STATEMENT BY H. E. MR.  J. ENKHSAIKHAN,
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF
MONGOLIA IN THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE FIRST COMMITTEE

 3 October   2002                                                                                          New York

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to join the preceding speakers in extending to you the warmest congratulations of my delegation on your election to guide the work of this Committee. My delegation is confident that your rich experience and expertise in disarmament issues will be an invaluable asset to our committee.  I also congratulate the other members of the bureau on their well deserved election

Mr. Chairman,

Two years ago through the Millennium Declaration the heads of States and Governments of member States expressed their solemn resolve to, inter alia, free peoples from the scourge of war and to eliminate the dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction. However, during the past two years neither a breakthrough  nor any significant progress have been made in multilateral negotiations on the elimination of weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, United nations Disarmament Commission could not hold its session this year that would have observed its 50th anniversary, while the Conference on Disarmament could not agree on its program of work for the last four years.

In view of the widely recognized  urgency of nuclear disarmament this lack of genuine progress defies logic. Is it because the accumulation of “rust” in multilateral disarmament machinery the Secretary General spoke about got so thick that it is inhibiting its effective functioning or perhaps the machinery  is overburdened by the vestiges of cold war and requires  a profound overhaul?   How can we explain such a lethargic movement towards the cherished goal  to ordinary men and women who are waiting eagerly for  the implementation of unequivocal undertaking of nuclear powers to accomplish total elimination of their nuclear arsenals.  It is specially so in light of the security challenges presented by international terrorism. The tragic events of 9/11 have left a deep impact both on international relations and on the minds of peoples. It opened our eyes to dangers and risks brought by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. The tragedy  signaled the increasing danger of possible possession and use by non-State actors of such horrible weapons.  

On a positive note,  the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed by 165 states of which 93 states have ratified it. Of the 44 states whose ratification is necessary for entry into force of the CTBT 31 have so far ratified the Treaty. 165 states had signed the Chemical Weapons Convention and 146 of them have already deposited their instruments of ratification.

The agreement between USA and Russian Federation to reduce their deployment of strategic nuclear weapons, the initiative approved at G8 Kananaskis summit to earmark $20 billion to assist Russian Federation and other countries in disarmament activities related to weapons of mass destruction raises the hope that verifiable and transparent disarmament involving other nuclear powers will become a reality in the coming days.

Mr. Chairman,

Strengthening international peace and security through disarmament process and making its own modest contribution to this end has always been a priority of my Mongolia’s foreign policy. In doing so, we always attached special importance to elimination of weapons of mass destruction  and means of their delivery. In this context, Mongolia attaches special importance to the destruction of tactical nuclear weapons. We firmly believe that nuclear disarmament is not only the key to the solution of a wide  range of disarmament and non-proliferation issues, but  also for  maintaining and strengthening of international peace and security.

Therefore, my delegation fully shares the view that there is a pressing need to make tangible progress in the areas of nuclear disarmament, in particular, disarmament in the field of tactical nuclear weapons and non-proliferation. The Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is the cornerstone of global non-proliferation regime, and the foundation for further concerted efforts towards nuclear disarmament.  

 During the 2000 NPT Review Conference, the States Parties to the Treaty have committed  to implement the important conclusions and recommendations contained in the Final Document. In this context, my delegation welcomes the decision of the Government of Cuba to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to ratify the Tlatelolco Treaty. Leaders of the United States and the Russian Federation agreed in Moscow in May to reduce by 2/3 their strategic nuclear warheads by the end of 2012. Mongolia welcomes these measures as positive step in nuclear disarmament.         

