Kazakh FM Reaffirms Cooperation with Int’l Organizations on Nuclear Security, Fight Against Drugs

ASTANA – Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Foreign Affairs Murat Nurtleu held talks with the heads of international organizations on March 15 as part of his working visit to Vienna, reported the ministry’s press service. 

Murat Nurtleu and Rafael Mariano Grossi. Photo credit: Gov.kz.

Meeting at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime

Nurtleu and Executive Director of the UN Office at Vienna – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ghada Fathi Waly agreed to hold the UN regional conference in Astana in 2025 as part of the launch of a new project to combat synthetic drugs in Kazakhstan. 

Photo credit: Murat Nurtleu and Ghada Fathi Waly. Photo credit: Gov.kz.

Ghada Fathi Waly noted Kazakhstan’s role in fighting drug trafficking and reiterated her support for the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination Center (CARICC). She also emphasized Astana’s constructive stance in solving Afghanistan’s humanitarian and socio-economic problems.

It should be noted that Kazakhstan announced plans to establish the UN Hub for Sustainable Development for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty.

Cooperation in nuclear security 

After meeting with the Kazakh delegation, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi said nuclear power has the potential to help Kazakhstan reach its net zero goals in his X (Twitter). He said that a low-enriched uranium (LEU) bank located in Oskemen plays an important role in nuclear security.

Photo credit: Gov.kz.

In 2010, the IAEA established an LEU bank in Kazakhstan. This bank provides a physical reserve of LEU, the basic ingredient of nuclear fuel, for eligible IAEA member states. It acts as a last-resort supplier in case member states cannot obtain LEU on the global market.  

Nurtleu said that the country “pays special attention to the development of its nuclear industry and achieving carbon neutrality goals.” The cooperation with the IAEA is vital in the context of Kazakhstan’s plans to hold a referendum on the construction of the first nuclear power plant.

Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Robert Floyd expressed his gratitude for “Kazakhstan’s strong leadership in nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and ending nuclear tests,” he wrote in his X (Twitter).

The diplomats are committed to continuing to collaborate in facilitating the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and bringing the global community together for the International Day Against Nuclear Tests on Aug. 29.

Kazakhstan is firmly committed to the CTBT, said Nurtleu. The agreement is key to the global disarmament and non-proliferation regime and is an effective mechanism to achieve a world free of nuclear threat. He invited the organization to take part in meetings planned in Kazakhstan in August this year to strengthen cooperation between nuclear-weapon-free zones and universalize the ban on nuclear weapons.

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