Kazakhstan

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has joined the TPNW

SIGNED

2 March 2018

RATIFIED

29 August 2019

IN FORCE

22 January 2021

 

Status

Kazakhstan has signed and ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). It was among the original 50 states parties to the treaty when it entered into force on 22 January 2021.

 

Signature and ratification

Kairat Umarov, the permanent representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations, signed the TPNW in New York on 2 March 2018 and deposited the country’s instrument of ratification with the UN secretary-general on 29 August 2019.

The date of Kazakhstan’s ratification coincided with the UN-sponsored International Day against Nuclear Tests, and marked 70 years since the first Soviet nuclear test was conducted at the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan was the 26th state to ratify or accede to the TPNW.

In an address to the UN General Assembly in 2021, Kazakhstan’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, described the TPNW’s entry into force as a positive development and noted: Circumstances and strategic thinking can and do change rapidly – nuclear weapons are a political choice.”

Kairat Umarov, the permanent representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations, signs the TPNW in 2018. Photo: UNOLA

Umarov deposits the instrument of ratification in 2019. Photo: UNOLA

 

Nuclear testing in Kazakhstan

From 1949 to 1989, an estimated 456 Soviet nuclear tests, including 116 atmospheric tests, were carried out at the Semipalatinsk test site, with devastating long-term consequences for human health and the environment.

Upon the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kazakhstan inherited approximately 1,400 Soviet nuclear warheads, which it subsequently relinquished, recognising that its security was best achieved through disarmament.

Karipbek Kuyukov (right), a Kazakh nuclear test survivor and artist, speaks to Setsuko Thurlow, a Hiroshima survivor, in Vienna in 2014. Photo: ICAN

 

Implementation

In accordance with Article 2 of the TPNW, Kazakhstan submitted a declaration to the UN secretary-general on 19 February 2021 confirming that it does not own, possess, or control nuclear weapons, and does not host any other state’s nuclear weapons on its territory.

It also confirmed that, in the early 1990s, all Soviet nuclear weapons on its territory were transported to Russia, while “all nuclear-weapons-related facilities [in Kazakhstan] were irretrievably eliminated”.

Per Article 12, Kazakhstan has promoted universal adherence to the TPNW, including by co-sponsoring and consistently voting in favour of an annual UN General Assembly resolution since 2018 that calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to the treaty “at the earliest possible date”.

In 2021, the minister of foreign affairs of Kazakhstan, Mukhtar Tileuberdi, called on other states to join the TPNW “as a tribute to all those affected by the use and testing of nuclear weapons around the globe.

The deputy minister of foreign affairs, Akan Rakhmetullin, met in 2022 with the Kazakhstan-based ambassadors of the other four Central Asian states – Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – to encourage them to join the TPNW.

Kazakhstan convenes a meeting Nur-Sultan in 2022 to encourage other Central Asian states to join the TPNW. Photo: Kazakh MFA

 

TPNW negotiations

Kazakhstan participated in the negotiation of the TPNW at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and was among 122 states that voted in favour of its adoption.

In its closing statement to the negotiating conference, Kazakhstan said that it supported the treaty’s adoption because it has “a moral right and a moral obligation to pursue nuclear disarmament”.

In 2016, Kazakhstan voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution that established the formal mandate for states to commence negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

 

Before the negotiations

Kazakhstan was among 127 states that endorsed a “humanitarian pledge” in 2015–16 to cooperate “in efforts to stigmatise, prohibit, and eliminate nuclear weapons”. The pledge was instrumental in building momentum and support for convening the negotiations.

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has joined the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

SIGNED

2 March 2018

RATIFIED

29 August 2019

IN FORCE

22 January 2021

 

Status

Kazakhstan has signed and ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). It was among the original 50 states parties to the treaty when it entered into force on 22 January 2021.

 

Signature and ratification

Kairat Umarov, the permanent representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations, signed the TPNW in New York on 2 March 2018 and deposited the country’s instrument of ratification with the UN secretary-general on 29 August 2019.

The date of Kazakhstan’s ratification coincided with the UN-sponsored International Day against Nuclear Tests, and marked 70 years since the first Soviet nuclear test was conducted at the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan was the 26th state to ratify or accede to the TPNW.

In an address to the UN General Assembly in 2021, Kazakhstan’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, described the TPNW’s entry into force as a positive development and noted: Circumstances and strategic thinking can and do change rapidly – nuclear weapons are a political choice.”

Kairat Umarov, the permanent representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations, signs the TPNW in 2018. Photo: UNOLA

Umarov deposits the instrument of ratification in 2019. Photo: UNOLA

 

Nuclear testing in Kazakhstan

From 1949 to 1989, an estimated 456 Soviet nuclear tests, including 116 atmospheric tests, were carried out at the Semipalatinsk test site, with devastating long-term consequences for human health and the environment.

Upon the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kazakhstan inherited approximately 1,400 Soviet nuclear warheads, which it subsequently relinquished, recognising that its security was best achieved through disarmament.

Karipbek Kuyukov (right), a Kazakh nuclear test survivor and artist, speaks to Setsuko Thurlow, a Hiroshima survivor, in Vienna in 2014. Photo: ICAN

 

Implementation

In accordance with Article 2 of the TPNW, Kazakhstan submitted a declaration to the UN secretary-general on 19 February 2021 confirming that it does not own, possess, or control nuclear weapons, and does not host any other state’s nuclear weapons on its territory.

It also confirmed that, in the early 1990s, all Soviet nuclear weapons on its territory were transported to Russia, while “all nuclear-weapons-related facilities [in Kazakhstan] were irretrievably eliminated”.

Per Article 12, Kazakhstan has promoted universal adherence to the TPNW, including by co-sponsoring and consistently voting in favour of an annual UN General Assembly resolution since 2018 that calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to the treaty “at the earliest possible date”.

In 2021, the minister of foreign affairs of Kazakhstan, Mukhtar Tileuberdi, called on other states to join the TPNW “as a tribute to all those affected by the use and testing of nuclear weapons around the globe.

The deputy minister of foreign affairs, Akan Rakhmetullin, met in 2022 with the Kazakhstan-based ambassadors of the other four Central Asian states – Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – to encourage them to join the TPNW.

Kazakhstan convenes a meeting Nur-Sultan in 2022 to encourage other Central Asian states to join the TPNW. Photo: Kazakh MFA

 

TPNW negotiations

Kazakhstan participated in the negotiation of the TPNW at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and was among 122 states that voted in favour of its adoption.

In its closing statement to the negotiating conference, Kazakhstan said that it supported the treaty’s adoption because it has “a moral right and a moral obligation to pursue nuclear disarmament”.

In 2016, Kazakhstan voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution that established the formal mandate for states to commence negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

 

Before the negotiations

Kazakhstan was among 127 states that endorsed a “humanitarian pledge” in 2015–16 to cooperate “in efforts to stigmatise, prohibit, and eliminate nuclear weapons”. The pledge was instrumental in building momentum and support for convening the negotiations.

[PARTNERS]

Center for International Security and Policy

website


Kazakh Association of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

website

[LOCALSUPPORT]

 

No events yet

 

Find a local ICAN partner to get active Become an ICAN Partner Organization ›

  • Center for International Security and Policy

    website

  • Kazakh Association of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

    website