Statement by Representative of Mongolia
On agenda item 106 entitled Promotion and Protection
of Children Third Committee of the 51st UNGA

New York, 12 November 1996

Since the time of the pledge made by the founding fathers of the United Nations "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war" considerable efforts have been made on the part of the international community to improve the lives of children throughout the world: the creation of UNICEF and expansion of its multifaceted activities, entry into force of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child and its near universal acceptance, convening of the World Summit for Children and mobilization of national, regional and international action to implement its decisions. Yet, a lot more has to be done since children still face major threats to their survival and development, including preventable diseases, malnutrition, lack of access to clean water, illiteracy, exploitative labour, prostitution, violence and sexual abuse, and above all being turned into targets and victims in armed conflicts.

Each and every threat to a child's survival has to be thoroughly analysed in order to formulate action-oriented strategies to resolve them. In this respect, my delegation highly commends the work done by Ms. Machel and her team for producing an extensive appraisal of the plight of children caught in armed conflict coupled with a comprehensive agenda for action to improve their protection. My delegation supports the recommendations, inter alia, on the adoption of the proposed draft Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child to prohibit the recruitment and participation of children below the age of 18 in armed conflicts and the establishment of a special representative of the Secretary- General on children and armed conflict to ensure a coordinated follow-up to the present report (A/51/306 and Add.1).

The globalization of the phenomena of the sale of children and child prostituion and the growing magnitude of the problem represent another issue which acquired particular urgency. As stated in the Declaration of the World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held last August at Stockholm "the commercial sexual exploitation of children is a fundamental violation of children's rights... It constitutes a form of coersion and violence against children and amounts to forced labour and a contemporary form of slavery" (A/51/385). In our view, the Agenda for Action adopted at Stockholm Congress together with the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the sale of children and child prostitution and child pornography contained in document A/51/456 are to be thoroughly studied by Member States with a view to incorporating them into national agenda tailored to specific condition.

My delegation also holds the view that the relevant recommendations of the above reports on the impact of armed conflict on children and on sexual exploitation of children should be reflected in the draft omnibus resolution on the rights of the child to be adopted by this session of the General Assembly.

It is heartening to note that 187 countries have become States Parties to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the main pillar for the protection and promotion of children. This near universal acceptance of the Convention now should be transformed into universal adherence to its provisions.

My delegation would like to further appeal to States Parties to speedily ratify an amendment to article 43 of the Convention increasing the membership of the Committee on the Rights of the Child to 18 experts which was adopted by the meeting of States Parties on 12 December 1995 and subsequently approved by General Assembly resolution 50/155.

Mongolia was among the first to sign and ratify the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. Its first national report on the implementation of the Convention was successfully considered by the Commiittee on the Rights of the Child last January. The Committee "took note with satisfaction that the Government of Mongolia has put children high on its political agenda during a difficult period of political and economic transition by, inter alia, organizing several high level meetings, such as the National Summit on Child Protection and Development (1995), by declaring 1995 the Year for Children, 1996 the Year for Education and by allocating 20% of its national budget to education". At the same time the Committee noted the current hardships faced by Mongolia at the time of fundamental transformations encompassing each and every fabric of the societal life. The situation of children , by and large, has worsened as a consequence of growing poverty and increasing unemployment. In view of the above, the Committee recommended my Government to take further steps to strengthen the coordination between the different governmental mechanisms involved in human rights and children's rights, at both central and local levels, and to ensure closer cooperation with non-governmental organizations. It also suggested that a multidisciplinary monitoring system be established to assess the progress achived and difficulties encountered in the realization of the rights recognized by the Convention and in particular to monitor regularly the effects of economic change on children.

In implementing the goals set at the 1990 World Summit for Children the Government of Mongolia elaborated and approved in 1993 the Nati onal Programme of Action for the development of children in the 1990s. National Law on the Protection of the Rights of the Child was enacted last May.

My Government endeavours to ensure an effective follow-up to these recommendations in implementing the provisions of the Convention and in attaining the goals set at the World Summit for Children. In doing so Mongolia intends to closely cooperate with the Centre for Human Rights, Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, UNICEF, ILO, UNHCR and other sister organizations of the UN family.