CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo Awarded Presidential Medal of Kazakhstan
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Republic of Kazakhstan, CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo was awarded a Presidential Medal, at a ceremony in Vienna, Austria on 8 February 2017.
"I am pleased, honoured and humbled by the decision of the President of Kazakhstan, H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev to have awarded me this medal, dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan,"
Ambassador Kairat Sarybay, the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the International Organizations in Vienna, said Kazakhstan appreciated the personal role and leadership of Executive Secretary Zerbo to enhance nuclear non-proliferation efforts.
"We underline the valuable and effective activities of the Executive Secretary, including his substantial efforts and activities related to the twentieth anniversary of the CTBT since it was opened for signing,"
Zerbo was awarded the Presidential medal along with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano at a ceremony at the Kazakh Embassy in Vienna, Austria.
“The leadership of Kazakhstan expresses its sincere gratitude to Executive Secretary Zerbo and the Permanent Technical Secretariat for their initiative to help make the International Day against Nuclear Tests a considerable event. It is very symbolic that 29 August the day of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site closure is widely recognized around the world as the International Day against Nuclear Test,” Sarybay said.
Zerbo said he was thankful and humbled by the distinction, which had great significance for not only himself but in recognition of the work of the CTBTO.
“Kazakhstan has always been a close friend and promoter of disarmament and the CTBT. For the past 25 years Kazakhstan has played an important part in the progress accomplished in nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament,”
Twenty-five years ago the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site was permanently closed in modern-day Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan voluntarily renounced the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world. The closure of the Semipalatinsk test site paved the way for negotiations on a complete ban on nuclear testing.