STATEMENT BY H. E. MR. L. ERDENECHULUUN,
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MONGOLIA,
IN THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 57TH SESSION OF
THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
15 September 2002
Mongolia welcomes wholeheartedly the newest member of the United Nations family – Switzerland – a country that has a longstanding association with the United Nations as its second largest seat. We also look forward to welcoming East Timor, the youngest member of the international community.
A little over two years ago at their historic Summit here in New York our leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and pledged their unequivocal support for a more efficient and reinvigorated United Nations so that this unique world body can effectively address the formidable challenges of the new century and, indeed, of the new millennium.
Some important steps have been taken to reform and adapt the United Nations to the evolving international realities with a view to ensuring its efficient functioning in the era of globalization. However, the reform process, particularly that of the Security Council, tends to slow down and hence, there is an apparent need to take proper measures to speed it up. Mongolia stands for a just and equitable enlargement of the Security Council by increasing the number of permanent and non-permanent seats and ensuring representation of both developing and developed countries, for democratization of international relations through enhancing the openness and transparency of the work of the Security Council and through raising the role of the General Assembly as envisaged in the UN Charter.
The United Nations has been instrumental in intensifying the efforts of the world community to develop a collective response to global terror, in helping reach national reconciliation and building peace process in post-Taliban Afghanistan, in assisting the emergence of an independent East Timor and entry into force of the Statute of the International Criminal Court. It has also been indispensable in paving the way towards reaching consensus at Doha, Monterrey, Rome and Johannesburg - important steps along the road to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
Yet, much still remains to be done to sustain the progress achieved, to honor commitments made and to redress setbacks to international peace and security in today’s volatile environment. The tragic events of 9/11 have shown that there is a need for a fundamental change in our perception of security. More weapons, allocation of more resources to military do not necessarily translate into increased security. Security can no longer be confined to boundaries of a single State, or even a group of States. This indivisibility of global security puts multilateralism as an order of the day. To paraphrase the Secretary-General – let us all recognize that today global security is our national security. Let us also recognize that ensuring the security of a human person must be at the heart of our concern. The concept of human security is increasingly making a case for itself.
The outgoing year has witnessed serious threats to international peace and security, and their remnants are still lingering with menace for the international community to vigorously grapple with.
In Afghanistan, the United Nations is helping the Afghan Government in its efforts toward rehabilitation, reconstruction and development. These objectives can only be achieved if the Government of President Karzai exercises effective control over the entire country.
In the Middle East, the prevailing explosive situation is of special concern. It calls for sustained efforts aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive solution to the problem. Mongolia supports the efforts of the Quartet and of the countries of the region to find ways of peaceful settlement of this long-festering conflict. The convening of an international conference to consider effective measures for such a solution will, undoubtedly, be a step in the right direction.
My Government shares the view that the United Nations Security Council should make every effort to impress on Iraq to comply with its resolutions and, as a first step, accept unconditionally the weapons inspections. The world community cannot afford to sit idle in the face of an open defiance of mandatory resolutions of the Security Council.
The world has been threatened not only by escalation of tension in various regions. It has also been threatened by increasing human insecurity resulting from the failure of the international community to deliver on crucial commitments it made during the 1990s.
Last year my Prime Minister in his address to the General Assembly appealed to the international community to make the first decade of this new century a decade of implementation and cooperation towards a safer and better world, as we cannot afford failing yet another decade if we are serious about ensuring human security. We cannot afford failing to implement the far-reaching yet achievable targets set by our leaders at the Millennium Summit. And all the more so as our failure or inaction could be used as justification of deadly acts by those who threaten peace, stability and social progress.
That appeal stands more relevant today as the 2002 Human Development Report indicates that at current trends a significant portion of the world’s states are unlikely to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, including the overarching target of halving extreme poverty by 2015. And if global progress continues at such a snail’s pace, it will take more than 130 years to rid the world of hunger.
The legitimate question arises – what has to be done by the international community to redress the above situation? The quick answer could be – display of genuine solidarity and shared responsibility on the part of all to honor without delay the commitments made. But the people in our countries, in the service of whom this world body was conceived, have waited through dozens of conferences with their five-year reviews, and still implementation of agreed targets is stalled at levels far from the desired. Under these circumstances it is, in our considered view, incumbent upon the international community to closely look into the existing imbalance of global governance, especially in the economic and social areas.
