Statement by Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, H.E. Mr. K.Umarov, at the sixty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly
September 29. MFA. New York
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of the Republic of Kazakhstan, I would like to congratulate H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremi? on his election to the Presidency of the current session of the United Nations General Assembly and wish him every success.
I also express our appreciation to Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser for his skillful steering of the Assembly proceedings.
In recent years, the world has lived through major political, social, economic and environmental upheavals. The geopolitical turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, the ongoing regional conflicts, as well as natural and man-made disasters serve as compelling evidence indicating that the issues of security, stability and sustainable development are becoming increasingly relevant.
We believe that world politics should be based on new global principles. In the 21 century, these principles encompass constructive multipolarity and transparency, trust and political tolerance, and clear pre-eminence of evolutionary forms of development of the world. They should be enshrined in the core documents of the United Nations and the entire international law system.
In this context, we believe that it is fundamentally important to ensure strict adherence to the principle of non-interference in internal affairs of States.
The threat of proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology, along with the spectre of their acquisition and use by terrorist entities, has been one of the most daunting challenges to humanity.
It is our strong view that the possession of weapons of mass destruction is not a guarantee of security or greater independence. Kazakhstan’s own record goes to show that countries reap huge benefits from the renunciation of nuclear weapons. By voluntarily giving up the world’s fourth largest nuclear arsenal and shutting down the largest test site in Semipalatinsk, on 29 August 1991, we have won more friends and have become a more prosperous, stable and influential country.
Kazakhstan fully supports the proposal by the United Nations Secretary-General to adopt a nuclear weapons convention. Sharing its declared goals, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev suggested that, as an important step in that direction, the United Nations should adopt a Universal Declaration of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World.
This will, undoubtedly, facilitate our advancement towards a nuclear-weapon-free world and an early adoption of a nuclear weapons convention.
Kazakhstan welcomes the establishment of a constructive dialogue with the 5 Nuclear Powers with a view to signing a protocol on negative assurances to the States Parties to the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia.
We call for an early establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. In this regard, we look forward to the conference in Helsinki and its positive outcomes.
Kazakhstan is working on practical implementation of a project to host an International Bank of Low-enriched Uranium, under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which would allow, if need be, to ensure uninterrupted supply of nuclear fuel. It has to be made clear that the Bank will in no way infringe upon the inalienable right of each State Party to the Treaty on Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including the development of nuclear technology.
This year, we will complete the project to enhance physical security of the former Semipalatinsk test site. We view this project, which is being implemented jointly with the United States and Russia, as our significant contribution to the global non-proliferation regime.
Kazakhstan is actively involved in the fight against international terrorism and drug trafficking, within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia. As the Chair of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, Kazakhstan consistently works to build up regional cooperation in this area.
Special attention has been paid to the expansion of practical cooperation between the United Nations and regional arrangements, in particular, the Kazakhstan-based Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for the fight against the threat of drug trafficking, which is designed to enhance multilateral cooperation to counter the flow of drugs from Afghanistan.
Given the attention increasingly paid by the international community to the issue of international information security, we believe that the time has come to consider the introduction of new concepts of international law, such as “electronic border” and “electronic sovereignty”, as well as the establishment of a “Cyberpol.”
As the current Chair of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Kazakhstan will continue to fully support the process that aims to bring stability and peace back to the region of the Middle East and North Africa.
Before going to the regional issues let me express our strong condemnation of the Internet video and cartoons that provocatively offend the religious feelings of Muslims.
Such provocations must be stopped because they lead to escalation of violence, raising hatred between the representatives of religions and do not contribute to the inter-civilizational dialogue and confidence building. The right to freedom of expression must be exercised with due responsibility.
At the same time, we were shocked by tragic killing of US diplomats in Benghazi. We condemn the attacks on diplomats and diplomatic missions and call upon the Governments to adhere to their international obligations to protect diplomatic representatives in their countries.
We should support all efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria and assist in preventing a humanitarian disaster. We should also take measures to prevent the spillover of the crisis in the region. To that end, both the Syrian Government and the opposition should resort to diplomacy, not arms, and put an immediate end to violence. The principles of sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs must be respected. It is the Syrians themselves who should determine the future of their country.
We call on all nations to unite around the Syrian transition process, based on dialogue and compromise.
Kazakhstan supports the activities of the United Nations and the League of Arab States Special Representative on Syria Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi.
