Allow me at the outset to join preceding speakers in congratulating you on your election as Chairman and express my confidence that under your skillful stewardship this momentous Conference will enjoy great success. My sincere felicitations also go to the rest of the Bureau.
This is a great honour for me to be standing here in this historic hall, where 38 years ago a document of profound significance was concluded. The Treaty of Tlatelolco was a pioneering action, a huge leap towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation that gave legal protection to millions of people and their lands in the Western Hemisphere against the scourge of use or threat of use of nuclear weapons forever. The Treaty of Tlatelolco gave inspiration and paved the way for other international instruments relating to nuclear disarmament and is, therefore, undoubtedly one of the greatest international legal achievements of the last century.
On behalf of the Government of Mongolia, I wish to convey my deepest appreciation and gratitude to the Government of Mexico for the timely and important initiative to convene the Conference of States Parties and Signatories of Treaties that established Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zones and to all the participating states for the unwavering support to my country and an invitation extended to us. This invitation is a testimony to the relentless efforts of successive governments in Mongolia towards having our nuclear-weapon-free status institutionalized at the international level.
The family of nuclear-weapon-free-zones has expanded significantly over the years and now encompasses more than 100 countries or the majority of world nations, under the Treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga, Pelindaba and Bangkok, not to mention the denuclearization of uninhabited areas such as the Antarctic, outer space and the Moon. The contribution made by these zones to the twin goals of non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament cannot be underestimated. Their mere existence serves as a shining example of a world free of nuclear weapons as an attainable goal.
Indeed, each of these treaties has its own unique traits, but one thing unites them all – an ultimate objective to achieve general and complete disarmament, to make the world around us a safer and better place for everyone. This noblest of motives is what drove these countries forward, and is what driving people around the globe who strive to establish new nuclear-weapon-free zones or international denuclearized areas in Central Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Korean Peninsula and the Southern Hemisphere.
Mongolia wholeheartedly supports the goal of this Conference to strengthen the cooperation and coordination between denuclearized zones for the benefit of the universal application of the NWFZ regime.
I take this opportunity to welcome the Tashkent statement of Central Asian States on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free-zone in Central Asia of 9 February this year. This initiative has enjoyed our strongest support ever since its inception, and with the draft treaty now finalized, it is my sincere wish to witness the emergence of a full-fledged NWFZ in Central Asia in the nearest future.
Mongolia also believes that for the existing Treaties on 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.
Animated by same ideals and inspired by the examples of the NWFZs that existed at the time, Mongolia opted irreversibly for achieving an international nuclear-weapon-free status over a decade ago. The first President of Mongolia, H.E. Mr. P. Ochirbat, declared the territory of Mongolia as nuclear-weapon-free in October 1992 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[s] nuclear-weapon-free…” and that it would work for having that status “…internationally guaranteed.”
You are well aware that Mongolia is uniquely positioned between two nuclear-weapon States without other immediate neighbours. Thus, in absence of any possibility of acceding to a regional treaty, we 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. This we believe is an innovative undertaking that fully reflects the uniqueness of the country’s geographical and geopolitical situation.
On the national level domestic legislation was enacted prohibiting the manufacturing, storage, transport, and testing of nuclear weapons within the territory of Mongolia. Moreover, the international nuclear-weapon-free status of Mongolia - a prominent aspect of the country’s international security and foreign policy - has received solid support and recognition from the international community. The UNGA consensus resolutions adopted at the 53, 55, 57 and 59th sessions, "Statement on security assurances in connection with Mongolia's nuclear-weapon-free status" made by the five nuclear-weapon States, the declaration of Heads of State of the Member Countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Mongolian-Chinese Joint Statement on the outcome of the State visit by the President of the PRC Mr. Hu Jintao to Mongolia, the final document of the XIII Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Kuala Lumpur are but a few examples that vividly demonstrate the international character of Mongolia’s status as well as broad international support for strengthening it.
Mongolia’s international nuclear-weapon-free status, like the nuclear-weapon-free zones around the globe, is an initiative that makes an important contribution to confidence and trust building on a wider regional context and beyond, by creating a neutral zone, that is transparent, stable and predictable. It is especially true with respect to strengthening peace and stability in Northeast Asia, as Mongolia’ status constitutes a good role-model for other countries in the sub-region.