Mongolia believes that with its impartiality and universal legitimacy as well as its Charter-based prevalence over any other international agreement, the United Nations is uniquely placed to provide for global governance in economic and social areas allowing equal participation of the South in its decision-making process. Therefore, we believe it is high time to engage in an earnest dialogue on entirely new framework of development cooperation more responsive to the emerging imperatives of global human security. The new development partnership between the North and the South, as we see it, should be based on justice, not on charity; on equitable sharing of global market opportunities, not on protectionism or aid; on mutual cooperation, not on unilateral conditionality or confrontation. The Economic and Social Council, in accordance with the objectives set forth in Article 55 of the Charter, has an important role to play in initiating and promoting this dialogue.
Furthermore, transnational organized crime, illicit drugs, money-laundering, illegal arms trafficking, spread of HIV/AIDS, global pollution, climate change and other negative phenomena pose a persistent threat to both rich and poor nations alike. They call for a new cooperation framework to defend new frontiers of global human security and to fill critical gaps in the existing system of global economic governance. In a descending era of globalization the formidable challenges facing the human family require an adequate response. It would be a fallacy to replace a fundamental reform with a piecemeal approach or marginal remedies. If there is a strong political will on the part of the international community to collectively stand up to these challenges, then why not engage in common quest for an adequate architecture of global governance for human security.
Mongolia expresses its firm support to the creation of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). NEPAD is a comprehensive blueprint of and a broad vision for Africa’s future economic and social development. It is Africa-owned and based on the lessons of the past decade. We hope that this important initiative will receive the generous support of the international community to attain the ambitious goals for “African renaissance”.
My own country – Mongolia with inherent development handicap of being land-locked and high susceptibility to natural disasters is not immune to many of the above threats to human security. Along with persistent existence of poverty and unemployment, disruption of basic health and social services, human security in Mongolia is further affected by increasing recurrence and expansion of natural disasters, spread of environmental degradation, including desertification, water and air pollution. Efforts to improve human security are additionally hampered by extremely low population density, weak infrastructure and small, non-diversified economy highly vulnerable to external shocks.
Capitalizing on its valuable assets of well-educated human resources and accumulated experience in simultaneous reforms in the political and economic areas, Mongolia is endeavoring to ensure human security of its people through both national action and international cooperation.
Nationally, my Government launched in late 2000 the Good Governance for Human Security Program aimed at improving the capacity to formulate and implement policies to ensure human security. What we have succeeded in doing so far is to secure national commitment by all the branches of the State power to its implementation; institutionalize the program’s implementation mechanism; and lay the groundwork for greater involvement and participation of the civil society, private sector and academia.
At the international level, Mongolia, on its part, has been endeavoring to contribute, where it could, to the common efforts of the world community while drawing its attention to the specific issues of particular concern to her.
As a land-locked developing country, Mongolia attaches particular importance to enhancing international cooperation to ease the inherent development challenges to this group of countries. In this regard, my delegation looks forward to the upcoming International Ministerial Meeting on Transit Transport Cooperation, to be held in 2003 in Kazakhstan.
In recognition of the crucial role of education in ensuring sustainable human development and human security my delegation is pleased to note that at its last session the General Assembly proclaimed on the initiative of Mongolia the ten-year period starting January 1, 2003, as the United Nations Literacy Decade. We look forward to the unanimous adoption of the Decade’s Plan of Action at this session of the General Assembly.
Ten years ago Mongolia declared itself a nuclear-weapon-free zone. Since then it adopted a national legislation defining and regulating that status. At present consultations are underway with immediate neighbors and other States concerned on ways to institutionalize it internationally. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the five nuclear-weapon States for their cooperation and the United Nations bodies for their invaluable support in materializing the initiative.
In the past years Mongolia has been actively engaged in establishing and strengthening institutions and processes of democratic governance, protecting human rights and promoting democratic consolidation. Its efforts are similar to those of many other states that are promoting democratic values and developing democratic institutions. We believe that the 5th international conference of new and restored democracies, to be held in June 2003 in Mongolia, could provide an important opportunity for the international community to exchange information and experience, search for practical ways of promoting and strengthening democracy nationally and internationally. I wish to take this opportunity to express my Government’s heartfelt gratitude to this august body for graciously accepting our offer and setting in motion the preparations for the conference. The main theme of the conference scheduled for 18-20 June next year is “Democracy, Good Governance and Civil Society”.
Mongolia believes that the International Criminal Court, established on 1 July, could be instrumental in ending impunity and upholding justice, deterring future crimes and further strengthening international criminal law. As one of its founding members, Mongolia also believes that the widest possible accession to the Court will broaden the geographic scope of the Court’s jurisdiction and thus of ending impunity for acts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Court’s jurisdiction should eventually cover the crime of aggression.
Mr. President, in conclusion may I reiterate my Government’s resolve to work with other member States towards making our world Organization better equipped to meet the global challenges lying ahead.