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SOCIETY Magazin 358

UNOV Director General Yury Fedotov and Ambassador Enkhsaikhan Mongolian Gift for the Vienna International Center Harbinger of Modern Diplomatic Passports At a ceremony held in the Rotunda of the VIC, Ambassador Enkhsaikhan presented an ancient prototype of the modern diplomatic passport to UNOV. It was used in the effective messenger system of the Mongol Empire. 2011 is a very special year for Mongolia. Mongolians are commemorating the 2220th anniversary of the founding of the first state on Mongolian territory, the 100th anniversary of Mongolia’s national freedom movement and the 50th anniversary of the membership of the United Nations. On this occasion, the Government of Mongolia placed a “Gerege” as a gift in the Rotunda of the UN Center in Vienna. It is one legacy of Mongolian history, along with the Great Yasa, the codified traditional common law of Mongol tribes. The “Gerege” is a testimony of the Mongols’ efficient way of communication. It dates back to the third century B.C., the times of the Hunnu and Kidan Empires of Mongolia. The messengers sent to faraway places carried “tablets” with the Khaan’s decree that bestowed upon them the needed authority. As noted by historians, there Performance with a traditional Mongolian horse-head fiddle Display of the “Gerege” in the Rotunda of the VIC MONGOLEI EVENT were different categories of Gereges, made of gold, silver and bronze all with inscriptions in ancient Mongolian, Kidan and Sinitic scripts and images of tiger and falcons underlining the power of the Khaan. Especially, during the time of the Great Mongol Empire, the Gerege played an important role by providing protection, immunity and means of transportation – horses, food and lodging throughout the mission. Any harm done to the messengers was harshly punished, even to the extent of military punitive actions. The messenger system of the Great Mongol Empire was one of the most effective communication networks known at that time. The Gerege, therefore, could be called the prototype of the modern day diplomatic passport and even a credit card giving the bearer the required immunity and providing him with the needed services to accomplish his mission. SOCIETY 2 11 | 27

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