UNGA 56th session

Third Committee

Agenda item: 130

“Elimination of racism and racial discrimination”







                                                                                                                 31 January 2002

Mr. Chairman,

             At the outset I wish to join the preceding speakers in expressing our appreciation to the High Commissioner Mary Robinson and the Director of New York Office for their introductory statements on the current agenda item. Taking this opportunity I wish also to express our gratitude and appreciation to the people and Government of South Africa for hosting the World Conference on Racism last year.

             My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the Chairman of the Group of 77 on this agenda item this morning.

 Mr. Chairman,

             Throughout centuries the world has been divided by the abstract differences such difference in religious beliefs, cultures, languages and views on one hand, and by the physical differences such as difference in the color of skin on the other hand. It took consistent and long-standing struggle and sacrifice of many generations to eliminate the roots of racism and racial discrimination set deep in minds of people. In the second half of the 20th century his struggle culminated in the conclusion of a series of important international human rights treaties and conventions. But, despite those achievements and continuous efforts of the international community the principle objectives of this struggle have not been attained and countless human beings continue to be victims of racism and racial discrimination today. It should be noted with grave concern that the racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance continue to occur in their contemporary forms and manifestations.

             As the High Commissioner pointed out in her statement “Although the standard of non-discrimination has been established as bedrock principle of international law, the persistence of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance clearly demonstrates the need to look for new ways to address this problem with more resolve, with more humanity and with greater efficiency”. Durban Conference became an important milestone in this regard. It is widely recognized that despite all the obstacles and difficulties the Conference was successful. Its final outcome documents represent by themselves a new world vision for a long-term struggle against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at this Conference contain a wide range of strategies, policies and actions to be undertaken at various levels. What is needed now is their practical implementation through our joint efforts, cooperation and partnership at all levels.

             Among others my delegation wishes to single out the fact that racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance are closely linked with the socio-economic factors. Inequitable economic and social conditions can breed and foster racism and racial discrimination, while reduction of poverty and unemployment, overcoming economic backwardness would affect the human rights protection positively. Therefore, further expanding of the development assistance to developing countries, improvement of ODA efficiency are crucial not only from the economic growth perspective, but also from that of strengthening and protection of human rights.

             The persistence of the racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in the modern world is also linked with the psychological elements. Hence, the use of mass media in a responsible manner, as well as the efficient use of modern information technology in disseminating anti-racist and anti-xenophobic sentiments is indispensable in the fight against racism. Besides them, NGOs and the civil society also have an important role to play in this fight.   

 Mr. Chairman,

             Last year Mongolia celebrated the 40th anniversary of its membership in the United Nations. Mongolia has supported the principles and purposes enshrined in the Charter of the UN, the Universal Declaration of Human rights, it has joined almost all major human rights instruments including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.  Over past period it has made enormous efforts in order to fulfill its obligations undertaken under the international treaties and conventions. Under the inspiration of the democratic reform, which started in the 1990s, Mongolia has intensively launched the process of incorporation of the norms of the international human rights instruments into its national legislation within the framework of legal reform.

             Thus, the adoption of the new Constitution in 1992 was a great achievement since it broadened the narrow sense, in which the human rights terminology was used, and declared the principle of equal rights of all human beings. Furthermore, Article 10 of the Constitution has declared that all norms of international treaties and agreements, which Mongolia is a party to, will be equally binding within Mongolia’s jurisdiction upon their ratification. It has become the main principle of legal reform in Mongolia. Article 70 of the Criminal Code of Mongolia stipulates that any person who advocates racial discrimination and related intolerance will be punished accordingly.

 Among the most recent measures undertaken in the field of human rights, I wish to underline the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission last year.  As a follow-up to the National Human Rights Conference held in December 2000, we launched Human Rights Action Plan in May 2001. The main purpose of this Plan is not only to establish a comprehensive human rights protection mechanism and improve the national capacity, but also to find solution and develop our cooperation at the regional level in this field.

 In conclusion, I wish to reiterate the keen interest of my Government to develop further its cooperation with other countries and international organizations, in particular with the Office of the High Commissioner, in the field of the protection of human rights, as well as in the practical implementation of recommendations of Durban Conference.