New York, 9 April   2001

Mme. Chairperson,

At the outset, I would like to extend my delegationís warmest congratulations on your  unanimous election and to pledge our full cooperation and support. Our felicitations also go to the other members of the bureau on their election.

 I also join the previous speakers in expressing the gratitude of my delegation to the Under-Secretary-General Jayantha Dhanapala for his important statement in which he has touched upon the pressing issues of disarmament at the very beginning of this century.

Mme. Chairperson,

       Mongolia fully shares the view that the UNDC, an important international  deliberative body, has an increasing role to play in promoting the goals of arms control and disarmament at the regional as well as global levels. The international community is well aware of excessive stockpiling  of   arms Ė of some 30,000 nuclear warheads  and of 500 million small arms in different countries and various  regions of the world.

2001 is the second year for the UNDCís quest for agreements on two important topics: 1) ways and means to achieve nuclear disarmament; 2) practical confidence-building measures in the field of conventional arms. In this connection my delegation would like to express its gratitude and appreciation to the chairmen of the two working groups, namely Mr. Yaw Odei Osei of Ghana and Ms. Gabreila Martinic of Argentina for the efforts they have been making since last yearís session in promoting negotiations  of the aforementioned two important issues.

Mme. Chairperson,

Taking this opportunity my delegation would like to briefly focus on some issues that, in its view, need priority attention.

           Nuclear disarmament, the most crucial task of the whole range of disarmament and non-proliferation issues, is a prerequisite for the maintenance and strengthening of international peace and security.

             By adopting the Millennium Declaration last year,  the Heads of State and Government of member States of the United Nations have underlined their determination for the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons. This commitment should be vigorously pursued. Bearing this in mind,  Mongolia welcomes and supports the proposal by the Secretary-General to convene a major international conference aimed at identifying ways of eliminating nuclear dangers.

             In addition, we have a very important statement by the nuclear-weapon States concerning ďan unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to total nuclear disarmamentĒ, made during  the 2000 NPT Review  Conference.  This statement implies taking of concrete practical measures to reduce the nuclear arsenals and to embark upon the process that would lead to a substantial reduction and ultimately to the total elimination of nuclear weapons, as reflected in the final document of the Conference.

             Still on nuclear disarmament, my delegation believes that the member States and parties concerned should make every effort to achieve without delay the following objectives: bringing  the CTBT   into force as soon as possible and ensuring compliance with its provisions, strengthening the non-proliferation   regime and implementing fully the NPT,  preservation of the spirit of the ABM Treaty and conclusion of a universal and verifiable Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty as  early as possible.  My delegations also attaches a great importance to the implementation of START II  and to the  conclusion of START III. 

             Mme. Chairperson,

 Mongolia believes that the  principles and guidelines on the establishment of NWFZs, adopted two years ago by the UNDC would  further consolidate the existing zones and facilitate the establishment of  new ones which is  an important and valuable component of nuclear non-proliferation and a positive factor of regional security and stability.

 Mongoliaís nuclear-weapon-free status  is broadly supported by the international community. The United Nations General Assembly has adopted two resolutions in 1998 and 2000  in support of strengthening of  Mongoliaís nuclear-weapon-free status and the five nuclear-weapon States last fall have provided Mongolia with both positive and negative  security assurances in connection with that status.  We believe that a clearly defined and internationally recognized status would be Mongoliaís practical contribution  to promoting the goal of strengthening the non-proliferation regime. 

            Mme. Chairperson,

            The other important task of the UNDC is to discuss and identify  practical confidence-building measures in the field of conventional arms. Mongolia attaches great importance to reduction and even elimination of certain categories and types of conventional weapons. It believes,  however, that reduction in conventional armaments should be carried out bearing in mind the defense and security needs of States. 

 My delegation  shares the legitimate concerns of the international community over the increasing threat from spread of small arms and light weapons and their illegal trade. Nowadays it would not be an exaggeration  to say that each of us knows by heart  the alarming statistics of impacts that have been caused to the human lives by these types of weapons during the last decade. In this context, my delegation welcomes the ongoing preparations under chairmanship of Amb. Carlos Dos Santos of Mozambique  for  the United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its aspects in  July  2001. This conference should adopt  a comprehensive action program containing all necessary measures to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade of these types of weapons in all its aspects at the national, regional  and global levels as well as concrete ways of international cooperation and assistance and follow-up.     

Mongolia welcomed the entry into force of the anti-personnel landmines convention as  an  important step  in conventional disarmament. Strict implementation of the convention would reduce substantially human sufferings in many regions of the world. Although the countryís specific conditions do not allow  Mongolia to join the above convention at present, being supportive of the primary objective of banning landmines, we will be seeking ways and means to accede to the above convention as early as possible.

It is also my delegationís belief that  further reduction of conventional arms and increase in transparency of military budgets and arms trade of States would promote confidence-building. Therefore my delegation advocates further strengthening of the  UN arms register.  

            Finally, Mme. Chairperson, I would like to take this opportunity to assure you of my delegationís full cooperation in your efforts to bring  the work of the session to a successful conclusion.

             Thank you,  Mme. Chairperson.