STATEMENT BY H.E.Mr. J.Enkhsaikhan,
Permanent Representative of Mongolia

to the United Nations at the
Second Meeting of the Ministers of

Foreign Affairs of the Group of
Landlocked Developing Countries

 Mr. Chairman,

 At the outset I would like to extend to you, Mr. Chairman our warmest congratulations for convening the second Ministerial meeting of the Group. I have been instructed by my Foreign Minister, who had to accompany the Prime Minister in his working visit to Washington D.C., to make this statement on his behalf.

 Mr. Chairman,

 The world economy is experiencing difficulties since our first Ministerial meeting a year ago. The effects of terrorist attacks of September 11 are also negatively affecting the global economy. The total impact of the economic slowdown on international trade would further narrow the already limited trade opportunities of the landlocked developing countries. In this unfavorable environment, we should work even closely address our problems and challenges together with our transit neighbors and the potential donors. 

 Mongolia welcomes the fact that the Road Map on implementation of the Millennium Declaration, presented by the Secretary-General, highlights the special circumstances of the landlocked developing countries and their special needs.

 Since this is a meeting of like-minded delegations, I see no needs in presenting the case of the group at this meeting.  I would like only to thank Mr. Carlos Fortin for his comprehensive and informative statement, and especially the constructive ideas expressed therein.

 UNCTAD and its Unit dealing with the issues of landlocked developing countries continue to be an important focal point at the global level. UNCTAD was instrumental in making the Fifth Meeting of Governmental Experts from Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Representatives of Donor Countries and Financial and Developmental Institutions a success. 

 Mongolia believes that the outcome of the 5th Meeting has been impressive in drawing the attention of major stakeholders to our difficulties and challenges. The meeting has made many important recommendations, including to convene an International Ministerial Meeting on Transit Transport Cooperation in 2003 in Kazakhstan.

 We believe that UNCTAD should continue to play an important role in the preparatory process for the above Ministerial Meeting. The meeting should focus on the practical and realistic ways of realizing the objectives set out in the Millennium Declaration regarding the special needs and problems of our Group.

 We are of the view that the United Nations’ agencies, such as UNCTAD, UNDP and others, should continue to render their valuable support to the efforts of the landlocked and transit developing countries to enhance and facilitate their transit transport systems, which are vital for accelerating their trade and development. In particular, the relevant office of UNCTAD should be well-equipped and strengthened if preparations for an International Ministerial Meeting are to be carried out successfully.

 We are also of the view that preparatory processes for the 2003 Ministerial Meeting should include regional or sub-regional meetings in order to stimulate a successful outcome of the final meeting.  In this regard I would like to inform you that since the first Ministerial meeting of our Group Mongolia has had two rounds of negotiations on draft transit traffic framework agreement with its two neighbors - the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China. We agree with Mr. Fortin that the meeting held in late October, has made breakthrough in the negotiations. In this context we appreciate the active participation and continued efforts of our partners. 

 I also would like to express our sincere gratitude to UNCTAD and UNDP for their continued support and commitment to this process. It would not have been possible to make progress without commitments from these important agencies. Mongolia remains hopeful that the successful conclusion of this framework agreement will benefit not only these three countries but also a wider Northeast Asia region as a whole. We believe that this agreement, when concluded, will be instrumental in  bringing down the excessively high transit transportation costs and in raising the efficiency of transit transport system. Mongolia strongly believes that continued support by the UNCTAD and SU TCDC is of vital importance to bringing the negotiations to a successful conclusion, and thus to promoting trade within and beyond Northeast Asia.

 Mr. Chairman,

 Given the experience Mongolia has gained over the recent years on transit transport issues, we would welcome the opportunity to host the Northeast Asian regional or sub-regional meeting as a part of the preparatory process to the Ministerial Meeting. We will do all we can to engage international economic and financial institutions as well as the regional banks into this process.  

 We should also bear in mind that next year will be an important year for our Group in drawing the attention of the international community to the special needs and problems of the landlocked developing countries in financing development and promoting sustainable development.

 Bearing in mind the above we must work together hard to ensure that the problems and needs we discuss within our Group are fully addressed and accommodated in the forthcoming events in 2002 and 2003.

 My delegation supports the ideas and objectives reflected in the draft document before us.