Statement by H.E. Mr. Luvsangiin Erdenechuluun,
Minister of Foreign Afffairs
of Mongolia at the
First Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs

of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries

18 September 2000

Mr. Chairman,

 On behalf of the Mongolian Government and in my own name I extend the warmest congratulations and appreciation to you, Mr. Chairman, for convening this first ever Ministerial Meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and express the hope that it would promote further the cause of landlocked developing countries.

In our globalizing world, international trade is increasingly becoming one of the main engines of economic growth. At the same time trade is also an effective instrument in the management of globalization which could minimize its negative aspects and maximize its benefits. Geographical location of our countries present serious obstacles to free flow of trade. Because of our landlocked location, we have not been able to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the emerging liberalized and globalized world economy. According to statistics, this group of countries in average spends 18 per cent of its export earnings on transport services alone, while the average for all developing countries is twice less.

Today, UNCTAD is playing a lead role in focusing the attention of the international community on the plight and problems of LLDCs. Bearing in mind the role that UNCTAD is able to play, my delegation would like to see this organization not only maintain but expand further its activities in this field.


 Since I was personally involved with the issues of landlocked developing countries when I was Mongolia`s Permanent Representative here at the UN, allow me to express briefly my views on the work of this Group. With the active participation of all members of our Group, a great deal of work has been accomplished in last decade or so. The concerns of this group of countries are well known to the international community. Their problems and needs are adequately articulated and reflected in the decisions of the many important international fora, including the Rio Summit, UNCTAD conferences, the South and Millennium summits. The General Assembly has adopted a number of resolutions on the problems and specific needs of LLDCs. I hope that the problems of LLDCs would also be clearly addressed and reflected in the decisions of the high-level meeting on financing for development to be held next year.

 Mr. Chairman,

 In order to establish an appropriate basis for new multilateral negotiations within the WTO, we have to look first carefully at the present international trading system and identify the shortcomings of the Uruguay Round Agreements as well as the obstacles to the implementation of those agreements. Unfortunately, these agreements have no special provisions concerning the LLDCs. Therefore at the next round of negotiations, in our view, attention ought to be focused not only on tariff levels, but on the question of lowering the high transit transportation costs.


Special attention should also be given to fuller implementation of the measures outlined in the Global Framework for Transit Transport Cooperation between Landlocked and Transit developing countries and the Donor Community. Time has come for all the parties concerned to squarely address the difficulties and obstacles hindering the implementation of the Framework as well as other recommendations made at the tripartite meetings of landlocked and transit developing countries and the donor community.

My delegation expresses its satisfaction with the decision to convene a tripartite Ministerial Meeting on transit transport issues in 2003 so as to give the needed emphasis on the problems of landlocked and transit developing countries. Taking this opportunity, I would like to welcome the generous offer of the Government of Kazakhstan to host this Meeting. In order to get meaningful results from such a meeting the special goals of the meeting should be clearly defined and serious preparatory work should be undertaken.

 Bearing in mind the nature of the problems of LLDCs, appropriate measures should be taken at the international, regional and sub-regional levels as well as on bilateral basis. In this regard, I am pleased to inform the Group that negotiations between Mongolia, Russia and China on transit transportation issues are  underway. Mongolia hopes that the conclusion of a framework agreement on transit transportation will benefit not only these three countries but the Northeast Asian region as a whole.

 Mr. Chairman,

 In its statement at the G-77 Ministerial meeting held last week, my delegation has pointed out that what is lacking at the international level are  adequate responses to persistent appeals and consistent follow-up measures on the understandings reached at the different international fora mentioned above. It was also pointed out that increased foreign trade turnover of LLDCs, and thus increased transit transportation services provided to them by transit countries, would surely result in additional job opportunities and benefits to the latter. That is an enormous untapped market of services for transit countries that are yet to be developed.

