WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM #23 AUTUMN 2016  

From 29th to 31st August, in Astana (Kazakhstan), the international conference “Building a Nuclear Weapon Free World” was held and dedicated to the closing of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site.

In one place parliamentarians, representatives of international organizations, civil activists, scholars as well as mayors and media from more than 50 fifty countries gathered. Nuclear disarmament was discussed amongst the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and the current the Director-General of United Nations Office in Geneva, the Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament and the Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General Michael Møller, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO Lassina Zerbo and President of Inter-Parliamentary Union and PNND Co-President of Parliamentarians for Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) Saber Chowdhury. The forum was attended by the current President of the Pan-African Parliament Roger Nkodo Dang, the Vice President of Bulgaria, Margarita Popova, the current Speaker of Parliament and Honourable Senator of Rongelap Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Kenneth KedI and the Deputy Speaker of the Fiji Parliament, Ruveni Nadalo among many other dignitaries.
The conference was organised in plenary session and four panel sessions on the themes: “Security without nuclear weapons or war: Manifesto “The World. The 21st century”, “A nuclear test ban and the role of the UN in achieving nuclear disarmament”, “National prohibition and nuclear-weapons-free zones”, “Initiatives and campaigns – legislators, religious leaders and civil society”.
On 29th August 1991 the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, officially closed the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, which was a major site for testing nuclear weapons for the Soviet Union. It was one of the first steps in the history of world nuclear disarmament. It is worth noting that the people of Kazakhstan voluntarily renounced the fourth largest nuclear arsenal and joined the Treaty on the comprehensive prohibition of nuclear tests.
In the 25 years of independence of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has initiated a number of initiatives in support of achieving a world without nuclear weapons. These have included the repatriation of all nuclear weapons in Kazakhstan to Russia for elimination, negotiations on a Zone free of nuclear weapons with other countries of Central Asia, the proposal of the UN General Assembly on the International day against nuclear tests, the creation of the ATOM project to teach the world about the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and the beginning of a universal Declaration for a world free of nuclear weapons which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2015.
In the spring of 2016 Nursultan Nazarbayev acted in accordance with the Manifesto “The World. XXI Century”, which