General Debate

Second Committee

61st Session of the General Assembly of the UN

 

STATEMENT BY

Ms. OCHIR ENKHTSETSEG, DIRECTOR-GENERAL

DEPARTMENT OF MULTILATERAL COOPERATION

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MONGOLIA

AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE SECOND COMMITTEE

 

4 October, 2006

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

At the outset, I wish to extend my delegation’s warm felicitations to you, Mr. Chairman, and the other members of the Bureau for leading our discussions this year.

My delegation wishes to associate itself with the statement made yesterday by the distinguished representative of South Africa, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

 

Mr. Chairman,

           

The hightened vulnerability of the human family to a broad array of threats, both old and new, brings to the fore its unprecedented interdependence that is further reinforced in this era of rapid technological advances, increasing economic interconnection, globalization and dramatic geopolitical change. The notion of interdependence has been in our vocabulary since the onset of a nuclear age. However, today our interdependence per se has turned so intimately close to an individual’s every-day life, shrinking time and distance, that it makes imperative for us to collectively identify adequate responses to threats and challenges of the 21st century. And threats themselves have grown to be not only interrelated but also manifold, both in scope and nature. Terrorism, transnational organized crime, illicit trade, drug trafficking, violence, religious and other intolerance further exacerbate the deadly cycle of poverty, infectious diseases and environmental degradation.

This interdependence and resultant awareness of the shared responsibility of the international community in the face of multifaceted threats and challenges, both existing and emerging, has been widely recognized by a host of political commitments made by our leaders at Copenhagen, Beijing, Cairo, Monterrey, Johannesburg and the latest being the Millennium Summit and the World Summit  of last year. The compelling need to honor those commitments stands alone as order of the day. Proceeding from this premise, my delegation is looking forward to a summation of practical actions by the President of the General Assembly of all the ideas and initiatives pronounced at the recently concluded General Debate on implementing a global partnership for development.

Mr. Chairman,

As the world economic outlook suggests the global economic growth, albeit slow, will continue in the near future. But its rate is still not sufficient for the international community, especially the developing countries to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including MDGs. And it is further exacerbated by the uncertainty created by the suspension of the Doha round trade negotiations, volatility of international financial system and skyrocketing fuel prices to name a few. It is thus imperative that efforts be redoubled to resume the multilateral trade negotiations at the earliest possible date, so that the development promises of Doha can be fully delivered, placing the needs and interests of developing countries  at the heart of negotiations and incorporating them in a balanced and development-oriented outcome. In addition, provision of development financing, including ODA in a timely and sufficient manner and an increased market access for developing countries are much needed.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

            Mongolia attaches singular importance to its implementation of the MDGs. The Parliament adopted a specific resolution institutionalizing Mongolia’s MDGs, whereby they have been mainstreamed into the guidelines for the country’s economic and social development and the necessary funds to meet the individual goals are to be reflected in the annual state budgets.

            Currently we are developing MDGs-based comprehensive development strategy in accordance with our commitment made at the 2005 World Summit. Even though Mongolia is poised to achieve most of its MDGs, particularly those on education, gender, child and maternal health, and combating various diseases by 2015, the goals of halving poverty and ensuring environmental sustainability continue to be a source of concern. The Government, on its part, is undertaking a host of quick impact measures on poverty reduction and income generation in implementation of its MDGs. Nevertheless, poverty reduction needs to be addressed more aggressively in an effective cooperation with our developed partners.

 

Mr. Chairman,

Under MDGs 8 on “global partnership for development”, the international community has introduced specific targets to address the special needs of LLDCs. Last month the first ever meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Landlocked Developing countries held in Havana, Cuba reaffirmed anew in its Declaration the compelling need for the full, timely and effective implementation of the Almaty Program of Action and Sao Paulo Consensus.

Actions at several fronts are needed to effectively address the trade-related issues faced by LLDCs. Greater market access for LLDCs is essential in order to reduce the disadvantages of natural and market-induced handicaps. However, short-term improvements in market access alone cannot lift the inherent burden of landlockedness. Thus, market access measures can be effective if complemented by sustained efforts to enhance the productive capacity of LLDCs. In addition, the trade negotiating capacity of this group of countries ought to be strengthened through significant increase in funds and technical assistance.

Both physical and intangible aspects of transportation are critical in driving down the cost and time spent by LLDCs on their export and import. Proceeding from this premise, my President in his statement to the first Summit of LLDCs in Havana appealed to the international community to make the development of transport infrastructure a priority aid program in LLDCs, especially in the area of supporting the regional economic integration and trade capacity building.   

Mongolia has strived to actively promote the special interests of LLDCs at international fora. We have constructively participated in the International Ministerial Meeting on Transit Transport Cooperation in Almaty (2003) and Trade Ministers Meeting in Asuncion and Hong Kong (2005). Mongolia has been an active proponent of launching trade facilitation negotiations within the Doha Round of the multilateral trade negotiations. Thus, my country together with like-minded members of the WTO has submitted a number of proposals on clarifying and improving GATT Articles V, VII and X with particular emphasis on simplifying procedures and gaining special treatment for transit traffic of goods originating from LLDCs. We believe that in the 21st century the freedom of transit transportation should no longer be left at the mercy of bilateral favoritism, but rather it should develop into a fully-fledged international mechanism based on a multilateral agreement.

In the meantime, while such an international mechanism is gaining the foothold at the global arena, Mongolia is endeavoring to complete a trilateral Framework Agreement on Transit Transportation with PRC and Russia which shall become, once concluded, an effective engine of transit traffic through the world’s largest land corridor. We view that the experience and agreement secured as a result of this process could be referred to in developing the above-mentioned multilateral mechanism.     

We will spare no effort to promote the common interests of LLDCs. As a concrete step, Mongolia has offered to host in Ulaanbaatar the next meeting of our trade ministers in 2007. We believe that it will provide yet another opportunity for LLDCs and their development partners to promote their cooperation in achieving the MDGs and the Almaty Program of Action.

 

            In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, may I reiterate my delegation’s firm belief that under your able stewardship this Committee will be able to provide greater impetus to our common efforts towards achieving the MDGs and the broader development agenda of the international community. You may rest assured that of my delegation’s full cooperation in this endeavor.