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SOCIETY Magazin 358

To implement the single-State nuclearweapon free policy at the national level, in 2000 Mongolia adopted a legislation that defined the country’s nuclear-weapon-free status and criminalized acts that would violate it. Also the State Great Hural (parliament) instructed the Government to work closely with other states and international organizations so as to make Mongolia’s status an organic part of the global efforts to promote nuclear non-proliferation and greater confidence. The international community welcomed the initiative. Thus in 1998 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted by consensus a resolution 53/77 D entitled “Mongolia’s international security and nuclear-weapon-free status”. It welcomed Mongolia’s initiative and invited member states, including the five nuclearweapon states (the P5) to cooperate with it in consolidating and strengthening the status. The General Assembly has since been considering implementation of the resolution every second year and adopting follow-up resolutions. Any NWFZ is credible if it is recognized as such by the P5 and is provided with legally binding security assurances. Mongolia maintains that the security assurance to its status should also be legally binding. Though the P5 has welcomed the initiative from the outset and conceded that Mongolia was a unique case, it has been cautious against setting a precedent and has thus been holding up its institutionalization. The P5 has been insisting to refer to Mongolia not as a NWFZ but as a country with a special status that needed a clear definition. On the other hand, Mongolia and the rest of the international community believe that its unique location needed equally unique approach, and that in this case precedent-setting is inevitable. It is widely agreed that Mongolia’s defined and recognized status would have a positive impact on regional transparency and mutual trust, including among the nuclearweapon states. Content-wise, due to Mongolia’s geographical location, the assurance can be non-traditional. The traditional security assurances provided to NWFZs consist of three distinct elements: a) recognition of the zone as such; b) a pledge not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the states of the zone or against the zone itself; and c) a pledge not to contribute to any act that would constitute a violation of the zone’s status. These commitments usually are reflected in the protocols to the NWFZ treaties. In Mongolia’s case, instead of providing the traditional security assurances mentioned above, the P5 in 2000 made a joint statement that simply reproduced their 1995 unilateral statements regarding security assurances, in this case with Mongolia being the addressee. That statement is not legally binding nor content-wise acceptable for the addressee since that distorted the good-neighborly relations with the neighbors and other states. Hence Mongolia welcomed it just as a first step in institutionalizing the status and providing the needed security assurances tailored to its unique location. In 2001 on the initiative of Mongolia an unofficial meeting with the P5 was held in Sapporo, Japan which recommended that in order to define properly the status and acquire the security assurances Mongolia needed to conclude a treaty either with its two immediate neighbors or with all the P5. Mindful of that recommendation, in 2002 Mongolia proposed to its neighbors to conclude a trilateral treaty on the issue and invite the other P3, i.e. the U.S., Britain and France to sign a protocol in support of the treaty. In 2007 it presented a draft trilateral treaty and a protocol to it to Russia and China for their consideration. The treaty would internationally define the MONGOLEI POLITIK Mongolia’s security policy Renouncing Nuclear Weapons Located between Russia and China, two nuclear-weapon states, in 1992 Mongolia has proclaimed its territory a nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) and has since been working to have it widely recognized and institutionalized. The policy is intended to promote peace and mutual trust. It is also in line with the policy of its immediate neighbors – Russia and China – not to use the territory of third neighboring states against each other. status and provide Mongolia with an assurance tailored to its geopolitical location. The two neighbors would pledge to respect the status and undertake not to contribute to any act that would violate that status. Unlike with the traditional assurances, it would not require a pledge from the neighbors not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against it, since that would not make any sense in that geopolitical context. No one in its right mind would think of using a nuclear weapon on its doorsteps. Hence the security assurance could be considered as a security assurance-lite, a realistic innovation in international relations. The protocol to the treaty would ask the other P3 to commit to respect the status as defined in the treaty and to cooperate in its implementation. Nothing more and nothing less. In 2009 Mongolia held two rounds of consultations with its two neighbors regarding the drafts. The draft treaty and a protocol to it are now being considered by the P5. Though Mongolia’s nuclear-weapon-free status is yet to be properly defined and institutionalized, there are signs that that might be done so soon. Thus, in May Russia reiterated its readiness to continue talks with Mongolia on the issue “in collaboration with other nuclear-weapon states”, while in June U.S. President B. Obama ‘applauded’ Mongolia’s status. China has on a number of occasions underlined its respect for the status. The 119 countries of the Non-aligned movement have unanimously expressed their full support for Mongolia’s policy and the hope that an international treaty institutionalizing the status would be concluded soon. Once Mongolia’s nuclear-weapon-free status is institutionalized, it would constitute the country’s practical contribution to nuclear non-proliferation and to greater confidence that its territory will never be used against the interests of other states. By Ambassador Jargalsaikhan Enkhsaikhan. SOCIETY 2_11 | 25

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