Statement by H. E. Mr. J. Enkhsaikhan,
Mongolia in the General Debate of the First Committee
55th United Nations General Assembly session
New York October 6, 2000
At the outset, may I extend to you my warmest congratulations on your well-deserved election and pledge my delegation's full support and cooperation. My delegation, like many others, is confident that your diplomatic skill and experience in the field of disarmament, your dedication will bring the Committee's work to a successful conclusion. Our felicitations also go to the other members of the bureau on their election.
At the turn of the century the world is still burdened with excessive arms - some 30,000 nuclear warheads and 500 million small arms. The latter, used in conflicts during the last decade, caused about 90 per cent of death and injuries of innocent civilians, of which 80 per cent were women and children. The military expenditure has grown again since the end of the Cold War, reaching $780 billion in 1999. This should be borne in mind by the international community when pursuing global peace, security, arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.
Taking this opportunity my delegation would like to focus on some issues that, in its view, should be the priority for action in the field of disarmament and international security.
In their Millennium Declaration The Heads of State and Government of member States of the United Nations have underlined their determination for the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons. This commitment should be vigorously pursued.
In this connection, my delegation wishes to stress that the nuclear-weapon States have for the first time last May at the 2000 NPT Review Conference committed to "an unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to total nuclear disarmament to which all States parties are committed under Article YI". They have also been called upon by the Conference to make further efforts to reduce their nuclear arsenals unilaterally and to further reduce their non-strategic nuclear arsenals. A call has also been made for the engagement, as soon as appropriate, of all the nuclear-weapon States in the process leading to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons. These important statements, if translated into practice, could open the way for practical nuclear disarmament.
Mongolia has welcomed in previous international disarmament fora the ratification by the Russian Federation of the CTBT and START II treaties. The international community expects the US to reciprocate at the earliest date. My delegation calls upon these two States to follow-up on their earlier announcement regarding the discussions on START III. Mongolia fully subscribes to the international appeal in bringing the CTBT into force as soon as possible. Therefore, my delegation urges the key States to ratify the treaty, which is a vitally important international instrument for strengthening the non-proliferation regime.
The ABM Treaty, cornerstone of strategic stability, if undermined, could trigger an uncontrollable nuclear arms race with unpredictable consequences. Bearing this in mind, Mongolia welcomes the decision taken by the United States to postpone the development of a National Missile Defense System.
My delegation also believes that it is important for the Conference on Disarmament, which for several years has been unable to agree on a program of work, to end its stalemate and to engage in earnest negotiations on an early conclusion of a universal and verifiable Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty. Pending the negotiation of that treaty, we would welcome a moratorium by the nuclear-weapon States on the production of weapons grade fissile materials and greater transparency through disclosure of their present stocks. In this context I wish to draw your attention to the suggestion made by the Foreign Minister of Mongolia, former Chairman of this Committee, at the general debate of the Millennium Assembly, to look into the possibility of establishing a UN Register for all stocks of weapons grade fissile material. It is my delegation's belief that this would help establish an important balance with the UN Register of Conventional Arms.
Turning to the increasing concern over the emphasis placed on nuclear weapons in military doctrines, Mongolia favours the adoption of such steps as de-alerting of nuclear weapons, removal of nuclear warheads from delivery vehicles as well as joint undertakings by the nuclear-weapon States not to be the first to use nuclear weapons. These are essential safety measures that would reduce the risk of unauthorized or miscalculated use of nuclear weapons. In addition, provision should be made for legally binding negative security assurances to be provided to all non-nuclear States-parties to the NPT. Mongolia welcomes and supports the proposal by the Secretary-General to convene a major international conference aimed at identifying ways of eliminating nuclear dangers.
Concerning chemical weapons, another type of weapon of mass destruction, we reiterate our call for all States that have not yet done so, to join the Convention. We also expect the Ad Hoc Group of the States Parties to the Convention on Biological Weapons to conclude as soon as possible its negotiation of a Protocol on compliance verification.
Mongolia shares the legitimate concern of the world community over the global proliferation of small arms and light weapons, which are the principal instruments of death wherever conflicts and wars occur. During the last decade alone 5 million people have been killed in the regions affected by armed conflicts in which the small arms had been used. We hope that the United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, scheduled for 2001, will adopt an action program that would tighten control, curb the spread and destroy surplus weapons.
Mongolia strongly advocates consolidation of existing and establishment of new nuclear-weapon-free zones - which are a positive factor for the strengthening of the international non-proliferation regime, regional stability and security. In this context Mongolia welcomes the 1999 UNDC principles and guidelines of establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones. We would like to underline the importance of these principles and guidelines for the establishment of new zones in the future in the various regions, especially in the regions of tensions as well as other regions, including in Central Asia.
As is known, eight years ago Mongolia has declared its territory a nuclear-weapon-free zone. Since then it has been pursuing policy to effectively materialize it. Thanks to the wide support that the initiative enjoys within the international community, of late we have been able to registered some progress. Thus in 1998 United Nations General Assembly has adopted resolution 53/77D entitled "Mongolia's international security and nuclear-weapon-free status", which welcomed the declaration by Mongolia of its status and invited Member States, including the five nuclear-weapon States, to cooperate with it in strengthening its international security and nuclear-weapon-free status. As a result of serious consultations with the States concerned, it was recognized that due to its geopolitical location, Mongolia could not establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in its traditional sense. It was also agreed that Mongolia's case was a unique one that required equally a unique, creative approach. It was agreed that in Mongolia's case the status would be more effective and credible if its over-all external security environment is strengthened. This understanding formed the basis of the resolution mentioned above.
