Statement by H.E. Amb. J. Enkhsaikhan,
Permanent Representative of Mongolia
to the United Nations,
in the Second Committee on Item 99 (b)
“Economic and Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries”

New York October 25, 2001

 

Mr. Chairman,

             Allow me at the outset to join the previous speakers in extending my delegation’s appreciation to Ms. Sofiatou Ba-N’Daw for a thorough and succinct report that highlights progress, major challenges and opportunities for South-South co-operation. We also welcome the fact that the report provides an insight to the strategies for strengthening this cooperation.

             As my delegation fully aligns itself with the statements made earlier today by the Chairman of the Group of 77 and China, and the Chairman of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, I wish to focus on two areas of South-South cooperation that, my delegation believes, are of particular importance.

             1. New technologies and capacity building

             It has been stated in many quarters and on many occasions that enhanced transfer of technology and scientific innovations to developing countries will open new horizons for advancing their economic and social progress. Thus, in the Millennium Declaration world’s leaders pledged to ensure that the benefits of new technologies are available to all. Moreover, the developing countries themselves underlined the importance of bridging the knowledge and information gap, as reflected in all major documents, most recently in the Havana Declaration and Programme of Action as well as the Tehran Consensus.

 A major challenge currently facing the developing world is to implement these goals and overcome factors that limit its participation in and benefits from technological and scientific innovation. In this connection, we believe that three areas are of particular importance. First, collaborative efforts of the developing countries should enhance their capacity to generate technological and scientific innovations, adopt and adapt them to the basic needs of developing countries themselves. Second, these efforts should also focus on capacity building in scientific  education. Third, regional and sub-regional cooperative mechanisms involving governments, business and research circles should be further encouraged. The cooperative mechanisms could focus on addressing the pressing problems of developing countries such as poverty, food, energy and water shortages, desertification, depletion of natural and biological resources, among others.

 In this regard, we believe that the Web of Information for Development has great potential in advancing the above goals. Therefore, the next logical step would be an increased and more structured issue-driven emphasis in the Web on the problems mentioned above. The Web can also serve as a hub for collecting and disseminating a comprehensive and well-structured information on the problems of the least developed countries, landlocked and small island developing countries. Furthermore, opportunities could and should be explored to develop collaborative programmes in the Web on capacity building, to create discussion fora at the regional and sub-regional levels involving governments, business and academic circles. 

             2. Role of the Special Unit on TCDC

             My second point concerns the role of the Special Unit for the Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries. 

             We appreciate an uneasy and challenging task of the Special Unit. My delegation commends the efforts of the Unit to mobilize and direct resources not only of the developing world, but, more importantly, of the international community in addressing the critical problems of South-South cooperation.

 My delegation especially commends the Unit’s efforts to address the problems faced by the landlocked developing countries. In recent years cooperation between the landlocked and transit developing countries on facilitation of transit transportation has been steadily developing. My delegation believes that it is important for the Unit to continue to provide technical and financial assistance to these efforts, which, in our view, can and are making practical contribution to developing South-South cooperation and addressing the developmental concerns of developing countries, both landlocked and transit.

 In this context, my delegation believes that continued support by the Special Unit of trilateral negotiations on transit traffic facilitation between Mongolia, China and Russia is vital in bringing them to a successful conclusion. With the assistance of the Special Unit and UNCTAD, two rounds of negotiations have already been held, and the third meeting is currently under way.

 International trade plays an enormous role for Mongolia’s development. Thus, Mongolia’s export and import equal respectively to 55 and 69 percent of the country’s GNP. At the same time, the amount equaling to almost 7 percent of the GNP is spent on transit traffic related expenditures. Therefore, successful conclusion of the agreement would enhance and facilitate transit trade not only in the sub-region, but also within wider Northeast Asia. By bringing down excessively high transit transportation costs and raising efficiency, the agreement has a significant potential to make Mongolia one of the important transit routes from Northeast Asia to Europe and Central Asia and serve as an important additional Land Bridge for huge emerging markets of Russia and China.

 Mr. Chairman,

             In conclusion, allow me to re-iterate my delegation’s hope that today’s deliberations will help bring us all a step closer to realizing fully potentials of the South-South cooperation.