6 May 2019 11:43

NWFZ reps to meet in Kazakhstan in Aug

NUR-SULTAN. May 6 (Interfax) - Representatives of the world's nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZ) will meet in the Kazakh capital at the end of August, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry's press service said on Monday.

Speaking at a nuclear disarmament forum at the United Nations headquarters, Kazakh Permanent Representative to the UN Kairat Umarov announced a meeting of representatives of all nuclear-weapon-free zones in Nur-Sultan on August 28-29, 2019. The participants in the upcoming talks are expected to discuss ways to further bolster their coordination, the press service said.

Such a meeting "will allow the sides to discuss key issues of strengthening the potential and the role of existing nuclear-weapon-free zones from the point of view of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation," the ministry said.

The meeting "will also become an important practical contribution to general preparations for the Fourth Conference of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones, which will take place in New York on April 24, 2020," it said.

Kazakhstan is serving this year as the coordinator of the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia, also known as the Semipalatinsk Treaty.

The world's nuclear-weapon-free zones are Antarctica (the 1959 treaty), Latin America and the Caribbean (the 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco), the South Pacific (the 1985Treaty of Rarotonga), Southeast Asia (the 1995 Bangkok Treaty), Africa (the 1996 Treaty of Pelindaba), and Central Asia (the 2006 Semipalatinsk Treaty). Mongolia is also a nuclear-weapon-free state.