Ladies and Gentlemen,
Over the last two days we have had an active dialogue and intensive brainstorming sessions on the changing peace and security environment of Northeast Asia following the recent milestone events.
Based on the discussions I would like to highlight the following points:
First, on the recent summits and related events. It is true that we voiced varying opinions on the results of the recent Summits, namely the Inter-Korean summits, DPRK-China summit meetings and the US- DPRK summit and articulated different predictions and scenarios on further development of peace and security issues on and around the Korean Peninsula.
Some of us were optimistic, some – less optimistic or “cautiously optimistic”. But, it is natural as we are gathering right after the Singapore Summit. Despite the plurality in opinions, we had a general consensus on the facts that the Summits were historical milestones in themselves, a turnaround in the global security dialogues and negotiations.
Now the implementation of the agreed measures is of critical importance. Suggestions were made to complement the bilateral follow-up between DPRK-ROK, and DPRK-US agreements with regional and/or multilateral efforts.
Second, on the idea of cooperative security mechanism and prospects for NEA security environment towards 2025. A wide array of topics and opinions not only on regional opportunities and threats but also on bilateral, multilateral and global scenarios, applications, mechanisms and strategies were discussed.
An interesting idea was also raised at this session that the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue could take up on the Helsinki process building regional multilateral collective security mechanism. The issue of addressing security concerns in Northeast Asia has been long on our agenda and we have proposed a number of initiatives in the past, including the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue. Of course there are other forums in Northeast Asia that could evolve as a cooperative security mechanism in the region. In this regard, features of an effective and solid security mechanism presumably will be the topic of our future deliberations. Complementarity between the various processes like UBD, NAPCI, CICA and Zermatt settings was highlighted.
Third, I would like to underscore the importance of trust, mutual understanding and confidence-building. Presentations made at the yesterday’s plenary sessions emphasized that the main essence for building a robust and lasting peace in Northeast Asia is trust and confidence-building. Effective bilateral inter-action based on mutual understanding could lead to strengthening multilateralism in our region and beyond.
The importance of economic integration and cooperation throughout the region was also highlighted. I consider this as an integral part of a more fortified and active global role the NEA region could play in future. Energy and environmental cooperation, networking in disaster risk reduction and humanitarian assistance in NEA were also the subject of our morning discussions.
This year the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue conference was held for the second time at the level of Track 1.5 gathering both academicians and government representatives. The round table meeting at Track I level proved the importance of engaging and exchanging relevant viewpoints to better understand each other’s position on current security environment and prospects for future action.
It is my pleasure to note that the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue, enjoying broad support among the countries in and out of the region, is developing into a habit of dialogue, into a platform for candid exchange of views and quest for possible ways forward.
Ideas and proposals were made to develop vision and roadmap for future settings of the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue. We truly appreciate your thought-provoking ideas and valuable insights to this end, including striving toward being a New Helsinki and developing cooperation with similar regional dialogues and mechanisms.
Moreover, we need to reflect on future topics, format of the discussions, follow-up activities, possible events in-between the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue conferences. Here, I would like to mention Dr.Tamai’s idea of developing the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue’s framework and scope into a much broader one. As a country enjoying friendly relations with all Northeast Asian states Mongolia is a natural venue to actually realize this vision. It is an intriguing thought to further elaborate. On the other hand, conducting substantive discussions focused on hard core issues among small audience is also an appealing idea to yield concrete recommendations from our deliberations. We will seriously consider all these proposals in preparations of the next UBD.
In conclusion, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Institute for Strategic Studies of Mongolia for co-organizing this conference, to the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, Friedrich Ebert Foundation for their kind cooperation and support, and our high appreciation to eminent scholars and government representatives for their active participation in the fifth Ulaanbaatar Dialogue conference.
Thank you for your kind attention.