 Besides underlining the benefits of lower transit transportation tariffs and costs for transit countries, my delegation believes that the following should be the priority areas of cooperation:

- elimination of non-physical barriers for transit transportation;
- development of adequate transit transport infrastructure;
- increasing the efficiency of transit transport system;

 In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to emphasize the importance of active participation of all member states of this Group in uniting our efforts to overcome the natural and other obstacles to freedom of transit and to free trade which are vital in this globalizing and interdependent world.

 Bearing in mind your wide experience and your country`s dedication to the cause of LLDCs, I am convinced that this first Ministerial meeting would be able to achieve its noble goal.

Thank you.

       Check against delivery

New York, 14 September 2000


Madame Chairperson,

 First of all, I would like to join preceding Colleagues in congratulating You on the business-like manure in which You are presiding over our meeting.

 This Ministerial meeting is of special importance to all of us as we embark upon an exchange of views on pressing issues and current tasks of the Non-Aligned Movement at the dawn of the new millennium. We share the views expressed by previous speakers to the effect that the Movement should be active and creative in today's world affairs.

 The Movement has not lost its relevance as some may claim. The most important task lies, in our view, in the ability of the Movement to adapt itself to the fast-changing world, to articulate coming realistic strategies vis--vis the emergence of the many challenges confronted by the world community. Our strength is in our numbers, our strength is in the unity of our purposes, only  together we can accomplish our task. Having said that  I wish to echo the sentiments expressed by my Singaporean colleague to the effect that  "NAM must be open to the constructive discussion of all ideas". Difference in our approach to certain problems should not be an obstacle to discussing and achieving greater understanding of the contentions areas. Madam Chairperson, the Mongolian Government has circulated the Memorandum that reflects Mongolia's vision on the role of the United Nations in the 21st century in particular in regard to promoting security interests of small States. This document is contained in General Assembly official document A/55/310 dated 21 August 2000. Mongolia believes that in the era of globalization, characterized by both challenges and opportunities, small States increasingly perceive their security as dependant on their participation in regional and international integration. The most crucial challenges for the developing countries involve, therefore, ensuring their integration and equitable membership in the multilateral trading system and obtaining an improved market access for their exports. Mongolia continues to believe that relevant United Nations organizations could do more to help developing countries integrate into regional and international processes.

 Madame Chairperson,

 Mongolia underlines the importance of the recent United Nations Millennium Summit and its outcome for enhancing the goals and role of the United Nations as well as of the Movement. It is my delegation's view that the Millennium Assembly should address the issues of ways and means of implementing the commitments undertaken at the Summit. It is also my delegation's belief that the final document of this Ministerial meeting should express its full support for the outcome of the Millennium Summit and for its full and speedy realization.

 In this context I would like to note that my delegation supports the draft declaration, including provisions concerning the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula.

 Madame Chairperson,

 Taking this opportunity I would like to inform the Movement that Mongolia has worked with relevant States and UN bodies during the last two years to implement the provisions of the United Nations General Assembly resolution 53/77D entitled "Mongolia's international security and nuclear-weapon-free status" adopted in 1998. Thus, we have conducted several rounds of negotiations with the P-5 and arrived at an agreement that the P-5 would soon make a joint statement providing nuclear security assurances to Mongolia.

 In this connection, I would like to express my Government's gratitude to the Non- Aligned Movement for its unwavering support for Mongolia's initiative  which has made possible for Mongolia to acquire nuclear security assurances from the P-5.

 Mongolia believes that its nuclear-weapon-free status would be effective and credible if its over-all external security is properly addressed. It is for this reason Mongolia believes that non-nuclear aspects of Mongolia's external security should be strengthened, as envisaged in the UNGA resolution mentioned above. Therefore, it is our hope that NAM would continue to accord its full support for Mongolia's initiative.

 In closing may I express my delegation's hope that the Declaration to be adapted at the end of the day will positively contribute to the work of this session of the General Assembly.

 Thank you,  Madame Chairperson.