Students at Austrian university support The ATOM Project
Nov 01. MFA
The University of Applied Sciences in Krems (Austria) hosted a meeting with the students and the leadership of the university on Oct. 31 where they expressed strong and active support for the initiative of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, The ATOM Project.
Ambassador of Kazakhstan in Austria – Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the International Organizations in Vienna Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko and Honorary Ambassador of the ATOM Project, well-known Kazakh artist Karipbek Kuyukov spoke at the event. The meeting also featured an exhibition of paintings by Karipbek Kuyukov titled “Looking for Peace” and a documentary film about the consequences of Soviet nuclear weapons testing in Kazakhstan and the story of its freeing itself from the nuclear legacy.
Today’s exhibition marks another opportunity for Kazakhstan to increase awareness, especially among the young generation – tomorrow’s leaders, thinkers, and doers – of the need to stop nuclear testing, globally and permanently,”Ambassador Abdrakhmanov said in his remarks. “This is why President Nursultan Nazarbayev launched a newinitiative in the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation sphere, the ATOM Project, on August 29, 2012.” The Ambassador further described Kazakhstan’s consistent steps in this sphere, urging the audience to take an active civic stance and pursue actions.
In his turn, Vassilenko explained the efforts under the ATOM Project and noted the already broad international support it received. So far, people from more than 100 countries have signed the ATOM Project’s online petition calling on the world leaders to put a permanent end to nuclear tests and to achieve the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The treaty was signed by the 183 states and ratified by 161 countries, but its entry into force requires the signing and ratification by at least another eight countries of the Treaty’sAnnex II – China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Pakistan and the United States.
“The sooner the nations and the leaders of the world return to the basic principles of human relations that are defined by trust, mutual understanding, tolerance and goodwill, the better chances we will have of building a safer world, free from the threat of nuclear annihilation,” Vassilenko stated.
In his comments, Karipbek Kuyukov once again reminded the audience of the tragic consequences of nuclear tests, which have affected the lives of more than 1.5 million people in Kazakhstan, including his family, and urged those present to support the ATOM Project.
“I would like for my generation to be the last to suffer from the effects of nuclear weapons. And so I urge you to learn more about this tragic story, to tell about it to all your friends and acquaintances and to make building a world with clean air and clear future our common cause,” Kuyukov said.
Such calls have found enthusiastic support among the participants of the gathering.
“Kazakhstan has shown an example of a responsible policy to other countries, and today we have listened to this lesson in peace, and I am sure many of our students will want to support this initiative and spread its peacemaking message,”University President Dr. Heinz Boyer said.
“I think many people now would think about this issue a lot more,” Elena Korotnikova, a student at the University, noted. “Paintings are awesome, especially given the way they were drawn. I believe this should inspire people for similar actions.”
The meeting ended with the signing of the ATOM Project’s online petition by students and professors who have also expressed a firm intention to talk about the initiative to their friends, including through social networks.