Statement by  H. E. Mr.  J. Enkhsaikhan, 
Ambassador of Mongolia in the
General Debate  of the First Committee

09 October  2001, New York                                         

                         
Mr. Chairman,

            At the outset, I would like to join the  preceding colleagues  in extending  to you the warmest congratulations on your well-deserved election and to pledge my delegation's full support and cooperation. We are confident that your diplomatic skill, personal experience in the field of disarmament and your dedication will bring the Committee’s work to a successful conclusion. Our felicitations also go to the other members of the bureau on their election.

            My delegation  would also like to express its deep gratitude and appreciation to Amb. U Mya Than of Myanmar for his able guidance of the work of the Committee last year.

            Before proceeding with my statement, allow me, Mr. Chairman, to express once again my delegation’s sincere condolences to the people of the United States for the terrible loss of human lives  and deepest sympathy to the families of the victims and the people of our host city New York.

            Mr. Chairman,

            This year the United Nations General Assembly, including this Committee, is conducting  its work in  unconventional international circumstances, when international peace and security are being  threatened by unprecedented  terrorist attacks of September 11.  These tragic events have highlighted the role that this Committee is called upon to play  in promoting international peace and security through  multilateral disarmament and arms control processes.  My delegation expresses the hope that the Committee’s deliberations and discussions would be most  productive   in promoting the goals of achieving general and complete disarmament as well as in the search for a new, viable concept of  security, addressing both the existing and emerging threats at the dawn of  this new century.

            Mr. Chairman,

            In my intervention today, I would like to focus on some issues that, in this delegation’s view, should be priority in the current agenda of the Committee.

            Given the nature of security threats, in our view, the international community has to make greater efforts to reduce and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear.  My delegation shares the view that there is a real need to make tangible progress in the areas of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, which, ironically, has eluded us in the post-cold war decade.   

            The States Parties to the NPT have rightly concluded last year that “the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons”.   My delegation fully subscribes to that view.  The world leaders have also underlined their determination in the Millennium Declaration in 2000 to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction. Thus the  political will seems to be evident. However, some important international instruments aimed at promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation   still await either entry into force or effective implementation.    Therefore, it is vitally important for the international community to translate the manifested political will to ensure that  the unequivocal commitments  solemnly  made with regard to the total elimination of nuclear weapon, and steps to be taken in the interim, are practically honored.  

            Mr. Chairman,

            With regard to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, which are  important prerequisites for strengthening global peace and security,  early entry into force of  the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is of paramount importance.  Therefore, the States that have not yet done so, in particular those whose ratification is needed for its entry into force, should sign and/or ratify it as soon as possible and, pending its entry into force and uphold a moratorium on nuclear-weapon-test explosions or any other nuclear explosions. My delegation expresses the hope that the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into force of the CTBT, to be held during the forthcoming general debate of the General Assembly, would give the necessary political impetus in that regard.   

             Mongolia still believes that, in the absence of an alternative solution, unilateral abrogation of the ABM Treaty, so far the cornerstone of global strategic stability, could adversely affect the over-all existing strategic balance with all the ensuing consequences.  Therefore, Mongolia calls upon the parties to the ABM treaty, pending agreement on mutually acceptable solution, to refrain from any measure that might undermine the spirit of the Treaty. With respect to strategic arms reductions, Mongolia  underlines the importance of  early entry into force of the  START II treaty and looks forward to further practical steps that could lead to substantial and meaningful reductions in nuclear arsenals within the START III process.  

            Still on nuclear disarmament, my delegation also urges the Conference on Disarmament to engage in earnest negotiations on an early conclusion of a universal and verifiable Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty. Pending the negotiation of that treaty, we would welcome a moratorium on the production of weapons grade fissile materials and greater transparency through disclosure of their present stocks. In this context, my delegation reiterates its call upon the United Nations to establish, as transparency and confidence building measures,  a Register of all stocks of weapons grade fissile material as  an important addition to the existing UN Register of Conventional Arms.

