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Almaty Declaration
(Central Asian Nuclear Free Zone)
Signed February 28, 1997

We, the Presidents of the fraternal States of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan,

Moved by the desire to strengthen the independence and sovereignty of our countries and raise the living standards of our peoples,

Considering that environmental security is one of the strategic components of national security a vital factor in protecting the interests and priorities of the Central Asian States

Bearing in mind that the problem of the environmental disaster in the Aral Sea basin is global in nature and that its solution brooks no delay,

Considering that the extreme environmental situation in the Aral region has a negative impact on the natural habitat and living conditions of millions of residents not only of the Aral Sea basin but also of other regions of our planet,

Confirming our adherence to the provisions of the United Nations worldwide programme on the environment (Agenda 21), and fully supporting the effort to draw up and implement a single strategy for the sustainable development of the countries of central Asia,

Acknowledging that management of the water resources of transboundary rivers must follow an ecosystem approach and be conducted justly and reasonably without causing reciprocal damage, and confirming the obligations already entered into with respect to full-scale cooperation on the international and inter-State levels,

Expressing the united view of our countries, which have signed the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, on the need to proclaim Central Asia a nuclear-weapon-free zone,

Proceeding on the basis of the steadfast aspiration to take joint action to overcome the consequences to the environmental crisis in the Aral Sea basin,

Have decided, at a meeting held in Almaty on 28 February 1997:

To declare 1998 as Environmental Protection Year in the Central Asia Region under the auspices of the United Nations

To call on all States concerned, on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the Semipalatinsk test site, to support the idea of proclaiming central Asia a nuclear-free zone open to accession by other States of the region;

To note the efforts of the Central Asian States, which despite serious economic difficulties are making considerable efforts to improve the environmental situation in the Aral Sea basin, the regions of the Semipalatinsk test site and other areas affected by the impact of nuclear tests;

To acknowledge the need to develop a comprehensive programme of environmental security including the Aral problem, establish a nuclear-free zone in central Asia and combat the leakage of nuclear technologies and raw materials;

To call on the United Nations and its specialized agencies to pay the closest attention to the crisis situation that has arisen in the Aral Sea basin and to take effective measures to protect the environment in that region, paying particular attention to measures to assist the poverty-stricken population of the Aral region;

To confirm our readiness to cooperate as necessary with international organizations and institutes in their activities in the implementation of the Programme of concrete actions and other regional projects;

To complete jointly with international organizations the preparation of a draft convention on the sustainable development of the Aral Sea basin.

For the Republic of Kazakhstan (Signed) N.A. NAZARBAEV

For the Kyrgyz Republic (Signed) A. A. AKAYEV

For the Republic of Tajikistan (Signed) E.S. RAKHMONOV

For the Republic of Turkmenistan (Signed) S. A. NIYASOV

For the Republic of Uzbekistan (Signed) I. A. KARIMOV

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