At the outset, I wish to congratulate you on your chairmanship of the Committee and other members of the Bureau on their elections. I am confident that the Committee will have productive deliberations under your able leadership. I assure you of my delegation's full support and cooperation.
Aligning ourselves fully with the statement made by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, we would like to highlight several specific issues to which Mongolia attaches particular importance at this year’s session of the First Committee.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and nuclear disarmament. We need to continue to make efforts for full adherence to the obligations established by the NPT and the outcome documents of its review conferences. Thus, the current review cycle of the NPT provides an opportunity to make a headway towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
The adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on 7 July 2017 marked a significant milestone in prohibiting nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. This legally binding document is complementary and a political reinforcement to the NPT and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Hence, it is crucial that we continue to actively engage in bringing into force the legally binding prohibition against all nuclear test and adopting a fissile material cut-off treat.
Mongolia is fully committed to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, strengthening of the disarmament regimes and supports the efforts of the international community to ensure the implementation of the NPT, the CTBT, the Chemical Weapons
convention and the Biological Weapons Convention. Furthermore, Mongolia is planning to accede the TPNW in the near future.
The Conference on Disarmament’s dismal failure to adopt a program of work continues to diminish its credibility. We believe that the CD’s shortcoming lies fundamentally in irreconcilable differences among its member states. Though acutely aware that members of the CD cannot help but have differences, we believe that these differences, while all too real and important, cannot be allowed to continue to hinder progress in this body.
It needs to be noted that there was a glimpse of hope in the CD this year. Through the establishment of five subsidiary bodies in February this year, the CD engaged in substantive discussions for the first time in over 20 years. We hope that the subsidiary bodies will be re-established next year. It is important that CD advance technical discussions until the adoption of its program of work. However, we need to bear in mind that the decision to establish subsidiary bodies to engage in substantive discussions shall not replace a program of work but facilitate its adoption.
At a time when the world is confronted with a wide range of challenges, it has become even more critical to put an effective end to nuclear weapons testing. Nuclear tests conduce to the spread of nuclear weapons to additional States (horizontal proliferation), as well as the development of new generations of nuclear weapons or major improvements in existing arsenals (vertical proliferation). The global ban on nuclear tests is all the more important, when we consider their health and environmental effects.
Mongolia’s 2-decade long experience of having nuclear-weapon-free-status demonstrates that the status is one of the effective means of ensuring the national security of States. Our internationally recognized status contributes to enhancing stability and confidence-building in the region.
Mongolia has offered to serve as Coordinator of the Fourth Conference of States Parties and Signatories to Treaties that Establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia, which will be held in New York in conjunction with the NPT Review Conference in 2020.
Mongolia has always been committed to make its contribution to maintaining international peace and security in all parts of the world, in particular, North East Asia. This year the international community witnessed several summits, namely Inter-Korean summits, DPRK-China summit meetings and the US- DPRK summit, which inspire our hope that sustainable peace and verifiable denuclearization will prevail in the Korean Peninsula.
Since early 2000s Mongolia has been pursuing the policy of engaging and avoiding the isolation of the DPRK. The recent positive developments in the Korean Peninsula have justified the effectiveness of this policy. We welcome the historic summits and believe that all relevant parties keep the momentum of dialogue and open discussions and swiftly implement all agreed actions to build a lasting and robust peace regime on the region.
In the context of failed 6 party talks and absence of channels of communication in Northeast Asia, in 2014 Mongolia initiated the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security to promote trust in the region, to facilitate exchange of ideas, and to find solutions to common concerns. Last June we organized its 5th International Conference, which focused on ways forward to solidify the recent positive developments and share views on the short and long-term prospects of the security environment in the region.
Before concluding, I wish to announce that our delegation will present to this session of the First committee a draft resolution entitled “Mongolia’s international security and nuclear-weapon-free status”. It is our hope that, as in previous years, the draft resolution will be adopted with unanimous support.
I thank you.