Kazakhstan’s Defence Minister addresses OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation

September 07. The FINANCIAL. VIENNA

Kazakhstan’s Defence Minister addresses OSCE Forum for Security Co-operationModernizing the Vienna Document 1999, addressing issues related to the implementation of OSCE documents on small arms and light weapons, and on conventional ammunition, as well as non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are among the key priorities of Kazakhstan as the new Chair of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC), said the country’s Defence Minister Adilbek Zhaksybekov today.

In his address to the FSC inaugurating Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship of the FSC in the third trimester of 2011, Zhaksybekov said: “We have a great responsibility to achieve the goals set at the Astana Summit, considerable part of which are to be implemented within the Forum for Security Co-operation.”

Speaking about the plans to further update and modernize the politico-military tools of the OSCE, Zhaksybekov singled out the work on the draft decisions regarding the Vienna Document Plus, an update of the Vienna Document 1999 which obliges the participating States to share information on armed forces and military activities. Zhaksybekov said that the “positive outcome of the painstaking work already performed” was agreement on updating several chapters of the Document in 2010 and 2011.

“The problems involved in implementing the OSCE Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons and the OSCE Document on Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition will also remain and important item on the FSC’s agenda”, said Zhaksybekov. He noted the importance of carrying out the OSCE projects on these subjects in the Organization’s participating States. “Our knowledge of the danger posed by the huge stockpiles of weapons and ammunition inherited from the Cold War is not based on what we have heard from others,” Zhaksybekov stressed.

Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which has traditionally been a priority concern for Kazakhstan, will be high on its FSC Chairmanship’s agenda, Zhaksybekov said, adding that a regional seminar would be held in Kazakhstan on the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

“Work will continue on the Code of Conduct as to organize a review conference next year on one of the most important politico-military instruments,” Zhaksybekov said.

The Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security, adopted in 1994, commits the OSCE participating States to maintain only such military capacities as are commensurate with legitimate security needs, and stresses their right to freely determine their security interests.

The OSCE Forum for Security and Co-operation meets weekly in Vienna to discuss arms control, military confidence-building measures and disarmament.

Kazakhstan assumed the rotating Chairmanship of the FSC on 1 September 2011.