STATEMENT BY THE REPRESENTATIVE OF MONGOLIA ON
AGENDA ITEM 106 "PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF
CHILDREN" /Third Committee of the 53rd UNGA
New York, 21 October 1998/
At the outset, allow me express my delegationís appreciation to Mr. Olara Otunnu, Special Representtive of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Ofelia Calceta Santos, Special Rapporteur on sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, Mr. Bacre Wally Ndyiae, Director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Ms. Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF for their lucid introduction of the agenda item under consideration.
Also, my delegation wishes to associate itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Group 77 and China on this item.
My delegation takes this opportunity to commend the Secretariat for the excellent work and contributions it has made in various fields of protection and promotion of the rights of children. We note with appreciation the Secretary-Generalís comprehensive reports contained in documents (A/53/281 and A/53/311), as well as the Report of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (A/53/41) which provide us with clear overview of the progress made in addressing issues of protection and promotion of the rights of children, as the challenges that by ahead as well as how they might be tackled.
The reports A/53/41 and A/53/281 contain very useful information and recommendations on the issue of many children who are disabled by the physical, social and economic world that adults had created by war, poverty, child labour, violence and abuse, environmental pollution, and lack of access to health care. As it is noted in the reports, indeed these disabilities faced by many innocent children were not inevitable, they could and must be tackled. In this respect my delegation welcomes the thematic discussion of the 14th session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the rights of children with disabilities.
Last year my delegation welcomed its statement the Oslo International Conference on Child Labour, which had adopted at that time an Agenda for Action to combat child labour.
In Mongolia Labour Law sets a minimum work age and maximum work hours for all workers. Children under age 16 are not permitted to work. Those under 18 are prohibited from doing arduous work or from working in dangerous area such as mine shafts, etc. But according to the survey, child labour is becoming an issue in Mongolia that needs state policy, control and appropriate legal framework. Childís rights in labour relationship are yet to be clealy defined and protected.
My delegation welcomes the 86th International Labour Conference which has discussed the questions of adopting a Convention on the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour, in 1999.
Following the recommendations of the 1990 World Summit for Children, the Government of Mongolia elaborated and adopted in 1993 the National Programme of Action for the Development of Children in the 1990ís (NPADC). And National Law on the Protection of the Rights of the Child was enacted in May 1996. The National Programme has been implemented in close cooperation with the Mongolian Action Programme for the 21st Century, National Poverty Alleviation Programme, The National Programme of Action for the Advancement of Women, all adopted as follow-ups to the Rio, Copenhagen and Beijing conferences.
My delegation is happy to inform this Committee that the Government of Mongolia is launching, in close partnership with the UN family bodies stationed in Mongolia and NGOs, a "One World Conference Series" project aimed at ensuring national and international integrated follow-ups, to the world conferences and summits held in the 1990s.
This innovative project envisages to hold a series of national conferences in the remaining two years of this century on children, environment, human rights, population and development and women.
The One World Conference on Children, scheduled for November 1998, intends to empower Mongoliaís children and youth, its citizens and ultimately its leaders to take effective measures on issues related to the changing of the situation of children in Mongolia, and to review the achievements of the respective Summit and Mongoliaís Plan of Action. This Conference is to be the first in the series of five other conferences and as such will be carefully monitored and evaluated to improve upon future efforts.
In conclusion my delegation would like to note with appreciation that over thirty-years Mongolia-UNICEF cooperation has been successfully developing with greater scope and effectiveness. For Mongolia, where children and youth constitute an overwhelming majority of its population, this assistance and cooperation assume considerable importance. My delegation believes that with the continued cooperation between Mongolia and UNICEF, we will be able to adequately address the challenges we are facing now, while protecting children and youth, the most vulnerable segments of our society.