STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. BAATAR CHOISUREN,
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MONGOLIA
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE FIRST COMMITTEE,
UNGA 61st SESSION
New York, 3 October 2006
At the outset allow me to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your well-deserved election and assure you of my delegation’s full support in discharge of your duties.
Mongolia aligns itself with the statement made by the distinguished ambassador of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. I would like to make a few observations from my national perspective on issues of interest for my country.
According to the SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) Yearbook 2006 there were 17 major armed conflicts in 16 locations around the world in 2005. The yearbook further ascertained that there has been a steady decline in the number of conflicts since 1999, and the figure for 2005 was the lowest for the entire post-cold war period.
Yet, despite the statistics, the world around us can hardly be characterized as a safer place to live in. Violence, terrorist attacks and other security threats and challenges continue to ravage daily lives of people, pushing poverty stricken communities deeper into abyss of despair and misery and having a negative impact on global development. The recent conflict in Lebanon was a sad reminder of the vulnerability of human security and peace in today’s world.
WMD proliferation or even mere existence of arsenals of such weapons, growing terrorist threats and continued access of non-state actors to ever-more sophisticated weapons systems negatively affect world peace and stability. Unfortunately, a general sense of disappointment prevails today among Member States over the current situation in multilateral efforts in the field of disarmament and international security, and my delegation shares this sentiment.
Indeed, the situation does not look bright. The sole multilateral disarmament negotiating body - Conference on Disarmament, continues to stay paralyzed for its 9th consecutive session despite some signs of possible positive developments shown during its 2006 session. The Disarmament Commission though having been able to resume its work after 2 years of deadlock over its agenda was nevertheless unable to make substantive progress during its last session. Furthermore, the unsuccessful 7th NPT Review Conference, a striking absence of language pertaining to disarmament and non-proliferation in the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit, and most recently the failure of the UN Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (SALW) have all been major setbacks.
Notwithstanding the above, my delegation believes that we must avoid yielding to pessimism. I am convinced that current situation requires all Member States to display renewed political will and determination and increased flexibility in order to overcome the present impasse in different multilateral disarmament bodies and strengthen the international non-proliferation and disarmament regime. Let us make full use of this session of the 1st Committee of the General Assembly to engage in open and constructive dialogue to bridge the gap between different positions for the common good.
Mongolia, guided by the principles and objectives of its peaceful foreign policy, reflected, among others, in its Constitution, the Concepts on Foreign Policy and National Security, has consistently pursued the objective of global disarmament while according highest priority to nuclear disarmament. Given the horrendous destructive capacity of nuclear weapons Mongolia believes that the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free world would enhance both global security and Mongolia’s own national security.
Mongolia calls on all States that have not yet done so accede to all international treaties and conventions relating to WMD non-proliferation and disarmament, particularly the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), CWC (Chemical Weapons Convention) and BTWC (Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons Convention) and to strengthen the international regimes established by these treaties.
The Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the most important legally binding instrument available to the international community to curb proliferation of nuclear weapons, to work towards their complete elimination and promote cooperation among states on peaceful uses of nuclear energy. My country is fully committed to the full implementation of the decisions of 1995 and 2000 NPT Review Conferences. In particular we believe that 13 practical steps for the systematic and progressive efforts to implement Article VI of the NPT must be fully implemented. Against the backdrop of the current challenges faced by the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime we should now focus on preparations for the next Review Conference to ensure its successful outcome.
My delegation once again reiterates its strong support to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the importance of its early entry into-force and universality. Mongolia also supports an early conclusion of a universal, unconditional and legally binding instrument on security assurances to non-NWS as a matter of priority, and conclusion of a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
According to the abovementioned (SIPRI 2006) Yearbook, majority of major conflicts in 2005 occurred in Asia. This observation cannot but worry my country. Furthermore, in addition to existing conflicts on the continent, two issues related to nuclear non-proliferation have been a source of concern for countries both in and outside of Asia, namely nuclear programmes in the Islamic Republic of Iran and DPRK.
Mongolia strongly believes in the inalienable right of non-nuclear-weapon States that have fully complied with their obligations under the NPT to participate in the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. At the same time, in the case of Iran’s nuclear programme, we also note that process for drawing a conclusion with regard to the absence of undeclared material and activities in Iran is an ongoing and time-consuming process. It is important that Iran continues to cooperate actively and fully with the IAEA to resolve outstanding issues in order to promote confidence and a peaceful resolution of the issue.
A Northeast Asian nation with an internationally recognized nuclear-weapon-free status, Mongolia stands for a nuclear-weapon-free Korean Peninsula and attaches vital importance to the resolution of the DPRK’s nuclear issue by peaceful means through negotiations and an early resumption of the six-party talks.
Due to its historical and geopolitical realities, Northeast Asia is probably the only sub-region that lacks a mechanism at the governmental level where security issues of concern could be discussed collectively. The present situation in the sub-region highlights anew the importance and relevance of the proposal that Mongolia made back in 2000 from the General Assembly rostrum about engaging Northeast Asian nations in a political-security dialogue at Track I level. The time may have come to start looking into the possibility of engaging in such a dialogue starting from a free exchange of views on the framework of these discussions among interested delegations during this session of the First Committee of the General Assembly.
My country has always been a strong supporter of nuclear-weapon-free zones in various parts of the world. Nuclear-weapon-free zones are a crucial element of global non-proliferation regime and an important confidence-building measure in various regions of the world and beyond. In this regard, my delegation warmly welcomes the signing of the Treaty on a nuclear-weapon-free-zone by the five Central Asian states in Semipalatinsk on 8 September 2006 as an important contribution to confidence-building and stability in Asia.
In conclusion may I note that Mongolia, this year, again will submit a draft biennial resolution on “Mongolia’s International Security and its Nuclear-Weapon-Free Status” and we look forward to its adoption by consensus as it was the case during the previous sessions.
I thank you, Madame Chairperson.