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Biographic Sketch & Links: Erian A. Idrissov
with written permission to ICAS of Erian A. Idrissov. sjk]
Kazakhstan's Contribution to the Strengthening of International Security
Erian A. Idrissov
Ambassador E & P, Republic of Kazakakhstan to the United States
The Republic of Kazakhstan as the successor to the USSR became a participant of major negotiations and agreements concerning disarmament, arms control as well as confidence-building measures. The most important agreements concerned the strategic arms reduction and the elimination of medium and short-range missiles and the conventional arms forces in Europe.
In August 1991 President Nazarbayev has signed a historic decree to close the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site.
On the 29th of December 1991 the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine signed the Almaty Declaration in which they agreed on the control mechanisms over the operation of the nuclear arsenal of the former USSR and affirmed their international obligations concerning the strategic arms reduction.
On the 23rd of May 1992 in Lisbon the representatives of Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and USA signed a five-party Protocol to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. At the same time Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, as the states possessing nuclear weapons, committed themselves to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Thus Kazakhstan has made a historical decision to renounce its nuclear heritage which was an important step strengthening the statehood of our country as an integral part of existing world civilisation.
In accordance with the Lisbon Protocol, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine, as successor states to the USSR in terms of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, have agreed to participate, along with Russia and USA, in the work of the joint Commission on observance and inspection. They have also agreed to conclude agreements on the limits and restrictions specified by the Treaty. Kazakhstan ratified the Treaty and the Lisbon Protocol, which is an integral part of the Treaty, on the 2nd of July 1992. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty came into force in 1994 and paved the way to disarmament and the elimination of more than 9,000 nuclear warheads under strict supervision.
Kazakhstan was the first among the participants of the Lisbon Protocol to implement the provisions concerning removal of nuclear warheads. On the 21st of April 1996 the process of removal of 1416 nuclear warheads from Kazakhstan territory was completed. On the 30th of May 1995 the last nuclear test warhead, which was located in a gallery on the Semipalatinsk test site, was destroyed. Finally Kazakhstan had got rid of its nuclear inheritance forever.
In December 1993 the Supreme Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan ratified the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The signing of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was a very important step in the realisation of Kazakhstan's foreign policy. Many leading countries pointed out that by doing so Kazakhstan had visibly demonstrated its responsible attitude and maturity in international matters and its aspiration for active participation in resolving important international security issues.
In the statement made on the 14th of April 1995 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported the Resolution 984 (1995) by the Security Council of the UN on the extension of security guaranties to non-nuclear states participants of the NPT made by nuclear states. Kazakhstan supported the decision that the pledge of security has to have the force of international law. In December 1994 the summit of CSCE took place in Budapest. The Memorandum on extension of security guaranties to Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine made by Russia, Great Britain, USA was signed. The signing of this document is an important event of modern international politics. Three countries, which are depositories of the NPT, confirmed their collective obligation to respect the independence and the territorial integrity of Kazakhstan and to secure Kazakhstan from economic blockade. Kazakhstan was given the same assurance by China and France.
The 1996, was marked by another event of utmost importance. During the 51st General Assembly of the United Nations the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty was signed.
Kazakhstan by then had already shut down the nuclear testing site, dismantled its infrastructure, and had signed agreements concerning nuclear armaments. Now Kazakhstan is implementing the proposals made by the President N. Nazarbayev during the Disarmament Conference to include Kazakhstan's seismic stations in the International Monitoring System.
Kazakhstan recognises the significance of the fact that the Treaty has been signed, but it doesn't believe that nuclear tests belong to the past. The damage inflicted on the people and environment of Kazakhstan is enormous and has to be properly assessed and mitigated. It is well known that for more than 40 years more than 500 nuclear test explosions, including 113 in the atmosphere have been made in Semipalatinsk.
On September 8, 2006 in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan a ceremony of signing of Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty took place. Representatives of Russia and China as well as representatives of the UN, IAEA and other international and non-governmental organisations attended the signing ceremony. The entire region formally renewed its unflinching commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. It was also an effective contribution to combating most acute threats to peace and security and preventing fissile materials falling into the hands of terrorists groups.
The new denuclearized zone in Central Asia has a number of unique features. First, one of the zone's state namely, Kazakhstan, in the past possessed the forth largest nuclear arsenal. Secondly, for the first time the denuclearized zone is created in Northern hemisphere. Thirdly, this Treaty becomes the first multilateral agreement in security area which brings together all five Central Asian countries. And finally, for the first time the denuclearized zone has been created in the region which borders upon two nuclear states. The Treaty will not only facilitate the strengthening of security of Central Asia, but will also be an important measure promoting regional confidence building and cooperation. Parties to the Treaty will jointly elaborate mechanisms of information exchange, verification procedures and properly fulfil Treaty provisions.
On the 14th of January 1993 Kazakhstan signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (CWC). Kazakhstan is an observer in the Working Group of the Convention on Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their destruction (BTWC).
The Republic of Kazakhstan, as the successor to the USSR in matters concerning the Conventional Arms Treaty Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty) and all respective documents, has signed an Agreement on the principles and sequences of implementation of the Treaty and the Concluding Act of Negotiations on the personnel strength of the conventional armed forces in Europe (Tashkent), 1992). By doing so, Kazakhstan confirmed its commitment to the Treaty, accepted all rights and responsibilities under the Treaty and relevant documents. The Supreme Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan ratified the Treaty and the above-mentioned agreement on July the 2nd, 1992. On October the 30th, 1992 the instrument of ratification was granted to the Netherlands, which is a depositary state.
The international community has fully appreciated Kazakhstan's contribution to this nuclear disarmament programme. The Government of Kazakhstan has demonstrated in practice its dedication to the principles and objectives of global security. This has established Kazakhstan as a responsible member of the world community and is helping to realise Kazakhstan's potential in foreign policy.