The Review Conference also concluded that there was a need to establish in the Conference on Disarmament an appropriate subsidiary body to deal specifically with nuclear disarmament issues and called for an immediate establishment of such a body. I wish to emphasize the vital role played over the years by the Conference on Disarmament (CD), the sole multilateral negotiating body of disarmament issues. Breaking the impasse, displaying necessary political will to start the discussion of substantive issues on its agenda is of crucial importance. In this regard, Mongolia reiterates its belief that the “Amorim proposal” could serve as a useful basis for further consultations. At the same time our position is flexible. We are ready to consider any proposal that may facilitate the start of the substantive work within the CD. A year ago my Minister for Foreign Affairs, speaking at the CD, proposed that  pending the negotiation of the Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty, the nuclear-weapon-States declare a moratorium on the production of weapons grade fissile materials and promote greater transparency through disclosure of their present stocks. He also urged the United Nations to establish a Register for all stocks of weapons grade fissile material. The recent seizure of  enriched uranium at Turkish boarder clearly demonstrates the significance and timeliness of this proposal.  

Mr. Chairman,

Mongolia consistently supports consolidation of existing and establishment of new nuclear-weapon-free zones, which  are important components of nuclear non-proliferation that positively impact regional security and stability. In this connection I would like to congratulate Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on reaching an agreement on the content of a treaty establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia. In conjunction with properly institutionalized Mongolia’ nuclear-weapon-free status, this new treaty could make a significant contribution to strengthening nuclear non-proliferation and turning the entire Central Asian region, which merely a decade ago housed thousands of nuclear weapons, into a zone of peace and predictability. This would foreclose the possibility of “nuclear great games” in the heart of Asia by States or non-State actors.

Ten years ago Mongolia declared its territory a nuclear-weapon-free zone. As  seen from the report of the Secretary-General contained in document A/57/159, Mongolia has taken a number of concrete steps to institutionalize the status at national and international levels. Nationally, we adopted a legislation that legally defines the status as well as imposes penalties for its breach. Internationally, together with the UN appropriate bodies, Mongolia is working to find ways of proper institutionalizing it. The Sapporo meeting of independent experts of the five nuclear-weapon States, Mongolia and of representative of DDA/UN has thoroughly examined the issue and the participants have come to agreed conclusions and recommendations. In line with those recommendations, Mongolia proposed to institutionalize the status by concluding a multilateral agreement, to which our two immediate neighbors – China and Russia- have in principle responded positively.

Mongolia is interested in moving forward on this issue on the basis of general agreement. It is open-minded on the ways and means of consolidating and institutionalizing the status. Being special case, perhaps, it needs an individual approach to consolidating the status and addressing the formidable external challenges. It is bearing this mind that Mongolia, together with UNDP and some other UN bodies, is undertaking two studies on its economic and ecological vulnerabilities. We are looking forward to the results of the studies.

At this session of the General Assembly Mongolia will present a procedural resolution that would invite member States and relevant UN bodies to continue their assistance in consolidating its nuclear-weapon-free status.      

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. The 2001 Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons of 2001 adopted  a comprehensive action program containing the necessary measures to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade of these types of weapons at all levels. It also pointed out the  concrete ways of developing international cooperation and assistance and follow-up. Any positive steps in implementation of the program will constitute an important building block for resolving  wide ranging  humanitarian and socio-economic issues related to this issue. Such as removal the threat of illicit arms trade to peace and  security as well as sustainable development at national, regional and international levels.

My delegation shares the view of Mr. Dhanapala, Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs concerning the daunting challenges presented by non-proliferation education- and missiles. On the initiative of Mongolia  years 2003-2013 has been declared a decade of literacy. My delegation is confident that literacy will empower the poor and neglected, enable them to participate actively in the life of society, including the struggle for disarmament. In the same vein, we should closely cooperate  with NGO’s for nuclear disarmament, prohibiting  illicit arms trade,  in the field of advocacy for relationship between disarmament and development. 

Mr. Chairman,

Mongolia welcomed the entry into force of the anti-personnel landmines convention as  an  important step  in conventional disarmament. Mongolia is carefully studying the possibility of its accession to the convention. It is also my delegation’s belief that  further reduction of conventional arms and increase in transparency of military budgets and arms trade of States would promote confidence-building.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, my delegation wishes to underscore that the current setbacks in the multilateral disarmament process, should serve as the call to redouble our concerted efforts for the search of practical and far-reaching measures of disarmament, first and foremost, in the field of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear disarmament.