Statement by Ambassador J. ENKHSAIKHAN,
Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations
at the 2000 Substantive Session of the
United Nations Disarmament Commission


New York, June 27,  2000
 

 Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations on your  unanimous election and to pledge my delegation’s full cooperation and support. We also congratulate  all other fellow members of the Bureau as well as the chairmen of the Working groups.  I also join the previous speakers in expressing the gratitude of my delegation to Mr. Maged Abdelaziz of Egypt for his    contribution to the work of the last session. My delegation would also like to thank  Mrs. Angelica Arce de Jeannet of Mexico for her efforts in preparing for this session.

Mr. Chairman,
 
The Mongolian delegation, since the earliest stage of founding the UNDC,  has  been attaching   great importance to this body as an important international  deliberative body in promoting the goals of arms control and disarmament at the regional as well as global levels.  The fact that “the total world military expenditure increased by 2.1 per cent in real terms in 1999 and amounted to roughly $780 billion representing 2.6 per cent of the world gross national product (GNP)”,  referred to by Under-Secretary-General Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala yesterday, in this Hall,  reinforces  the  need to make concrete progress in the field of  disarmament.  In this connection, my delegation believes that UNDC is called upon to play an increasing role.

This year, the UNDC  has an important role to play, especially in the quest for agreements on two important topics: 1) ways and means to achieve nuclear disarmament; 2) practical confidence-building measures in the field of conventional arms.

Nuclear disarmament with a view to the ultimate elimination of  nuclear weapons is the heart   of the whole range of disarmament and non-proliferation issues. The pressing issues are: bringing  the CTBT   into force as soon as possible, strengthening the non-proliferation   regime and further implementation of the NPT,  preservation of the spirit of the ABM Treaty, the cornerstone of the strategic balance,   conclusion of a universal and verifiable Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty  as well as working out an effective verification regime for the Biological Weapons Convention.  My delegation joins the other delegations in urging member States and the Parties concerned not to  spare any effort to achieve  the aforementioned objectives.

In the above context, Mongolia has welcomed, as a promising sign for promoting  nuclear disarmament,   the  recent ratification by the Russian Duma of the CTBT and the START II treaties. This gives an important  impetus to further nuclear arms reduction. Implementation of the START II  would lead not only to a considerable reduction of deployed strategic warheads of the two countries, but would also facilitate   the next phase - START III negotiations.

Still on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues,  I would like to  stress the positive outcome of the recent 2000 NPT Review Conference.  Among its positive results, I would like to emphasize in particular the consensus reached by the States Parties on  new efforts toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons and curbing the spread of such weapons, as well as the  unequivocal undertaking by all nuclear- weapon States to make further efforts to reduce nuclear arsenals and non-strategic nuclear weapons.

Mr. Chairman,

Mongolia attaches great importance to the question of establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones as  an important and valuable component of non-proliferation. It is in this context that my country welcomed last year’s adoption by the UNDC of the  principles and guidelines on the establishment of NWFZs, which  would, in our view, further consolidate the existing zones and facilitate the establishment of  new ones.

  Mr. Chairman,

 Mongolia is doing its part  to contribute to strengthening the non-proliferation regime.  In 1992 it declared its territory a  nuclear-weapon-free zone.  Today, Mongolia is working to strengthen its  international security and nuclear-weapon-free status in the light of  the UN General Assembly  resolution 53/77D, adopted in December 1998. A clearly defined and internationally recognized status over a territory almost the size of Western Europe, would be Mongolia’s practical contribution  to promoting the goal of strengthening the non-proliferation regime.

 In order to clearly define and institutionalize the status at the national level, our Parliament last February has adopted a special legislation.  The nuclear-weapon-free status as well as  the adoption of the national legislation have  been welcomed and supported by the Secretary-General and by the Non-Aligned Movement at its recent ministerial meeting in Cartagena.  At present,  my country is working with the  P5 on the form and content of a security assurance that could be provided by the P5 to Mongolia.

 Mr. Chairman,

The second important current mandate of the UNDC is to identify and discuss practical confidence-building measures in the field of conventional arms.  There are a number of issues of  international concern.

First of all, my delegation  shares the legitimate concerns over the increase in arms trade and the spread of conventional weapons, small arms and light weapons, especially in areas of armed conflict.  It is estimated  that 90 per cent of all conflict-related deaths and injuries is caused by small arms. The majority of victims is the civilian population, surprisingly, 80 per cent of them are women and children.   My delegation, therefore, welcomes holding an   international conference on the illicit arms trade in all its aspects in  year 2001, the preparations for which  are already underway.

Last year we welcomed  entry into force of the anti-personnel landmines convention as  an  important step  in conventional disarmament. Strict implementation of the convention would reduce substantially human sufferings in many regions of the world.

Mongolia attaches great importance to reduction and even elimination of certain categories and types of conventional weapons. It believes,  however, that reduction in conventional armaments should be carried out bearing in mind the defense and security needs of States.

It is also my delegation’s belief that  further reduction of and increase in transparency of military budgets and arms trade of States would promote confidence-building that is   necessary for placing  limitations on and reducing conventional arms. Therefore we believe that  the UN arms register should be further strengthened and observed by all States.

 Mr. Chairman,

 Finally, allow me to express the hope that the 2000 UNDC substantive session  would be conducive to realistic and important practical   measures. I would like to take this opportunity to assure you once again of my delegation’s full cooperation in your efforts to bring  the work of the session to a successful conclusion.
 

Thank you,  Mr. Chairman.
 
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