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BY H.E. MR. CHOISUREN BAATAR,
THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MONGOLIA
AT THE INFORMAL MEETING OF THE PLENARY OF THE
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON REPORTS OF THE
HIGH LEVEL PANEL ON THREATS, CHALLENGES AND CHANGE
AND THE UN MILLENNIUM PROJECT
23 February 2005, New York
My delegation expresses its sincere appreciation to you for continuing the consultations on the High Level Panel’s Report on Threats, Challenges and Change and the Millennium Project Report, and the recommendations thereof, in this informal setting of the plenary of the UN General Assembly.
My delegation also expresses its high appreciation to the Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan for having mandated these reports.
My delegation associates itself with the statements made by Malaysia and Jamaica on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and G-77 and China respectively. I would, therefore, limit myself to some of the issues that Mongolia considers significant in view of the observations and recommendations made in the two reports, and the forthcoming report of the UN Secretary-General.
Peace and Security
In a descending era of globalization it is becoming increasingly evident that no country can ensure its security on its own and that threats and challenges we face, though different in form or manifestation are, nevertheless, closely interlinked. This is the starting point from where the High-level Panel makes its case for collective vs. individual, multilateral vs. unilateral approach to security. The report once again proved the imperative for all countries, regardless of their size and power, to work together for the common good, and Mongolia appreciates this.
The Panel presented its own new vision of a broad framework for collective security, while trying to strike the right balance between the principles and the current political realities. The system of collective security as the Panel envisages, has, as it seems, one prominent feature. It revolves around a single center of gravity - a reinvigorated and empowered Security Council that has a role in virtually every aspect of life of the international community, be it trade or terrorism or human rights or environmental degradation.
On the other hand, as it was evident during our consultations here, there is a competing vision on how the system of collective security should work. Those are the countries that want to keep the balance and the clear-cut distribution of powers between the principal organs of the United Nations, countries that argue for a fine-tuned relationship between those bodies and for greater say by the wide membership of the Organization on issues that directly affect them.
One may well argue as per the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Whereas one tends to have more focus on effectiveness and efficiency in dealing with threats and challenges, the other calls for greater inclusiveness and diversity. My delegation believes that these two, though seemingly competing, are not inherently opposite. In fact, their underlying motives are identical – to create a better system of comprehensive collective security that is optimally equipped to counter the old and emerging threats and challenges, with the UN playing the central role. It is my fervent hope that the Secretary-General will reconcile the two, taking stock of our deliberations, and will present a solution in his forthcoming report.
The nexus between development and security as an underlying theme of the findings of the Panel deserves our highest appraisal. Likewise, Mongolia hopes that it will be duly reflected in the Secretary-General’s report and will serve as one of the main themes during the deliberations of our leaders in September.
Mongolia welcomes the conclusion of the High-level Panel that sovereign individual States, as a basic unit of the international system, continue to be the front-line responders to today’s threats. Indeed, our response to the threats and challenges of today has to be multilayered, it must be given at the national, regional and global levels, but the core of the whole system of international relations remain to be the sovereign nations. It is them who are vested with primary responsibility of protecting their own citizens, and it is them who should be making collective decisions on the basis of sovereign equality on whatever regional and global measures and actions to be taken in pursuit of collective security and development. The collective security system must be multilateral and based on the principles enunciated in the UN Charter.
Strengthening the United Nations (institutional reform)
Mongolia has always regarded the UN as “the indispensable common house of the entire human family” and attached primary importance to it. To ensure the United Nations’ leading role and effectiveness, the world leaders pledged their resolve to undertake a set of bold measures to reform the world Organization so that to enable it to adequately address the manifold challenges ahead. Accordingly, the institutional reform of the UN has a prominent place in the recommendations and conclusions of the Panel. This task should, however, encompass the strengthening of the whole UN system in its entirety, without prejudice to or undue preference given to some principal organs over the others. A balance and clear distribution of functions between the principal organs as set out in the relevant provisions of the UN Charter should be maintained and further consolidated.
In this respect, my delegation strongly believes that the General Assembly ought to regain its central role as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative body of the United Nations. This should be the main objective of the ongoing reform process, to which Mongolia has been and remains fully committed. The High-level Panel was not able to come up with substantive recommendations on how to proceed in strengthening the General Assembly, having limited itself to proposals of procedural nature, yet it has also admitted that “detailed procedural fixes are not going to make the General Assembly a more effective instrument than it is now”. Hence, we, the Member States, are now entrusted with the task of devising concrete solutions and practical steps on how to further revitalize the General Assembly.
