Treaty on the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia entered into force

10.04.2009

p4694_1.jpgBISHKEK, 10 APRIL 2009. PIR-PRESS - “The fact that the Treaty on the Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone in Central Asia entered into force is a notable success for the international non-proliferation regime. It is especially important against the background of recent challenges and crises facing the regime in recent years, as well as in the absence of any other remarkable progress and breakthroughs. Surrounded by zones of nuclear instability from Middle East through Pakistan to East Asia, being a victim of nuclear tests, Central Asia deserves to have a nuclear weapons free zone on the land of its nations,” – President of PIR Center Vladimir Orlov.

On March 21,2009 the Treaty of the Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone in Central Asia (CANWFZ) signed by the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan in Semipalatinsk (Kazakhstan) on September 8, 2006, entered into force. Its member-states undertake to ban production, acquisition and deployment of nuclear weapons and its components or other nuclear explosive devices on their territories. At the same time, the Treaty allows using nuclear energy for peacful purposes.

“The fact that the Treaty on the Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone in Central Asia entered into force is a notable success for the international non-proliferation regime. It is especially important against the background of recent challenges and crises facing the regime in recent years, as well as in the absence of any other remarkable progress and breakthroughs. Surrounded by zones of nuclear instability from Middle East through Pakistan to East Asia, being a victim of nuclear tests, Central Asia deserves to have a nuclear weapons free zone on the land of its nations,” President of PIR Center Vladimir Orlov stated at his speech at the OSCEAcademy in Bishkek

Preliminary decision to establish a CANWFZ was adopted in September 2002. Similar NWFZs exist in Latin America, Africa, South and South-East Asia and cover more than 100 states.

A new zone in Central Asia has a number of unique features: it is the first weapons-free-zone in the Northern hemishere, in a region neighboring nuclear Russia and China. Also the Treaty has become the first multilateral security agreement which includes all five Central Asian countries.

p4694_2.jpg“One more feature of this Treaty is the fact that Kyrgyzstan is its depositary. It emphasizes the role of the country in the initiation and development of CANWFZ. It was Kyrgyzstan that constantly promoted the idea about CANWFZ and reminded the international community of this opportunity,” President of PIR Center noted in Bishkek.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon welcomed the entry into force of the Treaty and noted that it would be the first NWFZ in a region where nuclear weapons previously existed. He also pointed out one more feature of the Treaty: it is the first one that would require its members to sign Additional Protocol with the IAEA and to follow obligations of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

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