New York, 10 October 2007

      Mr. Chairman,

At the outset allow me to congratulate you on your assumption of the Chairmanship of this committee. I am confident that under your skillful leadership our work this year will be crowned with success. I take this opportunity to assure you of my delegation‚€™s full support and cooperation in discharge of your important duties.

Mr. Chairman,

Mongolia aligns itself fully with the statement made by the distinguished Ambassador of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. I therefore will be brief and limit myself to a few observations from our national perspective.

Mr. Chairman,

Last year, a general sense of disappointment seemed to prevail among Member States over the situation in multilateral disarmament and international security fields. My delegation is heartened to see that a more optimistic mood is setting the tone for our deliberations this year. Indeed, several previous speakers welcomed, albeit in some cases modestly, developments that have taken place in multilateral disarmament and arms control forums since this committee last met. Examples were given such as the successful BTWC Review Conference, first session of the 2010 NPT Review Conference Preparatory Committee, and promising dynamics within the Conference on Disarmament that give hope that this sole multilateral disarmament negotiating body will finally be able to overcome its impasse and start substantive work. My delegation shares this sentiment of cautious optimism.

Mr. Chairman,

The NPT continues to be the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. We must build on the ‚€œmodest‚€Ě success of the first session of the Preparatory Committee held in Vienna earlier this year and ensure the successful outcome of the next Review Conference.

Nuclear disarmament continues to be the NPT pillar that is afforded highest priority by the majority of Member States and my delegation is no exception. Having said that, in today‚€™s international security environment one would be amiss to neglect the WMD proliferation risks and efforts aimed at countering them.

Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) is a meaningful step towards curbing the WMD proliferation. Mongolia views the UNSCR 1540 as critical to achieving the objective of eliminating the risk that non-State actors may acquire, develop, traffic in or use WMDs. The resolution also provides a solid basis for improving national control facilities with the assistance offered under it. My country having examined the status of its implementation of the resolution 1540 has developed a draft project on Strengthening Technical Capabilities for Export and Import Controls over Nuclear and Other Radioactive Materials in Mongolia. This 3-year project aims at establishing effective export and import controls over nuclear and other radioactive materials at Mongolia‚€™s fixed ports of entry by enhancing the technical capability of border control agencies through provision of up-to-date, high sensitive detection equipment. As such, the project will serve to implement the relevant provisions of the UNSCR 1540. I take this opportunity to express the sincere gratitude of my Government to the Government of the United States of America for its pledge of assistance in implementation of this project. 

Mongolia continues to place priority importance to early entry into-force and universality of the Comprehensive-Test-Ban Treaty, to start of negotiations on a legally-binding instrument on negative security assurances to the non-nuclear weapon states parties to the NPT and the Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty.

Mongolia views that outer space, being the common heritage of the humankind, should be explored and used solely for peaceful purposes to the benefit of all nations. We support initiatives aimed at preventing an arms race in outer space and threat or use of force against space objects through adopting a relevant legally-binding instrument.   

Mr. Chairman,

Mongolia firmly believes that diplomacy is the only way to resolve the ongoing crisis over the scope and nature of Iran‚€™s nuclear programme. Mongolia calls on Iran to accord its fullest possible cooperation to the IAEA and implement the relevant Security Council resolutions.

As a Northeast Asian nation, Mongolia attaches particular significance to strengthening peace and security in this sub-region. My Government has consistently supported the multilateral efforts aimed at resolving the issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and follows closely the Six-Party Talks, latest round of which took place in Beijing last month. We welcome the progress made so far. It is now imperative to maintain this positive momentum.

On its part, Mongolia has strived to contribute to the advancement of the Six-Party Talks and to that end hosted in Ulaanbaatar a bilateral working group session on the normalization of relations between Japan and the DPRK on 4-5 September this year. We stand ready to continue our efforts and host meetings of this and other working groups in the future.

The Government of Mongolia warmly welcomes the success of the second summit meeting between the Democratic People‚€™s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea earlier this month in Pyongyang. It is our sincere hope that the measures included in the Declaration for Development of North-South Relations and Peace and Prosperity shall make an important contribution to advancing the inter-Korean political dialogue, economic and other cooperation, as well as to strengthening peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and in all of Northeast Asia.

Against the backdrop of promising political dynamics in the sub-region, Mongolia is optimistic that its early call for a multilateral security cooperation mechanism in Northeast Asia would gain grounds for support in the sub-region and beyond.

Mr. Chairman,

The period of time since this committee last met has also been marked by high-profile anniversaries of various multilateral disarmament instruments such as the 10th anniversary of the Ottawa Convention and 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

Mongolia supports the goals and objectives of the Ottawa Convention. We however have not yet acceded to the Landmine Ban Treaty opted for a step-by-step approach instead. As a result of this policy national legislation has recently been amended in order to declassify the information regarding antipersonnel mines. Subsequently, the Government of Mongolia submitted its first voluntary report under Article VII of the Convention.

Mr. Chairman,

For my delegation, this year marks the 15th anniversary of Mongolia‚€™s nuclear-weapon-free status.

It was in October 1992, that the first President of Mongolia, H.E. Mr. Ochirbat, declared the territory of Mongolia as a nuclear-weapon-free zone in this very building. In his address, he pointed out that ‚€œ‚€¶ 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.‚€Ě

In coming up with this initiative, Mongolia was led by its long-standing principled position in favour of attaining the goal of complete and general disarmament, affording highest priority to nuclear disarmament,  and support for establishment of NWFZs in all regions of the world.

The proposed nuclear-weapon-free zone was not however to be established due to the geographical location Mongolia, as it does not have common borders with any non-nuclear state. Nevertheless, such unique geopolitical situation allowed us to work out, in cooperation with our partners, a truly pioneering concept of Mongolia‚€™s nuclear-weapon-free status ‚€“an internationally recognized status that has taken firm roots in the tapestry of the global non-proliferation regime.

Mongolia has worked strenuously to institutionalize its nuclear-weapon-free status, with a view to achieving not only an internationally recognized but also a legally binding NWFS. My Government is now resuming its consultations with Mongolia‚€™s two immediate neighbors - the People‚€™s Republic of China and the Russian Federation - on conclusion of a relevant trilateral treaty.

Mr. Chairman,

Last but not least, I would like to warmly welcome Ambassador Sergio de Queiroz Duarte in his new capacity as High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. Ambassador Duarte‚€™s rich experience and expertise in disarmament issues, and personal involvement and commitment of the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to revitalizing the international disarmament agenda, bode well for the future of our efforts.

Thank you very much.