Pax Christi International Co-President to speak at international conference on nuclear disarmament in Kazakhstan in August


Pax Christi International Co-President Marie Dennis (photo left, with Pope Francis) has been invited by the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) to speak at the conference, “Building a Nuclear Weapon-Free World” in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on August 28-29, 2016. The conference is an international conference and includes the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the closing of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and the 25th anniversary of Kazakhstan independence.
Ms. Dennis has been invited to speak on "Building political momentum for nuclear disarmament" as part of the session on initiatives and campaigns featuring parliamentarians, religious leaders and representatives of civil society.
The conference in Astana will include parliamentarians, mayors, religious leaders, government officials, disarmament experts, and representatives from international organisations.
The conference is occurring at a time of increased tensions between nuclear-armed states but also as momentum is building at the United Nations for nuclear risk reduction measures and for the commencement of multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. The deliberations in Astana could build bridges between the nuclear-armed countries/blocs, through engagement of religious leaders, mayors and parliamentarians from these countries.
The president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, will address the conference participants to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the closing of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. The closing of the nuclear test site on August 28-29, 1991 and voluntary renouncement of the fourth largest weapon arsenal in the world was a profound contribution of Kazakhstan to the nuclear disarmament process. On the initiative of Kazakhstan, this day is celebrated worldwide as the International Day Against Nuclear Tests. 
Kazakhstan, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Marie Dennis, Pax Christi International, Nursultan Nazarbayev