United Nations General Assembly
Agenda item 119 (a)
7 November 2001
It has been repeatedly recognized that one of the hallmark achievements of mankind during the past century was its progress in human rights. Today some three-quarters of the world live under democratic regimes. There has also been great progress in eliminating discrimination by race, religion and gender, and promoting the right to education and basic health care.
The major advances in human rights came with the adoption of the UN Charter, followed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a set of important international instruments on human rights. Further strong commitments were made at the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in 1993. Last year our leaders solemnly declared in their Millennium Declaration to “spare no effort to promote democracy and strengthen the rule of law, as well as respect for all internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development”.
As we continue our deliberations on the agenda item under consideration we have to reflect upon the progress made since the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and the challenges ahead. In this connection, my delegation reiterates its firm conviction that an important role in promoting and protection of human rights is called upon to play by the Member States through the full respect and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the speedy ratification of other international human rights instruments. My delegation fully associates itself with those delegations who urged States to ratify international human rights treaties and to implement them at the national level. At present Mongolia is a party to 30 major international human rights instruments. In December last year Mongolia signed the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and is now in the process of ratifying it. I am also pleased to note that my country has joined the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and is going to sign next week two Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Another important issue is the effective implementation of the human rights instruments. As we can see from our deliberations on this agenda item Member States are continuing to undertake necessary measures to give full effect to the human rights treaties within their respective jurisdiction. In Mongolia, like in many others, under the inspiration of the democratic reform, which has started in the 1990s, an intensive process of legislative change has taken place to ensure the consistency of national law with international standards. The adoption of new Constitution in 1992 was great achievement in the sense of broadening the narrow sense, in which the human rights terminology had been used, and thereby it declared the principle of equal rights of all human beings. Furthermore, in its Article 10 the Constitution has declared that all norms of the international treaties, which Mongolia is a party to, will be equally binding within the Mongolia’s jurisdiction upon ratification. It has become the main trust of the legal reform in Mongolia.
The Government’s commitment to human rights is further embodied in a number of action plans adopted in the follow-up to recent world conferences and summits, including the World Conference on Human Rights. The latest of them is the national programme on “Good Governance for Human Security” which was approved by the Government of Mongolia following the adoption of the Millennium Declaration. Among the most recent activities undertaken in my country I wish to single out the establishment at the beginning of this year of the National Commission for Human Rights. This institution is expected to become an efficient watchdog of human rights. It will also play an important role for dissemination of information and citizen’s recourse.
In the implementation of the decision made at the National Human Rights Conference, held in December 2000 with broad representation of NGOs, we have launched in May 2001 the National Human Rights Action Plan. The main characteristic of this project is greater involvement of civil society in conducting the human rights baseline study and developing the NHRAP. The main purpose of this Plan is not only to establish a comprehensive human rights protection mechanism and improve the national capacity, but also to find solutions for developing further the regional cooperation in this field.
The delegation of Mongolia is pleased to note a significant strengthening of the technical cooperation programme rendered by OHCHR over the recent years. In Mongolia for one, a technical cooperation programme is being implemented by the Government in collaboration with OHCHR in the areas of establishing a national human rights institution, promoting human rights education, reform of prisons and training of legal practitioners and criminal justice personnel with an emphasis on the implementation of international human rights standards as well as provision of experts’ advisory assistance in legislative drafting, revision and implementation. I wish to reiterate that my country is keen to further cooperate with the Office.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.