Statement by H.E. Ms. Enkhtsetseg Ochir

Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations
at the General Debate of the 2009 United Nations Disarmament Commission

New York, April 15, 2009

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

My delegation congratulates you on your election as Chairman of this Commission for this year’s session.  We are confident that in you able stewardship, this session of the UNDC will continue to advance the GA-entrusted mandate.

 

            My delegation supports the new cycle agenda, which has been adopted earlier today by the Commission.

 

Mongolia is committed to the purposes and principles of the UNDC as a specialized, deliberative and universal body in the UN disarmament architecture. Mongolia contributed to the work of the UNDC by chairing the Commission in 1995 and submitting a working paper with a perspective from Mongolia’s NWFS and contributed to the adoption of the guidelines on establishment of NWFZ by the UNDC back in 1999.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

            My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered earlier today by Indonesia on behalf of the NAM. In addition to that in my brief remarks I wish to emphasize the importance and role of nuclear-weapon-free zones to the attainment of the objectives of nuclear disarmament.

 

This year the NWFZs are marked with positive developments with the latest entry into force of the Central Asian NWFZ on March 21 and the 40th anniversary of entry into force of the first NWFZ in Latin America and the Caribbean, to be commemorated on 25 April this year.

 

At present NWFZs cover more than 50 per cent of the Earth’s landmass and unite almost two thirds of the UN membership. These zones are unique in that they are next to nuclear weapon states, a move that signals a switch from passive to active disarmament. And most importantly, NWFZ treaties strengthen international rule of law in the area of disarmament.

 

We believe that the effectiveness of NWFZs could be further promoted by closer coordination and cooperation between the existing zones. It is our hope that the second NWFZ conference, scheduled for 2010, would mark an important step in this regard and would also contribute to a productive and successful outcome of the 2010 NPT revcon. Following-up on the first NWFZ conference held in 2005 in Mexico, the focal point of Mongolia’s NWFS held consultations with the focal points of NWFZs on the margins of the GA63rd session’s 1st committee.  Based upon the agreement from these consultations, Mongolia will be hosting a meeting of focal points of NWFZ Treaties and Mongolia on 27 and 28 April this year in Ulaanbaatar. The objective of the meeting is to discuss the ways of promoting cooperation and strengthening the coordination mechanism between NWFZs in line with the Tlatelolco Declaration of 2005. The provisional program of the meeting includes review of the implementation of the Tlatelolco Declaration, preliminary exchange of views on preparation for the 2nd Conference of NWFZs and preparations for the 2010 NPT review conference.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

Taking into account the fact that the establishment of NWFZs is essential part of effective and practical measures to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, Mongolia is pursuing its continued policy of institutionalizing its NWFS. We are pleased to inform the delegations to the UNDC that Mongolia has started talks with its two neighbours to conclude the required legal instrument. On 3 and 4 March last, China, Russia and Mongolia held the first meeting at Geneva to discuss Mongolia’s draft trilateral treaty on its nuclear-weapon-free status. At this meeting the sides exchanged views on major provisions of the draft treaty and discussed the possible format of the trilateral agreement so that it would be in conformity with the existing commitments by China and Russia. The Mongolian side underlined that its good-neighborly relations with the two neighbors formed a good basis for institutionalizing the status which would promote further confidence among them and be in the national interests of all three countries. The Geneva meeting proved very useful for better understanding the views and positions of each country on the issue at hand and the delegations agreed to have further meetings in future. And we hope that these talks would result in the conclusion of an international instrument institutionalizing its NWFS not before long.

 

In concluding, Mr. Chairman, I wish to reiterate my delegation’s full support of your efforts for a productive session this year.