Excerpts from the Statement by
Director, International Organizations Department
Ministry of External Relations, Mongolia
52nd Session of UNGA,
Positive developments in the world economy and international trade coincide with deep transformations related to globalization and liberalization processes. The world economy is experiencing widespread economic growth. Developed economies have been recovering from recession. Developing countries continue to keep the high rate of economic growth. Despite its tremendous difficulties, Africa has risen to the challenge of globalization, growing with the highest rate recorded last decade. Transition economies have also advanced in building effective market institutions which offer the promise to move to a growth path that is sustainable in the long run.
Despite these positive trends, the interrelated process of liberalization and globalization also brought complexities, uncertainties and risks for developing nations. Benefits are unevenly distributed not only between developing and developed countries but also among developing nations themselves. Many of the poorer developing countries, in particular least developed, land-locked and small island developing countries, were unable to seize the opportunities offered by the globalization and integration in the world economy.
Special attention is needed to help these developing countries in securing a share of international trade that meet their development needs, as well as actions to mitigate any adverse effects that the implementation of the Uruguay agreements might have on them. Such activities could include measures such as compensation, enhanced market access, financial and technical assistance and technology transfer. Efforts should also be made at the international level to examine policies and measures to increase private capital flows to the low income developing countries.
It is alarming to note that, according to the World economic and social survey, official development assistance (ODA) further fell in 1996 with no signs of a reversal in 1997. We share the view that the growth of foreign direct investment (FDI) can not replace ODA, since private capital has been highly concentrated in a few developing countries. On the other hand, FDI cannot always address the different development requirements of developing countries not their social problems. There is a real risk that the low income developing countries where private capital flow is very limited will be further marginalized in the globalizing world economy. In this context, my delegation fully supports the proposal to convene an international conference on financing of development that could mark a significant event for mobilizing political will for international cooperation for development.
External debt continues to be a major constraint on the capacity to generate economic growth and to undertake social development programmes. Especially, external debt crisis more severely persists for most of the poor countries. We share the view that since much of the outstanding debt is owed to official creditors the bilateral official debts should be substantially reduced or canceled through debt forgiveness.
Agenda for Development has been finally adopted after long difficult negotiations. My delegation believes that the Agenda for Development represents global consensus on development as a multidimensional endeavor and recognition of the central role of the United Nations in international cooperation for development. We join calls for expeditious implementation of the Agenda, which primarily depends on the political will of all parties.
The on going debate on the reform of the United Nations should translate into concrete and practical measures. My Government attaches the priority importance to strengthening the role of the United Nations in promoting international cooperation for development. The capacity of the United Nations to respond effectively to the needs of developing countries should be further strengthened. In this context, my delegation supports the reform programme of the United Nations Secretary General.
Land-locked developing countries are doubly disadvantaged when it comes to participating in the globalizing world economy. Lack of access to and from the sea, remoteness from the world markets and absence of adequate transit infrastructure tend to erode their competitive edge in the world trading system. Such a situation further causes structural deficiencies, imbalances and greater difficulties in their socio-economic development. The special situation of the land-locked developing countries is increasingly recognized by and finds greater support of the international community. The Agenda for Development calls the international community, inter alia, to take specific actions at national, bilateral, subregional and international levels as a matter of urgency and priority to address the special development problems and needs of land-locked developing countries. It is my delegation's sincere hope that a resolution to be adopted during this session of the General Assembly on specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of land-locked developing countries will define future specific and action oriented measures addressing their trmendous difficulties. Development of transit transport infrastructure could realistically be implemented through regionalization of cooperative efforts. In this respect, the North-East Asia First Subregional Consultative Meeting on Transit Transport cooperation, held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, this year has laid the ground for the development of such regional cooperation.
Economic and technical cooperation among developing countries is a valuable mechanism for promoting growth and accelerated development. Such cooperation would also strengthen the position of developing countries in international trade and world economy.
The potential of South-South cooperation has increased significantly with rapid development of a number of developing countries. That demonstrated the vast potential for innovative forms of mutually beneficial economic and technical cooperation among developing countries. My delegation shares the view that the South-South cooperation should be primarily focused on the fields of trade, finance, transfer technology, investment and infrastructure development.
The global imperative to fight against desertification and the effects of drought, and other forms of environmental degradation grows more urgent today. The challenge to adequately address the growing danger of desertification and drought require urgent concerted international response. To this end the first Conference of the Parties to International Convention to Combat Desertification held in Rome was a turning point.
The Special Session of the General Assembly was an important event in assessing the implementation process of the Agenda 21. The international community has recognized that the implementation of Agenda 21 has fallen short of expectation. The Special Session has demonstrated that greater cooperation and political will are required for providing sustained economic growth and sustainable development and for fuller implementation of the commitments already undertaken in Rio in 1992.
More than seven years have elapsed since Mongolia has began its transition from a centrally planned economy to a market one. This process has been substantially accelerated since June 1996 when for the first time in last seventy years democratic forces came to power as a result of general election. The Government of Mongolia stands firmly committed to building a strong national economy based on free, open market system.
Mongolia attaches particular importance to its greater integration into the
world trading system as a prerequisite for sustained economic growth and
development. In this regard I would like to especially mention that after prolonged
and difficult negotiations Mongolia became a member of the World Trade Organization
this year. Mongolia adheres to the principles of an open and rule based trading
system. The recent decision by Mongolian government to introduce zero per cent
import tariff serves a good manifestation of that policy.