            Bearing in mind the fact that credibility of the CTBT and other international instruments prohibiting and destroying weapons of mass destruction depend to a great extent on the effectiveness of their verification regimes, Mongolia welcomes and supports the efforts aimed at ensuring  reliable operation of the existing control and monitoring systems under the CTBT and  CWC,  and the undertaking of measures to improve the  BWC verification mechanism.  In this connection, my delegation regrets that the talks  on a verification protocol to strengthen the 1972 BWC have failed  and expresses the hope that the further work would be taken up at the upcoming Fifth Review Conference of the Parties to be held next month.     

            Mr. Chairman,

             Unfortunately, military doctrines of nuclear-weapon States still place emphasis  on nuclear weapons.  Therefore, Mongolia supports the adoption of such steps as de-alerting of nuclear weapons, removal of nuclear warheads from delivery vehicles, joint undertakings by the nuclear-weapon powers of a pledge not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and some other well-known measures, as essential safety measures to reduce the risk of unauthorized or miscalculated use of nuclear weapons. We also underline the need of providing  legally binding negative security assurances to non-nuclear States - parties to the NPT.

            The tragedy of September 11  was a serious signal on the increasing danger of  possible use by non-State actors of weapons of mass destruction. As the Secretary-General underlined last week in the debate on terrorism, “a single attack involving a nuclear or biological weapon could have killed millions”.  Today’s stark reality proves that there is a growing possibility for non-State actors to  acquire  nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon for terrorist purposes.   Therefore, besides the legal instruments prohibiting the weapons of mass destruction, it is vitally important today for the international community to promote closer cooperation to upgrade the physical protection of nuclear material, combat illicit trafficking in nuclear materials and other radioactive sources, and enhance the protection and control of nuclear facilities against acts of terrorism and sabotage.  In addition to the nuclear disarmament treaties, my delegation urges the international community to finalize as soon as possible the draft convention against nuclear terrorism and the comprehensive convention on international terrorism as well as to speed up the entry into force of the Statute of the International Criminal Court and of the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.   

            Mr. Chairman,

             Consolidation of existing and establishment of new nuclear-weapon-free zones are important factors for strengthening non-proliferation as well as regional stability and security. Mongolia, based on its unique geo-political location, strives to make its modest contribution to this cause.  I would like to take this opportunity to express my delegation’s gratitude to the DDA,  especially its Center for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, for organizing last month in Sapporo a meeting of independent experts of the P5 and Mongolia to look for the ways and means of strengthening Mongolia’s nuclear-weapon-free status. The experts have concluded that further steps need to be taken at the international level to strengthen the status. We believe that institutionalization of Mongolia’s status would be an important measure towards strengthening predictability, confidence building and non-proliferation in the region.  

            Mr. Chairman,

             Mongolia fully shares the legitimate concerns of the international community over the illicit trafficking and global proliferation of small arms and light weapons, which are the principal instruments of death throughout the world,  especially in the regions affected by armed conflicts.  Mongolia attaches   great importance to the outcome of the first ever UN Conference on this issue, held last July in New York. The Program of Action adopted by the Conference by consensus is an important step towards preventing, combating and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. At the same time, my delegation, like many others, regrets over the failure of the Conference to reach agreement on controlling private ownership of small arms designed for the military purposes, as well as their transfer to non-State actors, including to possible terrorists.   Nevertheless, my delegation believes that the follow-up measures that have been reflected in the Program of Action would strengthen the gains of the Conference.    

            In the sub-regional context, my country welcomed  the historic inter-Korean summit of 2000 and the ensuing dialogue and contacts, which are important in building confidence between  the two Koreas and in the region as a whole.  Mongolia welcomes and supports practical ideas and proposals aimed at developing in Northeast Asia of a mechanism to discuss regional security issues of common concern or interest. As the Mongolian delegation has underlined last year, perhaps it is time  to consider the possibility of engaging in a regional dialogue starting from a free exchange of views on the framework of such discussions and dialogue. Mongolia is ready to discuss this issue with interested delegations.  

            In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to underline once again the   importance that Mongolia attaches to the work of this Committee and to express my delegation’s readiness to work with you and the delegations in bringing our common work to a successful conclusion.