While my delegation associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished delegation of Malaysia on behalf of the Group of Non-Aligned States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons let me touch briefly upon an issue of special importance for my delegation, namely nuclear-weapon-free zones.
Nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs) play an important role in promoting the goals and objectives of the NPT and enhancing peace and stability in the regions concerned and the world over. The contribution of such zones to the twin goals of disarmament and non-proliferation was fully recognized in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference.
The family of NWFZs has expanded significantly over the years. However, there is much left to be done to further consolidate the respective regimes under different treaties on NWFZs. Mongolia believes that for the existing NWFZs to be fully operational and effective, it is essential that nuclear-weapon States, as well as other states listed or mentioned in the relevant Protocols, sign or ratify them at an early date.
Indeed, with notable exception of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which with the accession of Cuba in 2002, enjoys full universality in the Latin American and Caribbean region, progress on other zones remains to be disappointing. Despite the importance attached by the 2000 Review conference to “signature and ratification of the treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga, Bangkok and Pelindaba by all regional States, as well as the signature and ratification by the nuclear-weapon States that have not yet done so of the relevant protocols to those treaties, recognizing that security assurances are available to States parties to those Treaties”, not a single signature or ratification has been added to the Protocols to the Pelindaba Treaty or the Protocol to the Bangkok Treaty, neither has there been an increase in the number of ratifications of the Protocols to the Treaty of Rarotonga. Moreover, 9 years after its opening for signatures, the Treaty of Pelindaba is yet to enter-into-force having secured only 17 ratifications out of 28 required.
Against this backdrop, an unprecedented Conference of States Parties and Signatories of Treaties that Establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zones was held in Mexico City on 26-28 April this year. The Conference reaffirmed the commitment of participating States to strengthening the nuclear-weapon-free zone regime and contributing to the disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation processes. Furthermore, a new page was opened in the development of the NWFZs as the Conference discussed possible ways and means of cooperation among the zones, their respective Treaty agencies and other interested States and on their implementation. It is particularly gratifying to note that my country, Mongolia - in recognition of her international nuclear-weapon-free status - was extended a special invitation to attend the Conference as a full-fledged participant, along with States parties and Signatories to the Treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga, Bangkok, and Pelindaba, which have established nuclear-weapon-free zones.
Along with strengthening of existing zones Mongolia wholeheartedly supports the establishment of new NWFZs on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the States of the region concerned, and in this respect, welcomes the substantial progress achieved on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free-zone in Central Asia as reflected in Tashkent statement of 9 February this year. The readiness of a nuclear-weapon State, namely People’s Republic of China, to adhere to the Protocol to the Treaty augurs well for the future of the new Zone. Nonetheless, it is left to be seen if the rest of the nuclear-weapon States would follow this positive example in the near future.
The establishment of the zone free of weapons of mass destructions and means of delivery thereof in the Middle East is long overdue. Mongolia reiterates its unwavering support to this initiative as having a direct bearing to promotion of peace, stability and confidence in the region of Middle East. We support the UN resolutions on the Middle East NWFZ and the provisions of the resolution on the Middle East issue adopted by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, and stand for their implementation. Mongolia appreciates and supports the relevant positive diplomatic efforts of the Middle-East countries towards the realization of this objective and reiterates its call on Israel to join the NPT at an early date without conditions as a non-nuclear-weapon State. We also call upon all countries in the region that have not done so, to conclude with the IAEA comprehensive safeguards agreements and additional protocols thereto pending the establishment of the NWFZ in the Middle East.
One of the remarkable achievements of the international community in the field of non-proliferation over the last years was the decision by Libya to voluntarily abandon its WMD programmes including the nuclear weapon programme and its acceptance of IAEA inspections.
As is known, in 1992, the first President of Mongolia, H.E. Mr. P. Ochirbat, declared the territory of Mongolia as a nuclear-weapon-free zone at the United Nations General Assembly. In his address, he pointed out that “… in order to contribute to disarmament and trust in the region and the world over, Mongolia declares its territory a nuclear-weapon-free zone and will work for having it internationally guaranteed.” The aim of the initiative was not only to strengthen Mongolia’s security by political and diplomatic means in the emerging post-Cold War international environment, but also to promote nuclear non-proliferation, stability and mutual trust in the region.
