During the ceremony, the President of Kazakhstan handed over to the IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano the symbolic keys from the Bank of Low-Enriched Uranium placed on the site of the Ulba Metallurgical Plant.
Speaking with a welcoming speech, the Head of the State emphasized the special significance of today's event for both Kazakhstan and the entire world community.
Nursultan Nazarbayev has stressed that during the years of independence the country has come a quick way - from the holder of the world's fourth nuclear arsenal to the country being theleader of global non-proliferation.
- On this day, August 29, 1991, my Decree closed the world's largest Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. And today throughout the world, August 29 is celebrated as the International Day against Nuclear Tests. The second problem was evidence of Kazakhstan's powerful nuclear arsenal. It is the efforts of Kazakhstan that have shown the way to other countries that have faced the problem of nuclear arsenals, the President of Kazakhstan said.
The Head of State noted that by providing the IAEA with the possibility to place the Low Enriched Uranium Bank, Kazakhstan has made its contribution to strengthening the non-proliferation regime and creating a unique mechanism for the safe supply of nuclear fuel.
- And to stress the LEU Bank will be in effect under the IAEA full control, and will be in its official legal possession. Therefore, I express my gratitude to the leadership of the IAEA and the donors of the Bank for their great contribution to this important project, Nursultan Nazarbayev said.
The President of Kazakhstan drew attention to the urgency of developing nuclear power and talked about the prospects for its further modernization.
- We are the largest producer of uranium and are ready to play an important role in the world energy. Kazakhstan is also in the mainstream of a global "green" trend. That is why Astana hosts the international exhibition of EXPO, dedicated to the energy of the future, the Head of State said.
In addition, Nursultan Nazarbayev separately welcomed the participants of the 62nd session of the Pugwash movement of scientists on global issues and congratulated them on the Movement’s 60th anniversary.
The President of Kazakhstan dwelled on the problem of nuclear weapons proliferation and harmful consequences of its use for humanity.
-Nuclear weapons are the execution of all humanity. Nine states of the world contain 16,000 nuclear weapons. But even half of a percent of nuclear arsenals will break the climate and cause a global famine. That means self-destruction, the Head of the State said.
Nursultan Nazarbayev noted the low level of trust between the main nuclear powers, which resulted in the lack of unity in the world community on the issue of global nuclear security.
- Kazakhstan has made its choice. We are consistent supporters of nuclear disarmament and global nuclear security. At the same time, we believe that nuclear safety can only be universal and non-discriminatory. The G-GLOBAL initiative, which unites about 190 countries, is aimed at that, the President of Kazakhstan said.
The Kazakh leader expressed concern over the tightening of the sanctions confrontation between the US and Russia and stressed the importance of preventing the escalation of trade and economic conflicts into a violent confrontation.
- The stability and nuclear security of the 21st century depends primarily on the official nuclear powers. Relations between them are of key and decisive importance for mankind. As for the situation around the DPRK, we strongly support the UN Security Council Resolution 2371, Nursultan Nazarbayev said.
The Head of the State emphasized the need for political trust and a system dialogue to return to international relations, and also spoke about Kazakhstan's contribution to solving world problems.
-We are ready to continue to contribute in the peacekeeping direction. In particular, Kazakhstan is ready to promote dialogue on resolving the crisis in southeast of Ukraine. We call on the conflict parties to find ways to overcome it, the President of Kazakhstan said.
Taking into account the current global situation, the Head of the State proposed a number of ideas with a view to resolving specific issues of nuclear safety.
- We have repeatedly pointed out that the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons does not justify the hopes placed on it. In particular, the countries of the "nuclear club" do not disclose information on nuclear programs on a voluntary basis. Other countries provide the IAEA with exhaustive information. It is necessary to reduce the imbalance in the approaches between the "nuclear five" and the rest of the world. In 2020, the global community will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the NPT becoming the law. Let us make efforts to reach a deadline by that time, the Treaty on the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons to come into force, Nursultan Nazarbayev said.
Along with this, the President of Kazakhstan has proposed to legalize the status of all de-facto nuclear states and convene a summit of the countries possessing nuclear weapons.
In addition, the Head of the State pointed to some countries with nuclear technologies that have not yet signed or ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and appealed to their leaders to join the Treaty without delay.
- The establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones is one of the most effective means in the fight against its proliferation. In March 2009, the Treaty on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Establishment in Central Asia entered into force. I propose to unite the efforts of all states that are part of the nuclear-free zones, Nursultan Nazarbayev said.
The President of Kazakhstan has also suggested consolidating all global initiatives on anti-nuclear movement issues and expressed Kazakhstan's readiness to initiate the process of updating the Global Nuclear Security Summit and hold its meeting in Astana.
- At the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, I put forward the initiative to achieve - by the UN 100th anniversary - a world without nuclear weapons. All the points I have voiced are aimed at ensuring that the UN's 100th anniversary is met by the world without nuclear weapons. By our example, we urge all countries that are striving for nuclear weapons to stand out of that dangerous path, the Head of State said.
At the end of his speech, Nursultan Nazarbayev, noting the need to preserve global nuclear security, stressed that the LEU Bank being created in Kazakhstan is exclusively for peaceful atom.