Secretary of State - Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Fifty-Seventh Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
14 September, 2002 New York

Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary-General,
Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, let me subscribe to congratulations on your election to the high office of the President of the current session and express confidence that, under your able leadership, the fifty-seventh session of the UN General Assembly will be successful and fruitful.

Mr. President,

The terrorist acts in the United States - and we have just marked, with great sorrow, their anniversary - prompted all mankind to pay close attention to the fundamental issues of sustainable development.

The barbaric actions by the international terrorists demonstrated very convincingly the fragility of the world we live in and the importance for all States to join their efforts to ensure economic development and civil rights, security and stability.

The modern world, with all the diversity of its political and economic systems, requires, as never before, agreed and coordinated efforts by the community of nations to protect common human values, first of all the rights of all citizens to a decent life.

Has the mankind been able to rid itself of the its own entrenched flaws- poverty, environmental pollution, diseases, crime? The answer is more than evident. The community of nations has not advanced in the solution of these issues. Thus, a breeding ground has been created for the spread of such most dangerous phenomena as terrorism and drug trafficking, religious extremism and illegal arms trade. Having crossed the threshold of the new millennium, the mankind has been forced to exert efforts to solve centuries-old issues and to counter new threats.

The events that took place last year have changed the world and prompted everybody to think hard about its supporting foundation. The community of nations faces a pressing task - to create a new architecture of global security based on a multipolar world and to set up effective mechanisms to overcome the antagonisms of modern economic and political development.

In our view, under these circumstances, the role and responsibility of international institutions, first of all of the United Nations, become significantly greater.

To strengthen the authority of the United Nations is our common responsibility. We believe that the existing system of adopting decisions affecting the fundamental interests of the mankind should never be doubted, let alone reshaped in any way. The issues of world and peace should be considered and the decisions reflecting the will and interests of the community of nations should be adopted only within the framework of the United Nations. The grounds for the use of force against United Nations Member States should be irrefutable evidence, as corroborated by international institutions, of their illegal actions to disrupt world order and undermine global and regional security.

Mr. President,

The changed world makes us to take a fresh look at the disarmament issues, first of all the consolidation of the non-proliferation regime. It is becoming more and more evident that, under the new conditions, the community of nations should focus its main efforts on preventing terrorist from getting hold of weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, joint actions by the
United Nations Member States to continue the consolidation of the non-proliferations regime and to make it universal deserve special attention. We believe that the NPT that bounds its participants to take nuclear disarmament measures should continue to play an important role in the area of nuclear arms control.

As one of the few States in the world that voluntarily relinquished their nuclear heritage we believe that a prerequisite for an atmosphere of trust in modern international relations is an early entering into force of the CTBT.

Attaching great significance to the preservation of peace and security in Central Asia, Kazakhstan is interested in the signing, as soon as possible, of a treaty creating a nuclear weapons-free zone in the region. Such a zone could be an important contribution by the regional States to the disarmament and arms control efforts of international community.

Further and more results-oriented efforts to prevent excessive accumulation of and illegal trafficking in small arms are no less important. It is impossible to ignore an alarming fact that 55 per cent of the known small arms stocks, equivalent to 305 million pieces, are now already in the private hands. In view of the need of targeted actions in this area, we express our willingness to host in Kazakhstan, in 2003, an international conference on this subject under the auspices of the United Nations.

Our country, a home to the Baikonur space launching pad, is well aware of the harmful effects of the militarization of the outer space. Therefore, we believe that it is imperative to start, without delay, talks to prevent arms race in the outer space.

Mr. President,

From the very start, Kazakhstan has resolutely and unconditionally supported counter terrorist actions by the international coalition. Its effective measures, without any doubt, have contributed to the settlement of the situation in Afghanistan.

Together with all interested States and parties, our country supports the key role of the United Nations in the post-conflict peace-building in Afghanistan.

We intend to take a most active part in implementing an international aid program for Afghanistan. Kazakhstan is cooperating successfully with the World Food Program by using it to send its agricultural products to Afghanistan. Our country has provided the Afghan people with a free humanitarian aid in the form of grain.

We believe that an early implementation of the decisions adopted at the Tokyo conference would contribute to the successful solution of the Afghan problem and to the eradication of international terrorism.

When we speak about Afghanistan, we cannot ignore the issue of drug trafficking. Unfortunately, this long-suffering country continues to be a main source of the proliferation of drugs that are being transported through the territories of the Central Asian States and sold on the world markets, first of all in Europe. This problem is getting more and more dangerous and requires urgent and effective measures by the community of nations. We hope that the coordinating role of the United Nations Drug Control Program will be strengthened. One has to realize that it is the drug trafficking that constitutes a financial basis of international terrorism. When we put up a just fight against this evil, we, unfortunately, fight with its manifestations and do not pay due attention to the root cause of this phenomenon. If this state of affairs remains unchanged, curbing international terrorism will turn into an indefinite process that will exhaust all financial and political resources of the community of nations.

Mr. President,

The world community is watching closely the development of the situation in the Middle East. Interested States express their concern, quite justifiably, over the deteriorating chances of a peaceful settlement.

We support the need to convene, as soon as possible, an international conference on the Middle East settlement in order to take parallel steps: to strengthen Israel's security, to strengthen Palestinian economic and political institutions and settle the details of the final peace agreement. The international community has also to intensify its efforts to curb terrorism and meet humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people.

Mr. President,

Since the first days of its independence, Kazakhstan focuses its foreign affairs efforts on the creation of a security system in Asia.

