Press Releases

    DC/2837
    13 August 2002

    UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL TO VISIT CENTRAL ASIA
    FOR TALKS ON NUCLEAR-WEAPON-FREE ZONE

    NEW YORK, 12 August (Department for Disarmament Affairs) -- Jayantha Dhanapala, Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, will visit Central Asia from 14 to 26 August. Mr. Dhanapala will visit Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and will meet with the political leader- ship of these countries and senior officials.

    The visit will focus on the draft treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia (CANWFZ) that is currently being negotiated among the five countries.

    During his visit, Mr. Dhanapala will also address issues of small arms and light weapons, transparency in armaments and the threat of terrorism.

    The idea of a CANWFZ was originally launched at the summit meeting of the Presidents of the Five Central Asian states held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, through the Almaty Declaration of 28 February 1997.

    In support of this initiative, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolutions 52/38 S (9 Decem- ber 1997), 53/77 A (4 December 1998) and 55/33 W (20 November 2000) which requested the Secretary-General to provide assistance to the Central Asian States in the elaboration of an agreement on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia.

    In response to those resolutions, the Department for Disarmament Affairs, through its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, has extended its assistance to the five States inter alia by creating a United Nations-sponsored expert group and providing substantive and technical advice to the Central Asian countries.

    For further information, please contact Michael F. Cassandra, Chief, Monitoring, Database and Inform- ation Branch, Room S-3151A, Department for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations, New York, New York 10017 Tel. (212) 963-7714; fax: (212) 963-1121; e-mail: cassandra@un.org.

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