Kazakhstan is alarmed by the “increased rivalry and rhetoric of nuclear states,” President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said in his speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

“Kazakhstan has suffered terribly from past nuclear weapons testing, so we understand very clearly the dangers of escalating tensions between nuclear powers,” Tokayev said.

“For this reason, nuclear disarmament has become a key part of Kazakh foreign policy and we will be continuously struggling for a world free of nuclear arsenals.”

He said there has been “some progress in this area” but “the whole record is not that positive.”

“We are also concerned at the lack of progress made by the NPT review conferences,” Tokayev added, referring to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

He warned that the world has “entered a new, increasingly bitter, period of geopolitical confrontation.”

“The long-standing international system based on order and responsibility is giving way to a new, more chaotic and unpredictable one,” he said.

“Mutual distrust between global powers is dangerously deepening. The world is falling prey to a new set of military conflicts. For the first time in two generations, we face the prospect of the use of nuclear weapons, and not even as a last resort.”