The measures taken in implementation of the resolution have found
due reflection in the Secretary-General's report on this item (document
A/55/166), for which my delegation would like to express its appreciation
and support. We would also like to thank UN Secretariat, especially DDA
and UN Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific,
for their support to implement the resolution. As seen from the report,
a number of regional disarmament meetings have considered this question
as part of their agenda. This provided an opportunity to discuss such questions
as the nature of its relation to nuclear non-proliferation and international
security as well as to exchange views on the best ways and means to implement
the resolution. On its part, the Mongolian parliament has adopted
a special legislation on its status. Now Mongolia is prepared to
work with others in institutionalizing the status at the international
level. It is in this context that Mongolia welcomes the joint Statement
on the Security Assurances in Connection With Mongolia's Nuclear-Weapon-Free
Status, which was made yesterday by Mr. John Holum of the United States
on behalf of the five nuclear-weapon States. In connection with this joint
Statement, the Government of Mongolia has issued the following statement:
"S t a t e m e n t of the Government of Mongolia
In 1992, in the emerging post-Cold War international environment Mongolia declared its territory a nuclear-weapon-free zone. The aim of the initiative was not only to strengthen Mongolia's security in the new geopolitical setting by political and diplomatic means, but also to promote nuclear non-proliferation, stability and mutual trust in the region. The initiative of Mongolia was broadly supported by the international community. Thus the United Nations General Assembly, in support of the initiative, has adopted in December of 1998 the resolution entitled "Mongolia's international security and nuclear-weapon-free status" (General Assembly resolution 53/77D). In implementation of the resolution, the Mongolian Government has taken a number of concrete measures, including the adoption of a legislation on Mongolia's nuclear-weapon-free status. It has also undertaken a series of consultations with the relevant States, especially with the five nuclear-weapon States, and the appropriate United Nations bodies in search for ways and means of strengthening the country's nuclear-weapon-free status, the credibility and effectiveness of the status as well as the country's over-all external security.
As a result of the consultations undertaken by Mongolia with the nuclear-weapon States, the latter have issued a joint Statement providing nuclear security assurances to Mongolia in connection with its nuclear-weapon-free status. Thus they reaffirmed their commitment to "seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Mongolia, as a non-nuclear-weapon state party to the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, in accordance with the provisions of UN Security Council resolution 984 of April 11, 1995, if Mongolia should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used." They also reaffirmed, in case of Mongolia, their respective unilateral negative security assurances, as stated in their declarations issued on 5 and 6 April, 1995 and referred to in UN Security Council resolution 984 of April 11, 1995. Moreover, Mongolia's two immediate neighbors - the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation - also reaffirmed their legally-binding commitments with respect to Mongolia assumed on the basis of the bilateral treaties concluded with the latter.
Under the Statement, the nuclear-weapon States have also pledged their continued cooperation with Mongolia in the implementation of the provisions of General Assembly resolution 53/77D with respect to the latter's nuclear-weapon-free status. The Government of Mongolia expresses its resolve to cooperate with the above States to implement the provisions of the resolution as well as to consolidate its nuclear-weapon-free status.
The Government of Mongolia expresses its appreciation to the international community for the support of its initiative. It believes that the Statement by the nuclear-weapon States represents an important step towards institutionalizing Mongolia's nuclear-weapon-free status at the international level. The Mongolian Government reaffirms its readiness to cooperate with all the member States of the United Nations and the relevant UN bodies in enhancing the effectiveness and strengthening the credibility of the status.
Ulaanbaatar, 6 October
Mongolia enjoys good relations with its two immediate nuclear neighbors, which have supported our initiative from the very beginning. Therefore the P-5 Statement for us first and foremost is of high symbolic importance: it is a manifestation of the good will and support for our policy by the P-5. The scope and content of the Statement, which is limited to positive and negative security assurances of political nature, makes clear that still much needs to be done to properly institutionalize the status and make it an effective instrument of promoting nuclear non-proliferation and Mongolia's national security. This first positive step should be followed-up by other concrete steps to implement the provisions of General Assembly resolution 53/77D, including its non-nuclear aspects. Though Mongolia is recognized as a unique case, the unique approach is yet to be manifested, which is needed to make the status credible and effective, to make it a positive factor in enhancing stability and predictability in the region. In this connection, we would like to share the hope of the Secretary-General, expressed in his report on this item (item A/55/166), that the consultations with the relevant United Nations bodies would produce "concrete and action-oriented approaches to addressing the non-nuclear aspects of security".
Mongolia will present for consideration of the Committee a draft resolution on this item. This draft would be based on consensus resolution 53/77D and would be circulated in the near future. It is our hope that the draft resolution, as two years ago, will be adopted by consensus.
My delegation would like to express its appreciation to the United Nations Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific for its contribution to promoting dialogue and mutual understanding among regional countries on peace and security. During the last decade the Center has been organizing a series of regional events in this regard. Mongolia hosted one of such regional meetings that focused on Security Concepts in the Changing World. My delegation believes that the Center's activities should be supported both politically and financially. Therefore we believe that the on-going consultations with the Government of Nepal should be expedited and this should be reflected in the resolution in this question.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.