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On February 28, 1989, at a rally outside the House of Writers' Union in Almaty, the Nevada-Semipalatinsk Anti-Nuclear Movement was established. The architect of Kazakhstan's first non-governmental organisation was Olzhas Suleimenov, the famous writer and poet, who announced the objectives and demands of the organisation at the First Congress of USSR Deputies in June 1989.
On August, 29, 1991, the campaign to stop nuclear testing at the Semipalatinsk test site succeeded in its goal, as Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the Decree “On the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site”. By shutting up the nuclear test site and giving up the 4th largest nuclear arsenal in the world, Kazakhstan has become a global leader in the pursuit of universal nuclear disarmament.
The Nevada-Semipalatinsk movement laid the foundations for the global success of Kazakhstan's anti-nuclear weapons policy. Since independence, Kazakhstan has been actively involved in the global process of nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and arms control, demonstrating a firm commitment to strengthening relevant international institutions and mechanisms. This makes a significant contribution to the strengthening of global security. To overcome the ongoing stagnation in the global disarmament process, Kazakhstan is continuing to bring new initiatives aimed at reducing the nuclear threat and moving towards a world free of nuclear weapons.
During the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in 2015, President Nursultan Nazarbayev put forward the initiative to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons by the UN's 100th anniversary.
To support an international approach towards nuclear power, Kazakhstan has established the International Low Enriched Uranium Bank that functions under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency. In addition, to facilitate the implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), President Nazarbayev has initiated the international ATOM Project (Abolish Testing - Our Mission). As part of this innovative project, anyone in the world can sign an online petition to call on governments to abandon nuclear tests permanently and bring the CTBT treaty into force as soon as possible.
The UN's declaration of August 29, the anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site, as the International Day Against Nuclear Tests was a significant achievement for Kazakhstan.
In addition, Kazakhstan's initiatives such as the creation, along with neighbouring states, of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia, the fifth of its kind in the world, are of major importance. Kazakhstan has also put forward the initiative to adopt the UN Universal Declaration of a nuclear-free world, and has supported calls for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.