This goal has been advanced by the first summit meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), convened in June of this year in Almaty. For the first time ever, the heads of the major Asian States have come together to express their political will and interest in a joint search for ways to strengthen peace and stability in the Asian region.

The adoption at the summit meeting of the final documents - the Almaty Act on the Institutionalization of the CICA and the Declaration on Eliminating Terrorism and Promoting Dialogue Among Civilizations - has had extraordinary important significance. For the first time ever, the Asian continent has adopted documents making significant contribution to regional and global security. Expressing our appreciation to the CICA Member-States for their efficient work at the summit meeting, we call on all interested States to continue their work to implement confidence-building measures in Asia.

We in Kazakhstan believe that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization can become an effective tool in ensuring security and stability in the region. The main mission of this organization is addressing jointly the problems of security, as well as the creation of effective mechanisms of trade, economic and humanitarian cooperation.

Mr. President,

The Johannesburg summit conference has fully highlighted the important need to overcome the antagonisms of modern economic and political development. It has become evident that, with increasing globalization, the community of nations will have to pay close attention to the search for ways to ensure a more harmonious division of profits and benefits between the rich and poor within the mankind. Addressing the forum in South Africa, the President of Kazakhstan Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev rightly observed that without natural and human resources of the developing countries the rich States would have never become rich.

It is commonly recognized that sustainable development is the only way to the survival of the mankind. Therefore, Kazakhstan supports targeted and coordinated efforts by the international community to solve burning economic, social and environmental problems of the Central Asian region. We attach great significance to the cooperation with the United Nations in the water resources management, rehabilitation of the environmental disaster areas in the Semipalatinsk region and the Aral Sea, the preservation of bio-diversity and the prevention of the degradation of soil and desertification.

At the same time, Kazakhstan has every right to expect more effective actions in this field on the part of the United Nations. Unfortunately, our country, as well as other regional States, are yet to receive assistance that would speed up the solution of the environmental problems.

Kazakhstan is interested in strengthening fruitful cooperation with the United Nations to improve regional transportation infrastructure, including within the Special United Nations Program for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA).

Kazakhstan is actively cooperating with its Eurasian Economic Community partners and considers this integration organization a very promising structure in terms of creating common economic space on an extensive stretch of the Eurasian continent.

Our country stands for a more effective Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and for making its activities more goal-oriented. We express our hope that the upcoming Istanbul summit will become a milestone in the ECO activities.

The diplomatic efforts of Kazakhstan are also aimed at further strengthening of political cooperation and trade and economic ties with the Central Asian States. We believe that a recently created new organization, the Central Asian Union, has an important role to play in this regard.

Mr. President,

Kazakhstan with its enormous confirmed oil and gas deposits is vitally interested in the construction of additional transportation and communication systems that allow access of its hydrocarbons to the world markets. With the launching of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) last year, our country has ensured, for the first time ever, an access to open sea ports, having significantly improved its export capabilities and, thus, production capacity. It is our principal position that all strategic oil and gas pipeline construction projects should be depoliticized as fully as possible and targeted to achieve economic goals of ensuring the wellbeing of peoples.

Based on these considerations, Kazakhstan has declared its support for the project to build an Aktau - Baku - Tbilisi - Ceyhan pipeline and continues working on other projects.

Next year, Kazakhstan will host a United Nations conference on the problems of the land-locked countries. We invite all interested international organizations and donor countries to take an active part in this forum.

Mr. President,

The legal status of the Caspian Sea is becoming an increasingly important problem within the context of the current international relations. The lack of consensus among the five Caspian States on the legal status of this unique water basin seriously hampers the chances of turning the Caspian Sea into a zone of peace and genuine cooperation. The issues of unrestricted navigation, the protection of bio-diversity and environment as well as demilitarization, remain very much on the agenda. Kazakhstan is consistently calling for the continuation of the preparatory work for a multilateral convention based on the consensus among the five Caspian States in order to develop secure legal safeguards providing for the long-term and stable cooperation and creating favorable conditions for attracting investments to develop the mineral resources of the Caspian Sea.

In this regard, Kazakhstan attaches important significance to an agreement with Russia on the delimitation the seabed in the northern part of the Caspian Sea in order to ensure the rights of the users of the seabed subsoil, as well as to the protocol on the modified median line in this part of the sea signed in June of this year. We believe that the signing of these documents represents a breakthrough in the protracted process of the development of the legal status of the Caspian Sea. These important agreements give "green light" to foreign investments in the development of the enormous mineral resources of the Kazakhstan's sector of the sea and this will allow our country to join the group of leading world producers of hydrocarbons. We intend to continue our cooperation with international financial institutions and companies ensuring favorable investment climate in Kazakhstan.

Mr. President,

Kazakhstan has assumed obligations with regard to the observation and protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms. Our country is a participant of major international human rights conventions and exerts every effort to implement them.

Democracy and human rights are part and parcel of political life in Kazakhstan which has undertaken, in complex geopolitical conditions, reforms aimed at the liberalization of the economy and the creation of the civil society. These reforms are unprecedented for the post-Soviet States.

The issue of human rights, in the view of our country, should be on the agenda of the inter-State cooperation. At the same time, we stand for unified standards and criteria for the assessment of the human rights situation in a particular country. We believe that the prerogative and responsibility for the consideration of the state of affairs in this very sensitive area should rest with the United Nations. We pin great hopes on the activities of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Mr. President,

In an increasingly interdependent world there is no alternative to multilateral cooperation. Only jointly can we work successfully for a world without wars and conflicts, a world based on justice and prosperity.

We have embraced with great enthusiasm the statement made by the Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan and express our support for his concept of joining efforts in order to address key issues of modern times.

Thank you for your attention.