Atom Project Presented to American Students, Scholars

September 11, 2013

The ATOM Project and Art of Karipbek Kuyukov Presented to American Scholars and Students

The Kazakhstan Embassy in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Institute Of Public Service held a roundtable on Sept. 10 concerning “Prospects for a Nuclear-free World and Saying No to Nuclear Testing.”

The ATOM Project and the paintings of the project’s Honorary Ambassador Karipbek Kuyukov were presented at the event, which was attended by NOVA staff and students.

On the same day, Kazakhstan representatives on behalf of The Atom Project met with researchers and students of the Central Asian Studies Program at Georgetown University.

Discussing Kazakhstans initiatives in the field of non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, Ambassador Kairat Umarov of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United States noted that today his country has a strong belief in the need for the international community to take further decisive actions to address the global nuclear threat. Umarov stressed that 22 years ago, by closing on its territory the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev and the young country demonstrated to the world community that, with the will of the people, it is possible to renounce nuclear weapons. It is not by chance that 18 years later the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming Aug. 29 as International Day Against Nuclear Tests.

Ambassador-at-Large Roman Vassilenko of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, while discussing Kazakhstans history of disarmament and disposal, said that the completion of the complicated work to permanently safeguard nuclear materials in test tunnels in Degelen Mountain at the Semey nuclear test site is an example of effective international cooperation in the field of disarmament and disposal.

“The longstanding three-party collaboration of Kazakhstan, Russia and the United States in the project, which was first made public by the presidents of the three countries in Seoul in 2012, is eloquent evidence that only joint efforts based on mutual trust and understanding can our world better and safer,” Vassilenko said.

Addressing NOVA students and teaching staff, ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador Kuyukov, who has become an internationally respected artist despite being born without arms, reminded the world of the tragic consequences of nuclear testing and urged all participants to support The ATOM Project in its effort to achieve a final and a revocable ban on nuclear testing.

Kuyukov presented his paintings, which he paints with his mouth and toes, to students and staff. The paintings chronicle the terrible consequences of nuclear testing while displaying a sincere love for humanity.

Note: The ATOM Project was also presented at UN Headquarters in New York City on Sept. 4. Senior representatives of the largest international organization in the world and its subsidiaries, including the Organization of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBTO), attended the event.

The ATOM Project is an international campaign developed to raise public awareness about the humanitarian and environmental consequences and dangers of nuclear testing in order to achieve a permanent ban on nuclear weapons testing.

The project was initiated by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan in August 2012 at an international conference in Astana.