Kazakhstan renewed its call for a cut in global military spending on the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) in an April 24 statement published by the country’s Foreign Ministry.
The statement starts with an affirmation that the world has entered a new and troubling era, with tensions and conflicts, suspicions and competition increasing between major powers. This, in turn, is leading to a new arms race and a greater use of force to defend national interests and expand spheres of influence.
Kazakhstan, therefore, supports such international initiatives as the GDAMS, saying that they are more important than ever. Launched in 2011, its aim is to encourage countries to reduce military spending, which, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), reached $1.7 trillion in 2015.
“Since independence 25 years ago, Kazakhstan has championed the cause of peace, co-operation and disarmament. Our own devastating experiences led us to give up voluntarily the world’s fourth biggest nuclear arsenal and shut down the Semipalatinsk test site. President Nazarbayev has urged the international community to make building ‘a world without nuclear weapons the main goal of mankind in the 21st century’,” the statement reads.
In his manifesto “The World. The 21st Century,” Nazarbayev also called for measures to eliminate the use of force as a means of settling disputes. Reducing military expenditure from its present high levels would be a step towards this goal and would help ease tensions and the dangerous competition between military blocks.
Kazakhstan also believes that a reduction in military budgets could release funds to tackle hunger and extreme poverty and build a fairer, more prosperous and stable world. These are the aims of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were agreed to by the international community in 2015.