Kazakh President, ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador Kuyukov Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
March 1, 2017
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and Honorary Ambassador of the ATOM Project Karipbek Kuyukov have been nominated for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.
They, along with the international organisation Global Zero, were nominated by the Director of the Basel Peace Offices (BPO) Alyn Ware from Switzerland. The BPO is a joint initiative of the Canton of Basel, University of Basel Sociology Seminary, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, Global Security Institute, Middle Powers Initiative, World Future Council, IPPNW Switzerland and the Swiss Peace Found.
“I am submitting a nomination for two individuals and one organisation, each of which is making a significant and complementary contribution to public awareness and political processes for nuclear disarmament,” Ware said in his official letter, which was shared by www.nobelwill.org.
Success in achieving nuclear abolition will require a combination of approaches, some emphasising the inhumanity and illegality of nuclear weapons, others emphasising the economic and political costs, and others emphasising the possibilities to achieve security without relying on nuclear deterrence, he wrote.
“President Nazarbayev stands out as a leader who has taken a number of significant nuclear disarmament initiatives during his 22 years as leader of Kazakhstan. … He not only has a commitment to the achievement of a nuclear-weapons-free world, but continues to take a number of initiatives that are influential in the process to achieve such a world. A Nobel Peace Prize would enhance the influence and support these processes globally,” Ware said.
He also said of The ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador: “Kuyukov is a hero of the nuclear age who is highlighting the tragic experience of his region in Kazakhstan – devastated by the long-term effects of Soviet nuclear tests. The ATOM Project … informs the world of the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental impacts of nuclear weapons and the imperative for nuclear abolition. A second-generation victim of nuclear tests, Karipbek was born with severe health complications, including being born with no arms. He has overcome these to become a renowned painter (using his feet and mouth) – including paintings depicting the nuclear testing in his region. Karipbek speaks at key events in the United Nations and around the world, telling story after story of the families that are still being severely impacted by birth defects, cancers and other health effects,” he added.
The nomination further notes Global Zero leaders include very influential legislators and former officials from the nuclear armed and allied States. They produce influential reports and hold effective consultations in the capitals of nuclear- armed states. Global Zero youth have been instrumental in raising the issue.
Scottish Parliament Member Bill Kidd also nominated Nazarbayev and Kuyukov for their actions to highlight the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and leadership in promoting a nuclear-weapons-free world, www.nobelwill.org reported.
“I would like to express my gratitude to all my friends for their kind words and congratulations. I always say that I am proud to live in a country that was one of the first states to renounce nuclear weapons,” Karipbek Kuyukov said upon learning the news of his nomination. “Everyone knows the role of the Nevada-Semipalatinsk Antinuclear Movement, headed by Kazakh poet Olzhas Suleimenov. Our President signed a decree to close the Semipalatinsk Test Site after 40 years of nuclear tests. The Atom Project continues the peaceful policy of Kazakhstan. This recognition should go to my people, and especially the decent work of our heroes: the President, writers, scholars, doctors, teachers, journalists and the art community of Kazakhstan. Each of them has contributed to the prosperity of our state, and we should be proud of this and keep striving for even higher level. My mission on this earth is to do what I can do and if it brings some benefit to humanity, to my family, to my country, it means that I have not lived in vain.”
The ATOM Project, an initiative of President Nazarbayev, is an international campaign to permanently end nuclear weapons testing and to seek a nuclear weapons free world. More than 300,000 people have signed The ATOM Project’s online petition. For more information or to sign the petition go to www.theatomproject.org.