However, as a result of serious consultations with the States concerned, it was recognized that due to its geopolitical location, Mongolia could not establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the traditional sense, as it did not have any immediate neighbor other than 2 of the nuclear-weapon States. It was, therefore agreed, that Mongolia’s case was a unique one that required equally a unique, creative approach. Hence, in absence of any possibility of acceding to a regional treaty, and in light of its special geopolitical and geographical situation, Mongolia resorted to an alternative - to work for a legally-binding international nuclear-weapon-free status, sticking at the same to principles guiding the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones. A series of steps have been and continue to be taken towards that end.
We attach special importance to the 2000 joint statement of the 5 nuclear-weapon States entitled "Statement on security assurances in connection with Mongolia's nuclear-weapon-free status". The 5 nuclear-weapon States reaffirmed here, in case of Mongolia, their positive security assurances in accordance with the provisions of UN Security Council resolution 984 of April 11, 1995, as well as their respective unilateral negative security assurances, as stated in their declarations issued on 5 and 6 April, 1995 and referred to in UN Security Council resolution 984 of April 11, 1995. Moreover, Mongolia’s two immediate neighbors – the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation – also reaffirmed their legally-binding commitments with respect to Mongolia assumed on the basis of the bilateral treaties concluded with the latter.
Today, over a decade after the declaration on Mongolia’s NWFZ, it is gratifying to observe the progress that was made towards achieving an internationally recognized and legally binding NWFS. Not only the status was internationally recognized but the efforts of Mongolia to institutionalize it have been welcomed and supported in various international documents including, inter alia, the UNGA resolutions adopted without a vote at the 53, 55, 57 and 59th sessions, and various documents of the Non-Aligned Movement including the final document of the XIII Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Kuala Lumpur. Most recently, in the Mexico Declaration, the States parties and signatories to the Treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga, Bangkok, and Pelindaba, and Mongolia expressed their “recognition and full support of Mongolia’s international nuclear-weapon-free status”. The outcome of the Conference has also been welcomed by the Non-Aligned Movement. Such recognition of Mongolia’s international nuclear-weapon-free status testifies to the fact that this status has taken firm roots in the tapestry of the global non-proliferation regime, and is finally entering into the domain of international law.
Mongolia’s NWFS is an important contribution of the country to confidence and trust building on a wider regional context and beyond, by creating a neutral zone, that is transparent, stable and predictable. The status can serve as a good role-model for other countries in the sub-region of Northeast Asia, especially in the light of the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula.
Being a Northeast Asian nation with its nuclear-weapon-free status, Mongolia stands for a nuclear-weapon-free Korean Peninsula, and sees it as an important condition leading to the reconciliation of both Koreas, therefore, to peace and stability in the region.
From the very start, we welcomed and supported the multilateral process aimed at resolving North Korea’s nuclear issue peacefully through dialogue, engagement and negotiations. Instability in Northeast Asia, a sub-region that plays an increasingly important role in world economy, and hosts world’s great powers, including some of the nuclear-weapon States, will have catastrophic consequences the world over. The continuation of six-party talks is, therefore, of vital importance, and it is important that all concerned parties exercise utmost flexibility and mutual respect and return to the negotiation table.
My Government will continue its efforts towards further institutionalizing its nuclear-weapon-free status, and plans to resume its consultations on conclusion of a relevant trilateral treaty with our two immediate neighbors - the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation. It is our firm belief that Mongolia’s legally-binding international nuclear-weapon-free status shall, along with the nuclear-weapon-free zones in the Middle East, Central Asia and Korean Peninsula, form a belt of peace and stability in Asia, and greatly contribute to the global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime.
The 2000 NPT Review Conference in its Final Document “welcomed and supported the declaration by Mongolia of its nuclear-weapon-free status, and took note of the recent adoption by the Mongolian parliament of legislation defining that status”. Likewise, Mongolian delegation wishes to have elements reflecting the unique status of Mongolia incorporated in the Report of Main Committee II and the Final Document of this Review Conference along the lines of the Mexico Declaration of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones of 28 April 2005, and Working Paper on substantive issues to be considered by Main Committee II (NPT/CONF.2005/WP.19, NPT/CONF.2005/WP.19/Corr.1) presented by the members of the Group of Non-aligned States Parties to the NPT.
I thank you.