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NEWS AND EVENTS
March 23, 2009
Press-Release: \"Treaty on Establishing a Nuclear Free Zone In Central Asia Comes Into Effect\"
The Initiative on establishing a Nuclear Free Zone in Central Asia by the efforts of all interested sides and international organizations and for the sake of high interests of each country of the region, which for the first time was enunciated by President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov at the 48th session of the UN General Assembly on September 28, 1993, has been implemented.

The Central Asian initiative has become possible thanks to careful examination of international experience in the area of nonproliferation and determination of one’s role in enhancing the global security.

The initiative of the Republic of Uzbekistan was fully supported by our neighbors – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan on the basis of Almaty Declaration, which was adopted in February 1997. This document has created the atmosphere of political trust in the area of nuclear nonproliferation. The “Central Asia – Nuclear Free Zone” international conference, which took place in Tashkent on September 15, 1997 is considered to be a significant event along the way of establishing a nuclear free zone. The efforts of countries of the region, who strove to expand the areas of the planet, where nuclear weapon and nuclear tests would be banned forever, were positively assessed during the meeting. The Regional Expert Group (REG) for preparing the relevant treaty was established on the outcomes of the conference.

From 1997 to 2002 with active contribution of the UN Disarmament Department and IAEA experts a number of working meetings of REG was held in such cities as Geneva, Ashgabat, Tashkent an two meeting were held in Sapporo (Japan) and Samarkand (Uzbekistan). At the last meeting in Samarkand on September 27, 2003 the agreement was achieved on holding the signing ceremony of the Treaty in the city of Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan.

The two consultative meetings with the experts of “nuclear five” (UK, China, Russia, USA and France) were held in the second half of 2002 at the UN headquarters. Upon the outcomes of these meetings the significant amendments and proposals were introduced into the draft of the document.

On February 7-9, 2005 Tashkent hosted the 7th meeting of REG during which the common position of Central Asian countries was agreed upon the text of the Treaty with taking into account the proposals and comments of the countries of the “nuclear five”, IAEA and the UN Legal Department.

Signing of the document on September 8, 2006 has become a result of a several years-long joint work of region’s countries with active contribution and participation of the United Nations, IAEA countries of the “nuclear five” – UK, China, Russia USA and France. It should be especially underscored that the initiative has been supported by all UN member-states, including countries which possess the nuclear weapon. Also, the role of the United Nations, which for the first time took a direct part in elaborating and agreeing the draft Treaty, should be stressed.

According to the document each side commits itself not to conduct research, not to develop, not to produce, not to store the reserves or acquire in any other way, not to possess or not to exercise control over any nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device in any form. The Treaty comprises of 18 articles, Protocol and Rules and Procedures on implementing the Article 10, which include the procedure of holding such consultative meetings.

After ratification by the Republic of Uzbekistan (May 5, 2007), Kyrgyz Republic (July 27, 2007), Republic of Tajikistan (January 1, 2009), Turkmenistan (January 17, 2009) and Kazakhstan (February 19, 2009) the Treaty came into effect on March 21, 2009. The Treaty is of indefinite-term.

According to the Protocol to the Treaty the states which officially possess the nuclear weapon (the Peoples Republic of China, Russian Federation, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America and French Republic) will have to sign and ratify this document, which means that they legally guarantee not to use a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device and not to threat their use against any Party to the Treaty. The practical implementation of the initiative of President of Uzbekistan coincides with the priority tasks of foreign policy on maintaining the national security for a stable and sustainable development of our country and the Central Asian region as a whole, contributing to the enhancing of the regime of nuclear nonproliferation.

The Joint constructive efforts on the problem of maintaining the security of all five Central Asian countries is obvious. It should be noted that the Republic of Kazakhstan has organized a signing ceremony in Semipalatinsk, Kyrgyz Republic is performing depositary functions, while the first meeting is due in the Republic of Tajikistan. Aspiration of countries – the international partners on performing the necessary acts on securing of the Treaty’s coming into effect confirms their commitments on enhancing the regional and international peace and security, as well as practical inclusion into the global regime of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament.


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