INTERVENTION BY MR.BAATAR CHOISUREN, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF MULTILATERAL COOPERATION, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MONGOLIA, DURING THE THEMATIC DEBATE OF THE INFORMAL MINISTERIAL MEETING OF THE COMMUNITY OF DEMOCRACIES

 

“Global Challenges to Democratic Governance”

 

New York, 26 September 2008

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

Let me join others to congratulate Portugal for assuming chairmanship of the Community of Democracies. I would also like to commend the previous chair, Mali, for its successful leadership of the CD over the last few years.

Today, global challenges ranging from dealing with climate change and implementing MDGs and addressing security issues such as terrorism and organized transnational crimes require global cooperation and strong democratic governance. We believe that the democratic governance is most suited to provide the enabling environment and has advantage in addressing these and other challenges, including the recent global food and energy crisis.

Mr. Chairman,

Poverty is the most serious threat to democratic governance. In the Bamako Consensus from the last November’s Ministerial Conference we reaffirmed to strengthen the democratic governance as an essential means to reduce poverty and support equitable and sustainable development.

 

In Mongolia, we have streamlined democratic governance into the implementation of the MDGs as Goal 9 on human rights, democracy and zero-tolerance to corruption. The democratic governance indicators, which are being finalized with the support from the UN, will allow us to monitor MDG-9 along with other goals and targets. It is an innovative step reflecting the inseparable link between development, good governance, human rights and democracy. In view of this, Mongolia is ready to share its experience and learn from others as we further carry on the above exercise, which would result in institutionalization of democratic governance indicators within Mongolia’s MDGs. The DGIs as an effective tool for policy-makers could contribute to providing democracy dividend in terms of development.

 

            Mr. Chairman,

 

Corruption, terrorism and organized crime challenge democratic governance by undermining the rule of law and impeding efforts to promote freedom and protect human rights.

 

We, Ministers, confirmed in the Bamako Consensus that corruption as “an insidious threat to democracy that fosters an anti-democratic environment that leads to disrespect for institutions and legitimate authority.” We view that the CD should promote development of international cooperation against corruption.

 

Mongolia approved anti-corruption law and established an agency for combating corruption. As mentioned earlier, we have streamlined zero tolerance to corruption as one of targets under Millennium Development Goal-9. Our main challenge in combating corruption is concerned with improving capacity of the judicial system in the country.

 

Terrorism is a global scourge and a major threat to democracy. Mongolia upholds that there can be no justification for any act of terrorism on any grounds and strongly condemns it in all its forms and manifestations. UN General Assembly earlier this September reviewed the two-year implementation of the 2006 Global Counter Terrorism Strategy and renewed its call for its effective implementation. Mongolia abides by its commitments to all relevant UN Counter-Terrorism Conventions and Protocols and relevant Security Council Resolutions and strives to implement the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.

 

            Mr. Chairman,

 

Progress on democracy depends on promoting and protecting human rights. The CD was established to support the values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 60th anniversary of which the international community is going to observe this year. The Declaration inspired nations for democratic constitution making and contributed greatly to the acceptance of democracy as a universal value. Proceeding from basic provisions of the Declaration Mongolia too in its Constitution of 1992 promulgated a chapter on human rights and has been actively engaged in carrying out an extensive legal reform bringing the body of national laws in line with the international standards. Now, as a state party to over 30 international treaties and conventions on human rights Mongolia is committed to the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

The principles of democratic governance are just as important internationally as they are at the national level. This was recognized in the 1997 Universal Declaration on Democracy, which called on States to apply democratic principle in the international organizations. Despite significant advances, democracy at the global decision-making level is far from what it should be. In the system of global governance, which is largely seen as flawed, we experience democratic deficit in international economic institutions, including the Bretton Woods Institutions. Furthermore, the Economic and Social Council of the UN should be given real power to promote global dialogue and partnership on global policies and trends in economic and social fields.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

We think that the Community of Democracies needs to further reinvigorate itself and strengthen cohesiveness and cooperation among its members in addressing global challenges to democratic governance.

 

Foremost, we must be able to boldly express solidarity with democratic governments.  

 

Secondly, the Democracy Caucus need to be further activated on number of issues of common interest to the CD within the UN. We must build on our advantages to contribute effectively to the work of the UN, including its reform agenda.

Thirdly, we view that capacity-building and institution-building related to democratic governance and the rule of law including aspects relevant to implementation of international legal instruments on human rights and freedoms should continue to be one of CD priorities. Thus, the Community’s capacity in the international cooperation and assistance to new democracies must be strengthened. Here, I would also like to emphasize that the ICNRD with its serious substantive agenda on democratic governance and civil society engagement could become the CD’s partner in advancing the international democracy agenda.

In view of this activation and institutionalization process, Mongolia welcomes the newly created Permanent Secretariat of the CD.

In conclusion, I would like to assure you that Mongolia is fully committed to cooperating with all members of the Community in our common quest to build a safer and more prosperous world through consolidating democracy and democratic governance nationally and internationally.