STATEMENT BY MR. NEMUUN GAL, SECOND SECRETARY,
PERMANENT MISSION OF MONGOLIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS,
AT THE THEMATIC DISCUSSION ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS

First Committee of the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly

October 18, 2007

 

Mr. Chairman,

Like in previous years many delegations during the general debate noted the insufficient progress on nuclear disarmament. They also pointed out to the challenges that are facing the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Indeed, despite significant reductions in nuclear arsenals since the end of the Cold War, the number of remaining nuclear warheads is unacceptably high. The historic balance between nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, coined when the NPT came into being, is perceived by many to have been shifted excessively towards non-proliferation.

13 practical steps to implement Article VI of the NPT are yet to be realized.  Commencing negotiations on instrument of negative security assurances that is unconditional and legally-binding and the universal and verifiable Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty is long overdue. The CTBT, in a decade of its existence, has not been able to enter-into-force. Mongolia agrees that this state of affairs needs to be reviewed.

The Conference on Disarmament gives a hope for a good start in 2008 thanks to the cohesion and continuity in CD‚€™s leadership. We are looking forward to a successful 2010 NPT Review Conference. The constructive spirit that prevailed at the First session of the PrepCom held in Vienna should be maintained throughout.

I would also like to reiterate the support of my Government to the Six-Party Talks on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Mongolia welcomes the progress achieved at the talks.

Mr. Chairman,     

Perception change is essential in order to close a gap in priorities of nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states. We must work strenuously in order to further strengthen the existing nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, safety and verification regimes.   

In doing so, we must bear in mind that modern global non-proliferation regime stands on three equally important pillars ‚€“ non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

In relation to energy needs of some and concerns on proliferation by others, Mongolia places importance to the right of State Parties to peaceful application of nuclear technology in accordance with the NPT. However, proof of compliance with a treaty regime is imperative if one is to enjoy fully privileges and rights conferred by the relevant legal instruments. Mongolia reaffirms therefore its commitment to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)‚€™s comprehensive safeguards system and Additional Protocols thereto. My country ratified its Additional Protocol to the IAEA Safeguards Agreement in 2003 and supports their universal application, so that combinations of a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol would be adopted as a standard norm for international verification of peaceful nuclear activities.

My delegation notes with interest the recent establishment of an International Centre for Uranium Enrichment in Angarsk and welcomes the Center‚€™s intention to meet needs of other countries in nuclear fuel.

While welcoming the latest signature by Montenegro and ratification by the Dominican Republic of the CTBT, Mongolia reiterates its call on all States, especially Annex 2 states that have not done so to sign or ratify the Treaty in order to ensure its early entry into force.  

Mr. Chairman,

Mongolia also attaches importance to implementing the Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), which is considered to be one of the most practical non-proliferation measures. It is with great satisfaction to note that within the framework of the 1540 resolution Mongolia is going to implement a project to strengthen its export and import controls over nuclear and other radioactive materials with the financial assistance from the US Government.

Mr. Chairman,

Nuclear-weapon-free zones are a crucial element of global non-proliferation regime and an important confidence-building measure in various regions and beyond. My country a has been consistent in its support to the existing NWFZs under the Treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga, Bangkok and Pelindaba. We welcome the newly established Central Asian NWFZ and support the establishment of a new NWFZ in the Middle East.

Mongolia declared its territory nuclear weapon free in 1992 and this year marks the 15th anniversary of its nuclear weapon free status. The status strengthened Mongolia‚€™s international security by political and diplomatic means and contributed to promoting nuclear non-proliferation in the region. It was not a new idea but a further development of a single-state NWFZ theory, the possibility of which was provided by the GA-mandated comprehensive study on NWFZs in 1976.

The past 15 years were marked with success in regards to advancing Mongolia‚€™s unique status. Concrete achievements in the institutionalization of the status have been repeatedly noted by the UN Secretary-General in his reports. Today, an international norm on Mongolia‚€™s NWFS is emerging. Every two years the General Assembly through its relevant resolution reiterates its full support for Mongolia‚€™s NWFS and invites Member States to continue to cooperate with Mongolia on this issue. Reference to it at the bilateral, multilateral and international levels is rising. For example, the Non-Aligned Movement has continuously supported Mongolia‚€™s NWFS at its highest level and the First Conference of the States Parties and Signatories to Treaties that Establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones, held in 2005, recognized and supported Mongolia‚€™s ‚€œinternational NWFS‚€Ě.  

 

Recognition of my country‚€™s NWFS and negative security assurances for Mongolia by all the five nuclear weapon states (P-5) in their 2000 joint statement was a major step in the institutionalization of the status. Building on this statement a legally-binding commitment by the P-5 could be a desirable option for Mongolia‚€™s NWFS.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

My country is working to achieve a legally binding NWFS. We earnestly hope that the consultation on relevant draft trilateral treaty, which was recently handed to the PRC and the Russian Federation, would commence in near future and produce concrete results.   

 

It is our view that legally institutionalized Mongolia‚€™s NWFS will have a positive effect on the progress of denuclearization in Northeast Asia and contribute to establishment of a multilateral security cooperation mechanism in the sub-region, which is advocated by Mongolia.

 

In conclusion, my delegation expresses its deep appreciation to Member States for their continued support to Mongolia‚€™s NWFS in past 15 years and reaffirms its readiness to cooperate with all the Member States and relevant UN bodies in enhancing the effectiveness, strengthening credibility and achieving full institutionalization of its status with a view of contributing to peace and stability in Northeast Asia and beyond.