ATOM Project founder, Kazakh President expresses appreciation for late U.S. House of Representatives Member Eni Faleomavaega
March 7, 2017
Kazakhstan President and The ATOM Project founder Nursultan Nazarbayev has expressed great appreciation for the efforts of U.S. House of Representatives Member Eni Faleomavaega, who passed away in late February, toward their shared goal of global nuclear disarmament.
“Eni Faleomavaega was a true friend of Kazakhstan,” President Nazarbayev said in his letter to the family of the deceased. “During his time serving as the U.S. Congressman, he contributed greatly to both the development of Kazakhstan-U.S. relations and the achievement of a nuclear weapon-free world.”
“I believe the memory of Eni Faleomavaega will forever be etched into the hearts of all the people in Kazakhstan and those who knew him. In these difficult times, we share the pain of his loss and express our condolences,” he wrote.
Faleomavaega was American Samoa’s longest serving non-voting delegate to the U.S House of Representatives when he died Feb. 22 at age 73 at his home in Provo, Utah. No cause of death has been released.
In addition to working on behalf of his constituents, Faleomavaega was a long-time proponent of nuclear disarmament and a supporter of Kazakhstan’s efforts toward non-proliferation.
Faleomavaega many times initiated statements supporting Kazakhstan and was the author of the resolution of the House of Representatives, in which the U.S. congratulated Kazakhstan on the 15th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and which says that “Kazakhstan’s leadership and cooperation with the United States on nonproliferation matters is a model for other countries to follow.”
He also promoted an initiative on establishing a joint Kazakhstan- American working group for studying the consequences of nuclear tests in Kazakhstan.
Faleomavaega was a supporter of the Kazakh President’s initiatives on both reduction and destruction of the weapons of mass destruction, saying, “unlike any other government, the Republic of the Marshall Islands shares the same history and experience as Kazakhstan, having also been used as a nuclear testing ground during the Cold War” where the U.S. conducted 67 nuclear tests in 1946-1958.
Faleomavaega will be particularly remembered for participating in a boycott of an address before a joint session of Congress by French President Jacques Chirac in mid-1990s. Reason: France conducted a series of nuclear tests at the Moruroa and Fangatauga atolls in the South Pacific, despite the fact that worldwide protests took place.
In 2009 and 2012, President Nazarbayev received Faleomavaega in Kazakhstan. They discussed foreign policy initiatives of the states and the reduction of weapons of mass destruction.
Faleomavaega highlighted that some twenty years ago, “President Nazarbayev emerged to champion the cause of a nuclear weapons free world, and no other leader before or since has done what he has done to advance the rights of the human person by promoting nuclear disarmament among possessor states and preventing proliferation to new states.”
“President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s leadership has brought him tremendous credit worldwide and the continuation of reforms in the economic development of the country has given him a high status in this region and also in other parts of the world,” Faleomavaega said.