Below is a message from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
We are pleased to report that on 29 August, the International Day against Nuclear Tests, Kazakhstan deposited its instrument of ratification for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, becoming the 26th state party.
From 1949 to 1989, an estimated 456 Soviet nuclear tests -- including 116 atmospheric tests -- were carried out at the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan, with devastating long-term consequences for human health and the environment.
Upon the break-up of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan inherited approximately 1,400 nuclear warheads, which it subsequently gave up -- recognizing that its security was best achieved through disarmament.
The date of 29 August 2019 has special significance for Kazakhstan. It marks 70 years since the first Soviet nuclear test at the Semipalatinsk site and 28 years since the formal closure of that site.
We congratulate Kazakhstan on its ratification and we acknowledge the persistent efforts of Alimzhan Akhmetov, of the Center for International Security and Policy in Kazakhstan, to encourage the Kazakh government to take this important step.
We look forward to further signatures and ratifications of the treaty at the high-level ceremony in New York on 26 September.