Distinguished Heads of Delegations,
Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Muhtar Tileuberdi, for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements made for this important meeting. I also wish to comment the Republic of Kazakhstan for its outstanding leadership as the Chair of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia in further consolidating the CICA process.
This Ministerial meeting is taking place at a particularly critical and crucial time when the situation in Asia and the world at large requires closer interaction, strengthened cooperation to effectively respond to the old and new multiple challenges, exacerbated by the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
Next year, we will solemnly celebrate the 30th anniversary of CICA, which was created in Almaty in order to enhance co-operation through elaborating multilateral approaches towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. In this regard, it should be highlighted that CICA has demonstrated itself as an effective platform for discussion of issues on international and regional security and for developing fruitful economic and social cooperation. Indeed the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and related joint initiatives and projects have been instrumental in promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.
Mongolia remains firm in its commitment to the goals and principles of the CICA enshrined in the Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations between the CICA Member States and the Almaty Act.
Straddling the Central and Northeast regions of Asia, Mongolia sees CICA as a convenient mechanism for voicing its concerns and advancing proposals.
At our initiative, the International Think-Tank, the first ever intergovernmental body for Landlocked Developing Countries, has been established in Ulaanbaatar, with the purpose to ensure the special needs and interests of landlocked developing countries, many of which are located in Asia, the largest continent of the Earth. Furthermore, based upon the advantage of its geographical location, being situated at the heart of Asia, Mongolia seeks to develop into “Transit Mongolia”, a transit, trade and service hub that connects Asia and Europe.
Both enjoying friendly relations with all countries in Northeast Asia and having an internationally recognized nuclear weapon-free status, Mongolia has been consistently pursuing the policy of launching a dialogue mechanism in the region where mistrust and nuclear threat persist. Further pursuing the ultimate goal of its “Ulaanbaatar Dialogue” initiative to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula and help promote confidence and peacemaking in Northeast Asia, Mongolia is planning to organize, in June 2022, the 7th International Conference “Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security issues”, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The challenges in the CICA area of responsibility require stronger cooperation among Member States and effective implementation of CBMs in all its five dimensions. The inclusion of the new CBM in the field of epidemiological safety, public health and pharmaceuticals in the CICA Catalogue of CBMs is vital for fighting against COVID-19 and mitigating future pandemics.
In conclusion, let me reiterate Mongolia’s firm commitment to expanding its cooperation through CICA with the objective of contributing to peace, stability, security and prosperity in Asia.