Letter from the President of Kazakhstan
9 October 2012
Dear Peace Ambassadors,
August 6, 1945, forever went down in history as the day of the tragedy of the Japanese people who suffered from the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For 67 years, it has been a day of remembrance and sorrow. The people of Kazakhstan, as well as the people of Japan who are close to us, have experienced the horrors of nuclear weapons and, greater than anyone else, the terrible consequences of nuclear testing. What we had experienced in this nuclear hell brings together and unites our two nations.
Twenty-one years have passed since I signed the decree to shut down the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. This historic act committed according to the will of the people of our country was of huge civilizational value. Kazakhstan has bridged its nuclear fears and also relieved from these fears those whom have been indoctrinated with our nuclear arsenal. But the consequences of nuclear tests will be felt for decades. Even now, not only the witnesses of those explosions, but also their children and grandchildren, are continuing to suffer. Today there is another opportunity to remind the world of the tragic consequences of nuclear testing and to encourage the global community to act more decisively on a definite and irreversible ban.
In this regard, on August 29, 2012, at the International Conference “From a Nuclear Test Ban to a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World” in Astana, I announced the launch by Kazakhstan of an international campaign, The Atom Project. The name of the project was composed from the first letters of the words in English – “Abolish Testing. Our Mission.” As part of the project, any human on the Earth who opposes nuclear weapons can sign an online petition at www.theatomproject.org and urge the governments of the world to permanently abandon nuclear testing and to achieve the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
I urge the Hiroshima Youth Committee and all the people of good will to support the ATOM Project and to make the establishment of a world without nuclear weapons our most important objective. I am sure that the goals and objectives of the ATOM Project and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons are similar and together we will achieve success in this noble mission. Kazakhstan has demonstrated the way forward to a more secure future. We persistently urge the world community to follow the example of Kazakhstan and other countries that have embarked on the path of disarmament. Only then can we ensure our children and grandchildren a peaceful and secure future.Nursultan Nazarbayev
President of the Republic of Kazakhstan