The Secretary-General welcomes the signing today by the nuclear-weapon States of the Protocol to the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia. The Protocol commits the nuclear-weapon States to respect the application of the Treaty in Central Asia as well as not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the parties to the Treaty.
When the Treaty entered into force on 21 March 2009, it created the world’s first nuclear-weapon-free zone located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere. The Secretary-General congratulates the five Central Asia States – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – on their achievement today of the first concrete step towards the consolidation of the zone. He hopes that the nuclear-weapon States ratify the Protocol without delay.
The Secretary-General reiterates his strong support for the further establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones, which contribute to the strengthening of global norms against nuclear weapons to the benefit of non-proliferation, regional security and disarmament.