UNGA 56th session
Plenary
. Agenda item: 35
“Support by the United Nations system of the efforts of
Governments to promote and consolidate new or
Restored democracies”


STATEMENT  BY  AMB. J.ENKHSAIKHAN
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MONGOLIA
TO THE UNITED NATIONS

11 December 2001
 

Mr. President,

            At the outset I wish to join the preceding speakers in expressing Mongolia’s appreciation to the Secretary-General for the preparation of the report on the current agenda item “Support by the United Nations system of the efforts of Governments to promote and consolidate new or restored democracies”. Taking this opportunity I wish also to express our gratitude to the delegation of Benin for the preparation of the draft resolution on this item. Mongolia supports and co-sponsors the draft resolution contained in document A/56/L.46.

Mr. President,

            My delegation fully agrees with the Secretary-General, who has underlined yesterday in his Nobel lecture that one of the priorities of the United Nations in this century, besides eradicating poverty and preventing conflicts, would be promoting democracy. Today, as the General Assembly considers the issue of new and restored democracies, many of us recall the importance of the international conferences of new and restored democracies. Since the first international conference held in Manila back in 1988, democracy has emerged as a major international trend. A growing number of states has joined this trend as they embarked upon a process of democratization or restored their democratic roots. The international conference of new and restored democracies, as an open forum with an active participation of Governments, international organizations, academia and NGOs, represents a fitting assembly to share experiences and lessons learned, as well as to explore innovative approaches in meeting the existing and emerging challenges to democracy.

The fourth international conference held in Cotonou, Benin, last December, was attended by governmental delegations from 111 Member States, representatives of 20 international organizations and 51 NGOs. It has enriched further our understanding of democracy, its linkage with peace, security, development, of the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, of ways and means to better address the challenges of democracy. The general debate in Cotonou on national experiences in democracy, peace, security and development, and the parallel thematic debates on such issues as democracy, good governance and development, participation of youth and women, democracy and the prevention, management and settlement of conflicts have proved to be very useful, focusing on different aspects of multi-dimensional notion and phenomena of democracy. My delegation finds para.11 of the report, dealing with the obstacles to the consolidation of democracy, quite useful, because it focused both on internal and international factors, such as poverty and its causes, unequal access to vital resources, restrictions on democratic rights, inequality of the markets in goods and capital, and burden of foreign debt.

Many valuable recommendations have been adopted in the Cotonou Declaration. Among the 22 recommendations, the one related to the establishment of the follow-up mechanism to the Conference deserves, in our view, special attention. My delegation also finds recommendations to help new and restored democracies in establishing indicators analyzing the progress made in the democratization process as very useful and practical. Furthermore, the call made by the participants in the Cotonou Declaration for designating a focal point in the United Nations system to support the efforts of Member States should be given due consideration. My delegation wishes to join the others in expressing our deep appreciation to the Government of Benin for the efforts made in successful organization of this Conference, and the people of Benin for their hospitality.

With the establishment and strengthening of the institutions of representative democracy, Mongolia has passed the stage of transition to democracy and is in the stage of democratic consolidation. Like in many other similar cases, the biggest challenges to democratic consolidation are of not political but rather of socio-economic nature, the main ones being poverty and slow economic development connected with the difficulties of transition to market-oriented economy.

              Bearing in mind the indissoluble links between human rights and consolidation of democracy, an independent Human Rights Commission has been established in Mongolia.

             The delegation of Mongolia commends the manifold assistance provided by the United Nations system to new and restored democracies, including Mongolia, ranging from support for promoting a culture of democracy through electoral assistance to institution and capacity building for democratization. In this connection, I would like to express our hope that the recently launched national program on “Good Governance for Human Security”, aimed at implementing further the democratic reforms through facilitating policy focus, coherence and sustainability of the overall development strategy, will also find support and assistance of the United Nations system. 

 Mr. President,

             The Government of Mongolia invited the next Fifth International Conference of New and Restored Democracies to be held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in 2003.  Taking this opportunity I wish to express, on behalf of the Government of Mongolia, our gratitude to all Member States for accepting our invitation. The Government of Mongolia offers to host it not only because it would be the turn of the Asian region, but also because it is committed to democracy, strongly believes in democratic rules and has a decade of  experience that could be useful for others. Mongolia has undergone significant democratic changes during the decade, including establishment of a multiparty system and of democratic institutions, adoption of the new democratic Constitution, holding of free and fair elections, promotion of free and vigorous mass media, etc. We wish to invite all Member States, the United Nations system and other international organizations to closely collaborate with it in preparing for and holding of this important forum.

 Thank you.