The Security Council is fully empowered under the Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations to address any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of agression, and decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security, our delegation concurs, therefore, with the assertion of the Panel that “the task is not to find alternatives to the Security Council, but to make the Council work better than it has.”
The Report dwells extensively on the reform of the Security Council, particularly its composition. Mongolia has always stood for the just and equitable expansion of the Security Council, at the same time, it is our conviction that enlargement should not be a goal in itself. The expanded Security Council must be fully equipped to effectively react to the crises and conflicts of the new Millennium. Expansion must serve to the purposes of making the Security Council a more effective, democratic, representative and accountable, better serving the interests of the general membership of the Organization. The Security Council reform must be comprehensive and put equal emphasis on the improvement of the working methods of the Council, with a view to a greater transparency, openness and accountability.
While approaching the institutional reform as a process, not an event, let us not forget that it has not borne fruit in a decade on some of its directions. As the world around us changes, so should the Organization, and it, indisputably, is lagging behind. The process of reforms should not become a never-ending and futile exercise. We can’t afford to lose the unique opportunity presented to us this year.
Mongolia adds its voice of support for establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission. Wide consensus seems to be emerging on the necessity to stregthen the UN capacities in post-conflict peace-building, though constructive dialogue is still needed on the modalities of doing that. My delegation listened with interest to proposals put forward by delegations, particularly that of Japan, on that matter. I fully agree with H.E. Mr. John Dauth, the Permanent Representative of Australia that the Peacebuilding Commission would be another worthy product of the September Summit.
Let me now turn to the Millennium Project Report Investing in Development. This is a document that remedies the lacuna left by the High-level Panel in its consideration of developmental issues as criticized by some delegations during our previous informal consultations. The enormous volume of the report testifies to the amount of work and research undertaken by its authors under the guidance of Professor Jeffrey Sachs.
The Millennium Project Report is a major undertaking to support global efforts to achieve the MDGs. I believe that the analyses, strategies, and recommendations provided in the Report will guide individual country implementation and surely enhance the achievement of the development goals. While addressing the uneven achievements of the goals and focusing on the special circumstances of the various regions, their economies, inadequacies and strengths, the Report provides a blueprint for assisting in the achievement of the MDGs and thus keeping the plight of the poor on the global agenda.
My delegation agrees with the Report that the MDGs cannot be achieved with “business as usual” approach. Mongolia welcomes the recommendations, particularly, the call for increased and more effective aid, rapid scale-up of ODA, openness to trade, and improved governance at all levels. We also commend its call to build capacity in developing countries, to strengthen national strategies, to improve private investment environment and scale up investments in infrastructure for economic growth in developing countries. Thus, my delegation believes that the recommendations and appeals deserve positive consideration and should be seriously undertaken, given the depth of the development challenges in many countries.
Considering that achievement of the MDGs is cornerstone for sustainable economic growth and prosperity for many underdeveloped countries, we support the proposal to adopt MDG-based poverty reduction strategy which would be a framework for greater transparency and accountability. I strongly believe that pursuing sound economic policy and good governance, upholding the rule of law, making appropriate public investments, managing public administration, protecting basic human rights and supporting and empowering civil society are all indispensable ingredients and necessary environment for realization of global objectives.
Bearing in mind the values and principles of collective responsibility for global development agenda, the international community should urgently and effectively accomplish the MDG No8 – that is to develop a global partnership for development. In this regard, my delegation supports the report’s appeal to developed countries to implement their pledges to follow through on previously stated commitments to support the good-faith efforts by developing countries to achieve the first seven goals by dismantling trade barriers, widening debt relief and expanding development assistance.
Mongolia fully shares the view of the forthcoming High-Level review of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and observance of the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations as a historic chance, not to be missed in our drive to more progress on all fundamental issues, especially the UN reform. We share the view expressed by many delegations that not single issue, however significant, should be allowed to eclipse other equally important issues and serve as a stumbling block in the process ahead of us.
The Panel did not shy away from presenting bold initiatives, neither should we. Our goal must be to ensure a tangible outcome during the High Level Plenary in September this year, and we must not falter or fail in pursuing it. My delegation agrees with the view expressed by the Secretary-General himself, and many delegations, that we should take action on whatever progress achieved, with an aim to have as much practical results by September as possible.
My delegation believes that it is through display of genuine solidarity, shared responsibility and effective partnership that we will be able to attain the ambitious, yet achievable goals set in the Millennium Declaration, and Mongolia stands ready to engage constructively with other Member States in the months ahead.
In conclusion let me assure you, Mr. President, of my delegation’s full confidence in you and our unwavering support to your work as well as to the facilitators you have appointed.