Kazakhstan has become the 26th state to officially join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, officially notifying the United Nations on 29 August, a date of huge significance for the state which was at one time the holder of the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world.
Kazakhstan was the site of the first ever Soviet Union nuclear weapons test, which took place on the same date in 1949. The date has since become the International Day Against Nuclear Tests in recognition of the thousands of such tests which have taken place around the world, leaving many people living with the consequences.
Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations H.E. Mr. Kairat Umarov said during the ceremony “This should inspire all those who care about the safe future of all humankind to take similar actions. Our action is also our tribute to all those who have suffered from the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. Our common task is to prevent the recurrence of such tragedies.”
The Treaty will enter into force once 50 states join. States have to sign the Treaty before the complete their domestic processes to formally become a party to it. So far more than 70 states have signed the Treaty. There will be a further signing ceremony in New York later in September, where more states are expected to join the Treaty.