NEWS AND EVENTS
September 11, 2006
UN head welcomes creation of Central Asia - Nuclear Weapon Free Zone
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomes the creation of the Central Asia nuclear weapon free zone, calling it an important step towards peace and security.
In a statement by Annan read out Friday by Yuriko Shoji, the UN resident coordinator in Kazakhstan, Annan said the establishment of weapons-free zones strengthens the global nuclear non-proliferation efforts, reinforces global efforts to achieve a nuclear-free world and improves global and regional peace and security.
\"May the efforts of the central Asian states help move us further in that direction,\" the statement said.
Annan also acknowledged some states had expressed concerns about Friday\'s agreement and called on the five Central Asian nations to ensure its effectiveness.
\"The General Assembly and the UN Disarmament Commission have provided clear guidelines which recommend that nuclear-weapon-free zones be worked out in close consultation with the nuclear-weapon states, so as to ensure that such agreements are effective and meaningful,\" it said.
\"This signing ceremony of the central Asia nuclear weapon-free zone treaty marks another step in years of effort by the five central Asian states to agree on a treaty establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia.\"
The treaty was signed by representatives from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan in the northern Kazakh town of Semipalatinsk, near the now-defunct testing ranges where the then Soviet Union exploded more than 400 atom bombs.