Nursultan Nazarbayev Foundation together with the Institute of World Economics and Politics organized and held an online Conference on international security system and resumption of global nuclear dialogue for the Day of the First President.
The key goal of the event was to promote the creation of the Global Alliance of Leaders (GAL) for Nuclear Security and a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World, an initiative announced by Nursultan Nazarbayev during the 5th meeting of the Astana Club.
Leading members of the Astana Club’s Consultative Council, as well as a number of prominent world politicians and experts in the field of foreign policy and nuclear security issues participated in the event as speakers.
Among them are: Mohamed Elbaradei – Director General of the IAEA (1997-2009), 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner; Tarja Halonen – President of Finland (2000-2012); Danilo Türk – President of the Club of Madrid, President of Slovenia (2007-2012); Hamid Karzai – President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (2004-2014); Beatrice Fihn – Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winner; James Lindsay – Senior Vice President of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC); Angela Kane, Vice-President of the International Institute for Peace (IIP), former UN Under Secretary General, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs (2012-2015); Asle Toje, member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
The first President of Kazakhstan NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV became the key speaker of the conference, delivering a video message to the participants of the event.
In his speech, Nursultan Nazarbayev emphasized: “When I was the president of Kazakhstan, I devoted a considerable part of my work in foreign policy to the idea of achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.”
Further, Elbasy noted contribution of Kazakhstan in this direction, noting that “having gained independence, Kazakhstan voluntarily renounced the possession of the world’s fourth-largest arsenal of nuclear weapons”. According to the First President, “History has proven that it was the right decision. Through our bold example, we have shown others that progress and prosperity can be achieved peacefully.”
In conclusion, addressing the conference participants, Nursultan Nazarbayev said:
“You are well-known politicians and distinguished experts who, like me, unreservedly support the idea of striving for a world without weapons of mass destruction. It is clear that this path will not be easy and there are many serious obstacles on the way.
Theodore Roosevelt once said: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there”. I am grateful to all of you for supporting my initiative to create a Global Alliance of Leaders for Nuclear Security and a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World.
The Open Call on establishing the Alliance and adopting its goals, that we are launching today, is the first practical step in this direction.”
Opening the conference, the President of the Global Security Institute Jonathan Granoff emphasized the special significance and role of the President of Kazakhstan in strengthening global nuclear security: “It is an honor to be in this event convened by Kazakhstan and First President Nazarbayev, which has the most important currency in this issue, which is moral authority, backed up by action.”
In conclusion, Jonathan Granoff expressed his gratitude to Elbasy for the initiative to create a Global Alliance of Leaders. “We need to do our utmost to free humanity from the threat of deadly wars forever. There is no more important goal,” – said the expert.
Mohammed ElBaradei, former Director General of the IAEA, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, noting his confidence in the success of Elbasy’s initiative, said: “President Nazarbayev said: “to believe is half the way through,” and I think we are all Believers, clearly.”
Distinguished politician emphasized the relevance of all previous projects and initiatives of the First President in nuclear field. According to him, “General offer by Kazakhstan to host an IAEA Low Enriched Uranium Bank, that became operational in 2019, was a welcome development for the entire world.”
Another Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), noted the special role Kazakhstan played in promoting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In this context, she stated: “Again, I want to also recognize the incredible work that Kazakhstan has done on this Treaty being one of the leading countries in this Treaty, and being part of bringing the Treaty into force.”
Continuing the session, Asle Toje, a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, recalled the key importance of Kazakhstan’s role in mediating for nuclear non-proliferation and global security.
“I think that the issues made by Kazakhstan are hugely important. I think that the country’s willingness to act as an interlocutor between the Muslim world and the rest of the world, between Russia and China, between the West and the rest of the world is very important. And we saw that when Kazakhstan was a member of the United Nations Security Council,” Asle Toje said.
Angela Kane, Vice President of the International Institute for Peace (IIP), former UN Under Secretary General, also stressed that: “Kazakhstan was extremely instrumental when it was also a member of the Security Council. Without the support and the strong moral authority, as it was mentioned, that Kazakhstan has in this issue, we would not be sitting around the table.”
Summing up the speeches of the invited speakers, President of the Club of Madrid and former President of Slovenia Danilo Türk stressed: “Kazakhstan is an excellent example. It is a country which has come from the very beginning, from the early years of its independence, with bold diplomatic initiative and has prevailed and that should be appreciated.”
Another significant event of the conference was presentation of the book by Rupert Goodman, Chairman of the British-Kazakh Society, “Father of the Nation: Man of Peace. A Record of Leadership”, which was published in the UK by the famous publishing house “FIRST”.
During the presentation of his work, the author noted: “I first visited Kazakhstan, as I mentioned, just after independence, and have been witness to the really extraordinary transformation that the country has undergone under the leadership of the First President.”
According to the author, Nursultan Nazarbayev is “a champion of the nuclear free world.”
“My sense is from having written this book is that this is really a heartfelt mission, which is driven by an individual who believes passionately, that the terrible experiences that his nation endured in the sphere of nuclear weaponry, must now acts as a siren warning for the rest of humanity. And this is a message that I think has come out loud and clear from the conference we have just had,” – said Rupert Goodman.
The main outcome of the conference was the adoption of the Open Call by members of the Consultative Council of the Astana Club to world leaders regarding the need to create and maintain further work of GAL.
Overall, in terms of the level of participants and quality of discussions, the last conference was one of the most remarkable events on nuclear topics in 2020.
Conference once again confirmed the great international authority of the First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, whose initiatives received broad global support and contributed to the promotion of the agenda on nuclear non-proliferation, security and building a world free from the threat of nuclear war.