Kazakhstan calls for the provision of conditions needed to settle the Palestinian issue, including through the continuation of direct Palestinian-Israeli talks. All obstacles to the negotiation process should be removed.
Kazakhstan has been and continues to be a supporter of the legitimate rights of Palestine to establish a sovereign and independent state, within the 1967 borders, and its entry into the United Nations as a full member.
We have consistently advocated a peaceful, exclusively diplomatic, resolution of the situation around the Iranian nuclear programme and look forward to the continuation of a constructive dialogue between Iran and all interested parties with a view to developing mutually acceptable solutions.
The reconstruction of Afghanistan is an important objective of the international community that meets the aspirations of the Afghans themselves.
We believe that, if our cooperation on Afghanistan is to be successful, its economic dimension should be a priority. The efforts to stabilize the situation should be bolstered by reforms aimed at sustainable development and the improvement of socio-economic indicators in the country, its level of education and other human standards.
Kazakhstan is also actively involved in the multilateral cooperation on Afghanistan, as demonstrated by its readiness to host, in 2013 in Astana, the next conference within the Istanbul process.
Almaty, the southern megalopolis of Kazakhstan, has great facilities to host the offices of international organizations. 16 organizations of the United Nations family have already set up their offices in the city. Most of them enjoy a regional status. We promote further expansion of the presence of United Nations organizations, including its humanitarian agencies, and offer to establish a United Nations Centre in Almaty, in order to effectively coordinate international efforts and to implement regional projects of the United Nations, including those dealing with assistance to Afghanistan.
We would be grateful for your support of our push in that direction.
This year, we mark the 20th anniversary of the initiative to convene a Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICA), unveiled by President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the forty-seventh session of the General Assembly, on 5 October 1992. The anniversary session and the Fourth Meeting of CICA Foreign Ministers, held in Astana on 12 September, have become important milestones in the evolution of that Asian forum. Currently, the Conference brings together 24 countries that occupy over 90 percent of the territory of Asia, where half of the world’s population now resides.
As a platform for dialogue, CICA has an important role to play in the efforts to ensure peace, security and stability in Asia.
Kazakhstan urges to pay close attention to the expansion of trade, investment and transit transport capacity of the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states. To advance the interests of that group of countries, Kazakhstan organized, on 12 -14 September in Almaty, jointly with the United Nations, the Fourth Meeting of LLDC’s Trade Ministers and the High-level Global Meeting on International Trade, Trade Facilitation and Aid for Trade.
Today, the whole world is facing new challenges to global energy security. Central Asia has a great potential to become one of the global energy centers. The development of energy resources is a priority for the Republic of Kazakhstan. According to our vision, the future of the region lies in the development of the oil and gas pipeline system that delivers our hydrocarbon resources to Europe and Asia.
As a follow-up to the Rio+20 Conference and to draw the attention of the international public to the issues of renewable sources of energy, Kazakhstan has decided to seek the nomination of its capital Astana as the host of the international exhibition “EXPO-2017” on the subject “Energy for the Future.” We count on your support of our bid.
As one of the pilot countries selected from among the United Nations Member States, Kazakhstan will actively promote the development of a project of sustainable development goals for the period beyond 2015, fully taking into account its own record and the global efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals. The new goals must be realistic and achievable and reflect inclusive growth and the concept of sustainability.
Kazakhstan is not only in a position to ensure its own food security, it is also willing to contribute to the global food security.
An intercultural dialogue is one of the important prerequisites of peace and security. In order to promote this dialogue, Kazakhstan has put forward an initiative to proclaim an International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), which was adopted at the conclusion of the thirty-sixth session of the UNESCO General Conference in November 2011.
Kazakhstan attaches special importance to the protection of human rights and has announced its bid for the membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2012-2015. If elected, Kazakhstan will participate, with a full sense of responsibility, in the proceedings of that important human rights body, on the basis of an open, impartial, non-politicized and mutually respectful dialogue between the Member States of the United Nations.
Last March, the Republic of Kazakhstan celebrated the 20th anniversary of its membership in the United Nations. All these years, we have always stood for an inclusive, transparent and effective Organization.
We strongly believe that it is only through joint efforts that we can make real progress in addressing global issues and challenges facing humanity.
We call for joint efforts to seek solutions to common problems for the benefit of future generations and our common planet Earth.
Thank you for your attention.