By Nursultan Nazarbayev
As national leaders completed their fourth Nuclear Security Summit, we can reflect on what has been accomplished. Three previous meetings have produced a new level of cooperation between nations to account for and control the circulation of dangerous nuclear materials. President Barack Obama’s leadership in calling for these summits has made real and lasting contributions to the cause of nuclear security.
Last September, I called on the United Nations General Assembly to set a clear goal to eliminate nuclear weapons by 2045, the centenary of the founding of the UN. The UN has responded by approving the Universal Declaration for the Achievement of a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World.
Reaching this goal will require work by those who support us. But we must advance with each small step.
Start by banning all nuclear testing. The United Nations has declared August 29, the date of the closure of the Semipalatinsk test site, as the International Day against Nuclear Testing. The ATOM (Abolish Testing. Our Mission) Project that we initiated seeks to tell the world of consequences of nuclear weapons testing and calls for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). People in more than 100 countries have already supported the project’s calls. Eight countries, including China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Israel, North Korea and the United States must sign or ratify the CTBT, signed by 183 and ratified by 164 nations, for progress to be made. As co-chair of the CTBT Review Conference, along with Japan, Kazakhstan intends to work hard to achieve that progress and I call on all states, especially those on whose signature and ratification the CTBT entry into force depends, to show wisdom and responsibility and do the needed.
The test ban will not be a solution in itself. But putting it in force is one more step toward the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons in our world.
Nazarbayev is President of the Republic of Kazakhstan