We are convinced that the latter aspect is of particular significance as Mongolia stands for a nuclear-weapon-free Korean Peninsula, and sees it as an important condition leading to the reconciliation of both Koreas, and therefore, to friendly relations and cooperation among the nations of the region. We have welcomed and supported from the very start the multilateral process aimed at resolving North Korea’s nuclear issue peacefully through dialogue, engagement and negotiations. Although Mongolia is not a party to the six-party talks, we try to make the best use of our friendly relations with all regional countries, including both Koreas, to contribute to the process of peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue.
My Government will continue its efforts towards further institutionalizing its international nuclear-weapon-free status, and plans to start in the near future consultations on conclusion of a relevant trilateral treaty with our two immediate neighbors - the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation. We firmly believe that Mongolia’s legally-binding international nuclear-weapon-free status, along with the nuclear-weapon-free zones in the Middle East, Central Asia and Korean Peninsula, will form an indispensable component in a belt of peace and stability - free of menace of nuclear weapons – that would go right across the heart of Asia. Such belt will in many ways follow the track of the ancient Silk Route that allowed our forefathers to interface each other in peace, not in war, and served as an economic lifeline for many different nations of the past.
Mongolia strongly believes that the NPT as the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime must be implemented in its entirety. Nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation are mutually reinforcing - one does not go without another, and the NPT is crystal clear on that. The principle of non-selective, non-arbitrary implementation of international law that was so eloquently articulated by the Secretary-General in his statement to the General Assembly at the opening of the 59th session, applies fully to the international disarmament instruments, particularly the NPT and its three pillars - non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament, and the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Mongolia stands for the full implementation of the 13 practical steps agreed to at the 2000 NPT Review Conference. The early entry into-force and universality of the Comprehensive-Test-Ban Treaty must be our priority. The CTBT, according to its own text, is a “meaningful step in the realization of a systematic process to achieve nuclear disarmament” as the cessation of all nuclear test explosions “constitutes an effective measure of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in all its aspects” by constraining the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and ending the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons.
The self-imposed moratoria on nuclear testing are of tremendous significance, nevertheless, such unilateral measures cannot and must not be considered as a substitute to a legally binding and fully verifiable commitment made through the signing and ratification of the CTBT. We appeal to all the states that have not done so, to sign and/or ratify the CTBT at the earliest possible date. This applies especially to the countries listed in the Annex II to the Treaty, and the remaining nuclear weapon states in particular, whose ratification is required for the Treaty’s entry into force.
Mongolia also stands firmly for early start of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
Mongolia believes that the efforts of the international community to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons are greatly assisted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s work on promoting global nuclear safety regime and peaceful uses of nuclear energy through Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols thereto.
A growing threat of proliferation of WMDs is further aggravated by dangers of their possible acquisition by non-state actors and terrorist groups. Hence, it is imperative for the international community to take concerted efforts in tackling this challenge. Mongolia welcomed the UNSC resolution 1540 (2004) adopted unanimously under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, as a meaningful step towards curbing the WMD proliferation, yet it also holds the view that a correspondingly significant step should be made by Nuclear Weapon States in nuclear disarmament.
A growing emphasis placed of late on nuclear weapons in military doctrines is a cause of increasing concern. It is, therefore, only natural that countries like Mongolia favour the adoption of such steps as de-alerting of nuclear weapons, removal of nuclear warheads from delivery vehicles, joint undertakings by the nuclear-weapon powers of a pledge not to be the first to use nuclear weapons. These are essential safety measures that would reduce the risk of unauthorized or miscalculated use of nuclear weapons.
In addition, provision should be made for legally binding negative security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon states parties to the NPT. Mongolia once again reiterates its support to the proposal to convene a major international conference aimed at identifying ways of eliminating nuclear dangers.
One of the objectives of our Conference is to provide an input to the 2005 NPT Review Conference. Mongolia attaches great importance to the NPT Review Conference as a main forum to review the progress on every aspect of the Treaty and make recommendations outlining global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament strategy for the coming years. I am confident that our deliberations and the well-drafted and ambitious Declaration that we are to adopt here in Tlatelolco, will greatly contribute to the NPT Review Conference and its success.
I thank you.