Mukhtar Tileuberdi. Another Significant Step Bringing us Closer to a Nuclear-Free World

Another Significant Step towards a Nuclear-Free World

This year, Aug. 29th was the day that went down in the history of Kazakhstan's antinuclear efforts as a special day, not only because it was the tenth anniversary celebration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests. On this day, Kazakhstan handed over to the UN Secretariat, in its function as a depository, a ratification instrument of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, known as TPNW.

The history of this treaty begins in 2012 with the launch of an initiative on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. Then, our country was one of the victims of the nuclear test consequences that backed up these initiatives, which later turned into a mass movement for the development of a legally binding treaty banning nuclear weapons. Kazakhstan also actively participated in the subsequent negotiation process at the UN headquarters in New York.

On July 7, 2017, the collective efforts of advocates for a nuclear-free world culminated in the support of the draft Treaty by 122 states. This became an unequivocal signal to the countries that still continue to consider nuclear weapons a deterrent.

The First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Leader of the Nation Nursultan Nazarbayev, in his manifesto “The World. The 21st century" very accurately noted that “one cannot ensure one's own security by compromising the security of other states," especially when it comes to weapons of mass destruction. Unfortunately, the current situation in the world leaves no time for hesitation. Humanity can no longer afford to wait indefinitely for “the right moment" to put an end to nuclear weapons. In this regard, the Leader of the Nation proposed a specific deadline – to achieve a nuclear-free world by 2045, the centennial of the UN.

To support this idea, the Nazarbayev Prize for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World and Global Security was established in Kazakhstan. This year, on Aug. 29 in Nur-Sultan, this prize was awarded to Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation Lassina Zerbo and late former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano.

Therefore, we are steadfastly moving in accordance with the policies of the Leader of the Nation. We are not alone to do so. The global community is increasingly recognising and sharing the obvious truth voiced by Nursultan Nazarbayev at a special thematic briefing of the UN Security Council on Jan. 18, 2018 that the only absolute guarantee of nuclear weapons to never be used again under any circumstances is its complete and irreversible elimination.

The Kazakhstani resolution Universal Declaration on the Achievement of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World adopted in 2015 and updated in December 2018 at the initiative of Kazakhstan by the overwhelming majority of the UN member states also calls for this noble goal. The number of supporters of this sort of roadmap for building a nuclear-free world is increasing each time (last year, the number of states went up to 138), reflecting the sincere desire of the global community to get rid of the constant threat of nuclear holocaust.

The main goals and objectives of the Universal Declaration on a Nuclear-Free World, as well as the anti-nuclear initiatives of Nursultan Nazarbayev, are duly reflected in the TPNW.

The main provisions of the TPNW, which became the first legally binding document in the history of nuclear disarmament, correspond with the fundamental position of Kazakhstan that went from being the fourth nuclear-weapon state in the world to the leading country in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

The treaty was signed by the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN in New York on March 2, 2018 in honor of the 26th anniversary of Kazakhstan's accession to the United Nations and on Aug. 29, 2019, our country officially joined this historic document, passing the instrument of ratification to the UN. This has become another important practical contribution of our country to global efforts to build a world free of nuclear weapons, securing our leading position in the global anti-nuclear movement.

Ratification by 50 states is necessary for the treaty to enter into force. Symbolically, the first half of the required number of ratifications (25) was closed by Bolivia on Aug. 6, 2019, the day of the Hiroshima bombing. Kazakhstan crossed the line of the second half on Aug. 29 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the International Day against Nuclear Tests, becoming the 26th state to join the TPNW.

Concerning some disputes regarding the legislative contradictions between the TPNW and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), TPNW supplements NPT, which is recognised as a cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Unlike many existing treaties aimed at ensuring control over nuclear weapons, TPNW goes further than all of them, clearly articulating in its provisions the idea that possession of nuclear weapons is illegal and dangerous. It is designed to fill this gap in international law and, thereby, complete the triad of treaty-based prohibitions on weapons of mass destruction (WMD) (out of the three types of WMDs, which are nuclear, chemical and biological, only nuclear weapons have not been legally banned).

Many saw in the adoption of the TPNW a spark of hope for a safer and more reasonable world, which is today experiencing serious stagnation in the struggle for nuclear disarmament and achieving a nuclear-free world. About 15,000 nuclear warheads still exist in the world, which is enough to completely destroy humanity. This is another vivid reminder of our collective vulnerability and the urgent need to prohibit and eliminate this brutal weapon.

By establishing a universal ban on the main activities related to nuclear weapons, the new instrument contributes to the implementation of the NPT and strengthens the existing international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime.

We are reasonably approaching the realisation of the fact that with the entry of the NPT into force, the world will not be instantly disarmed and freed from the nuclear threat, but it will create a new reality to be reckoned with.

We know that much work remains to be done in order to achieve the ultimate goal of the world being free of nuclear weapons. Kazakhstan has been and will always continue to be among the leaders in the struggle for this future. The world changes when there is solidarity and strong commitment to the goal. We live in a new reality where nuclear weapons are illegal and the only reasonable way for any state to go is nuclear disarmament.

Our support to the process of the entry of the TPNW into force is also our tribute to all of those who have suffered from the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, including victims of atomic bombings and nuclear weapons tests. Our common objective is to prevent those tragedies from recurring.

We have made our move. Now, it is the turn of others who have voted in favor of the adoption of the TPNW and who are concerned with the future of personkind. Kazakhstan is convinced that in the 21st century the global community must finally come to a world free from the threat of using WMDs.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR. Mukhtar Tileuberdi was appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan by Presidential Decree No. 160 dated Sept. 18, 2019.

He graduated from the Philosophy and Economics Faculty of S. Kirov Kazakh State University and completed an internship at the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Lomonosov Moscow State University and Language Institute of Yonsei University (Republic of Korea.)

After graduation, he worked in the Departments of History of Philosophy and Chinese Philology of Al-Farabi Kazakh State University.

He began his diplomatic service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 1993 with the office of the Attaché. During his career at the Central Office, he worked as a Third Secretary at the Asia Division; First Secretary at the Asia, Middle East and Africa Department and Head of Division at the Bilateral Cooperation Department. He worked abroad as a Second Secretary at the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Republic of Korea and a Counselor in the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the State of Israel.

He worked as an Advisor to the Secretary of State at the Administration of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

In 2003, he was appointed Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In 2004, he was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Malaysia and since 2005, with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of the Philippines.

In 2009, he was appointed to the post of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Swiss Confederation with concurrent accreditation to the Principality of Liechtenstein and the Vatican City State, as well as the Permanent Representative of the Republic Kazakhstan to the United Nations Office and other international organisations in Geneva. In 2015, he was accredited as the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan with concurrent accreditation to the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta.

From 2016-2019, he was First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

He holds the diplomatic rank of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.

Created at : 10.11.2019, 18:00, Updated at : 10.11.2019, 18:00