UN Secretary-General pays tribute to Mongolia's commitment to being a nuclear-free zone and calls on countries to follow suit
09 August 2022
- Ulaanbaatar - The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, visiting Mongolia from 8-11 August at the invitation of the President of Mongolia, Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, applauded Mongolia for its commitment to non-proliferation and disarmament by declaring itself a nuclear-weapon-free zone.” “I hope other countries will follow Mongolia’s example so we can realize a world free of nuclear weapons,” said Mr. Guterres in his remarks addressed to the media.
Mr. President U. Khurelsukh expressed his gratitude to the United Nations and the UN Chief for the unwavering contribution to the development of Mongolia, stretching from support to democratic governance and human rights, to socio-economic development, climate change adaptation, and protection the environment in Mongolia.
Mr. Guterres highlighted that Mongolia is a valued UN partner, “a symbol of peace” and an increasingly important contributor to the work of the Organization.
UN Secretary General’s visit to Mongolia coincides with the 20th anniversary of Mongolia’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations. Mongolia is a country that allocates the highest per capital contribution to peacekeeping.
Secretary-General paid a tribute to the Mongolian peacekeepers and their commitment to the protection of civilians worldwide.
Mongolia’s role in multilateralism
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Battsetseg Batmunkh, held extended talks with Mr. Guterres on bilateral cooperation between Mongolia and United Nations.
Mr. Guterres also applauded Mongolia’s efforts in becoming a constructive player in promoting regional peace and security, exemplified by the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue Initiative on Northeast Asia Security. “I am particularly encouraged by the inclusion of young voices in the Dialogue, which is one of the priorities I outlined in my report on Our Common Agenda,” noted Mr. Guterres.
Minister B. Battsetseg reaffirmed that Mongolia will continue its cooperation with the UN. Mongolia will continue to support the International Think-Tank on Landlocked Developing Countries, established at the initiative of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar, to become an effective excellence center for advancing our common agenda to implement both the Vienna Program of Action and the Agenda 2030 fully and effectively.
Mr. Guterres said: “Mongolia may be landlocked, but its constructive foreign policy of dialogue and cooperation is central to building bridges and promoting sustainable development.”
Tree planting as a response to climate action
President U.Khurelsukh and Mr. Guterres took part in the tree planting ceremony at the National Park in Ulaanbaatar, along with youth, children and Mongolian peacekeepers.
The UN Chief praised the ambitious initiative by the President of Mongolia in launching the national campaign to plant one billion trees by 2030 in response to climate change threats and desertification.
In his remarks, Mr. President emphasized that tree planting and forestation are one of the most effective ways to combat desertification and reduce the impact of climate change.
He also expressed his appreciation to the people of Mongolia, especially to the youth, who are actively participating in the ‘1 billion tree’ campaign.
While applauding Mongolia’s example in addressing climate adaptation through the sustainable management of natural resources, Secretary-General highlighted that Mongolia has an enormous potential to be a renewables leader – delivering energy security as well as creating economic opportunities.
Mongolia also has the potential to emerge as a major player in the renewable energy supply chain with its copper resources.
Visiting the UN House: Promoting One UN approach
The UN Mongolia family extended a heartfelt welcome to their Chief. He had an engaging and interactive time with the beneficiaries of the UN work and got acquainted with the UN's joint efforts in supporting Mongolia in its progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
UN Resident Coordinator Tapan Mishra highlighted that the UN Country Team is working to make the UN reform agenda a reality on the ground and ensure its effective implementation in the country.
Other bilateral meetings
UN Secretary-General had a bilateral meeting with the Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Zandanshatar Gombojav, where they exchanged views on strengthening the legislative body of the State to ensure rule of law and advance democracy.
Prime Minister of Mongolia, Mr. Oyun-Erdene Luvsanvandan hosted a luncheon to welcome Mr. Guterres. Prime Minister shared about his ambitious plan to make Mongolia a digital nation – a big-ticket item on the SG’s Our Common Agenda to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
Images from the UN Secretary-General's official visit to Mongolia