position of our country and the favorable location of transit continental routes. This endeavor will be helped by an international ministerial conference of land-locked countries on transit and transportation issues, to be convened in Kazakhstan in 2003 with the UNCTAD assistance.

Continuing fruitful cooperation with the ESCAP and ECE within the joint regional programmes, we once again call on the international community to cooperate more actively in the implementation of the investment projects under the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), designed to boost economic development of the States of the region, especially in the areas of transportation and water and energy resources. We count on an increased interaction with the United Nations in order to tap the full potential of the SPECA.

Mr. President,

A transition to an environmentally sound and sustainable development is a priority goal of the strategy to ensure economic growth of Kazakhstan. Stabilization and improvement of the quality of the environment in the Aral Sea basin are of overriding importance to Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has called and will continue to call for an integrated approach to the solution of the problems of the Aral Sea and for a wider participation in this effort of the programmes of the United Nations system.

The United Nations' participation is also important for the solution of the host of problems of development of the Caspian Sea region. The problem of the Caspian Sea has outgrown its regional boundaries and has become global. As an effective tool of regional and global economic partnership, the United Nations has a role to play to implement a policy of preventive diplomacy in the region in order to work out an agreed programme of the Caspian Sea development.

The concept of an international cooperation in the Caspian Sea is fully consonant with a strategic objective of the United Nations, which is to ensure sustainable development as an important component of the common security system. In this context, we call for an early elaboration of a framework convention on the protection of the Caspian Sea environment. The necessary work is being carried out with the help of the United Nations Environment Programme.

Mr. President,

The process of globalization, characterized by growing interdependence of States in all spheres of life, presents new challenges for the international community. Under these circumstances, multilateral efforts by the community of nations to find adequate answers to new challenges and threats play an exceptionally important role.

Kazakhstan stands for the strengthening of the central role and authority of the United Nations in the efforts to ensure global stability and to build equitable relations between States and peoples based on mutual respect and universal values. We speak out for an increased efficiency of the United Nations system as a whole, including the Security Council, its principal organ responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. In this regard, Kazakhstan fully supports the need for an adequate implementation of the decisions taken at the Millennium Summit and fully shares the goals and objectives of the development of the international community set in the Millennium Declaration.

The recent decision to give the Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations and its Secretary-General has signified the recognition of the contribution by the Organization to the strengthening of the international cooperation aimed at the maintenance of peace and security for the sake of succeeding generations and in the interests of prosperity of peoples of all countries. This award has demonstrated that the United Nations plays a special role in the efforts to strengthen global partnerships for international purposes.

Thank you for your attention.