MPs call on governments to maintain moratoria against nuclear tests and stop production of nuclear weapons
29 August 2012 19:15

MPs call on governments to maintain moratoria against nuclear tests and stop production of nuclear weapons

ASTANA. August 29. KAZINFORM Kazinform disseminates the text of the parliamentary appeal for nuclear abolition: "From a Nuclear Test Ban to a Nuclear Weapons Free World" adopted in Astana on 29 August 2012.

Parliamentary Appeal for Nuclear Abolition:

From a Nuclear Test Ban to a Nuclear Weapons Free World

Parliamentarians, mayors, disarmament experts, and civil society representatives meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan at the international conference "From a Nuclear Test Ban to a Nuclear Weapons Free World" held on the International Day Against Nuclear Tests 29 August 2012, make the following appeal to parliaments and governments around the world:

Legislators and governments have a responsibility to protect the security of citizens living within their jurisdictions and to protect their respective localities and the global commons for future generations.

The catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences from the nuclear tests in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan - and from other nuclear test sites around the world - demonstrate that the effects of any use of nuclear weapons are uncontrollable in time and space.

The possession of nuclear weapons generates a threat of their proliferation and use that pose risks to current and future generations that are unacceptable, unnecessary, unsustainable and contrary to basic ethical considerations and international humanitarian law.

The approximately $100 billion spent annually on nuclear weapons by a few States consumes intellectual, scientific and financial resources desperately required to meet the environmental, social and human security needs of the 21st Century.

Some nations, like Kazakhstan, have decided to unilaterally abandon the possession of nuclear weapons and achieved greater security and prosperity as a result. Many nations, including all those in the Southern Hemisphere and a number in the Northern Hemisphere such as in Central Asia, have enhanced their security through establishing regional nuclear-weapon-free zones.

The United Nations General Assembly and the States Parties to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty have called on States to establish the framework for a nuclear-weapons free world through negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention or package of agreements.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has circulated a Five-Point Plan for Nuclear Disarmament which includes a Model Nuclear Weapons Convention as a guide to such negotiations. The UNSG's plan has been supported by unanimous resolution of the Inter-Parliamentary Union representing over 150 parliaments and by various resolutions in national parliaments.

We commend President Nursultan Nazarbayev and the Republic of Kazakhstan for leadership in the global nuclear disarmament process including the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site on 29 August 1991, and the decision to voluntarily renounce the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world.

We also commend Kazakhstan for initiating the UN International Day Against Nuclear Tests, which was established by unanimous resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, with the aim to contribute to the goals of nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation, a worldwide ban on nuclear tests, and a world free from nuclear weapons.

We welcome moves by the Nuclear Weapon States to complete the ratification process for the protocols to nuclear weapon-free zone treaties, as steps to significantly strengthen the architecture of regional and international security.

We welcome in particular the negotiations between the Central Asian States on one side, and China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States on the other side, on the protocols to the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, and call for its early completion.

We support the new initiative of President Nazarbayev of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the adoption, within the UN of a Universal Declaration on the achievement of a nuclear-weapon-free world, as another important step towards the adoption of a nuclear weapons convention.

We are strengthened in our resolve to advance nuclear disarmament measures, by having visited the former Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site, where Soviet nuclear weapons were tested for more than forty years. 468 surface and underground nuclear tests were conducted from 1949 to 1989. One 50 megaton test alone was several thousand times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The tests have caused immeasurable medical and economic related suffering and death to millions of people.

Further progress needs to be made with concrete actions to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons, according to a multilateral, transparent, irreversible and verifiable schedule.

Therefore, we call on parliaments and governments to:

  • a) maintain existing moratoria against nuclear tests, and fully support the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, including full ratification and entry-into-force, financing and support for the international monitoring network;
  • b) halt any further production of nuclear weapons;
  • c) operationalize the reduction of the role of nuclear weapons in their security doctrines;
  • d) establish prohibitions against nuclear weapons through action in their own legislatures;
  • e) establish guidelines that prohibit investment of public funds in enterprises engaged directly in manufacturing nuclear weapons or their delivery systems;
  • f) establish additional regional nuclear weapon free zones, as appropriate, especially in the Middle East, North East Asia and the Arctic;
  • g) commence preparatory work to build the framework for a nuclear weapons free world including through negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention or package of agreements.

We all stand united in our common determination to build nuclear-weapons-free world.

We pledge to act on and share this Appeal with legislative forums, decision makers and society.

Adopted in Astana on 29 August 2012.