‘Visa center will protect interests of Mongolians living abroad’

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During its plenary session on December 18, Parliament discussed the draft revision of the Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens.

Chairman of the working group Ts.Sergelen said, “In order to improve Mongolia’s visa regulations, the bill outlines regulations to bring Mongolian visas in line with international standards, such as issuing visas at border crossings, issuing e-visas, operating visa centers, extending visas, and abolishing certain visas. To diversify and increase the number of visa categories, the strict classification of visas has been changed to allow the government to set visa requirements in accordance with visa regulations.”

This will make it possible for the government to resolve visa issues quickly and flexibly in a timely manner in accordance with international standards, requirements and circumstances, believes the law initiator.

The bill provides for the registration of foreign citizens crossing the Mongolian border with fingerprints and personal data at border crossings. The bill initiators believe that the establishment of a visa center is the best solution to provide visa services to foreigners traveling to Mongolia quickly and protect the interests of Mongolians living abroad.

Ts.Sergelen noted that the legal framework for a potential hazard prevention system has been amended by receiving information from air passengers in advance, and exchanging and analyzing information with government authorities.

“The system will be introduced in accordance with the recommendations of the UN Security Council. Work is underway to install technology at the new airport to introduce an integrated registration system using non-overlapping human data. Since there is no program in Mongolia to signal the expiration of a visa, with the joint program between the General Authority for Border Protection and Mongolian Immigration Agency, officials manually screen each individual and identifies expired visa holders.”

During the meeting, lawmakers asked questions and expressed their views on the draft revision. Lawmaker Ts.Davaasuren asked who issued an illegal visa, and whether diplomats involved in drug trafficking are held accountable.

In response, Director General of the Consular Department of the Ministry L.Munkhtushig said that two ambassadors and other diplomats have been dismissed in connection with reports of 69 people involved in drug trafficking in Poland.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament T.Ayursaikhan said, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dismissed those involved in drug trafficking who are on the wanted list. Some have filed lawsuits. Although the primary court ruled that they should not be fired, the Supreme Court ruled that the dismissal of the ambassador and the ambassador's adviser was justified.”

Minister of Environment and Tourism D.Sarangerel said, “This is a matter of national security and economic development. There is a real need to provide public services to foreigners quickly. In the government action plan, we have identified tourism as a priority sector of the economy.”

Lawmaker L.Enkh-Amgalan asked about the issue of foreigners violating Mongolia's security and independence from abroad and said there were recent reports that a Chinese government-funded APT hacker group attacked the software of more than 340 government organizations in Mongolia.

Parliamnetarian S.Byambatsogt noted that issues related to national security will be investigated by the General Intelligence Agency, and that the law does not provide oversight over this issue.

State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice B.Baasandorj said, “The government is paying special attention and a working group has been set up. During the autumn session, we aim to submit bills on cyber security, public information, and privacy. These laws detail the issues you are talking about.”

BILL ON HUMANITIES EDUCATION

On the same day, Parliament discussed a bill on humanities education, and supported to transfer it to the relevant standing committee for initial discussion.

Independent lawmaker N.Altankhuyag said, “It stipulates that ethics is a doctrine. Such a thing should not be included in the law. There are some things that cannot be defined by law. This issue is not regulated by a separate law. Some initiatives can be incorporated into existing legislation. We have a lot of work to do.”

The law initiator, B.Bat-Erdene, emphasized that even though ethics has been regulated by the Law on Education, the results have become a matter of concern for the people. Therefore, it was considered necessary to include it in the bill, he said.

Lawmaker Ts.Munkh-Orgil said, “The education sector has neglected the issue of human development. The main purpose of the Education Law is to educate children. In real life, our children have problems understanding other people.”

Parliamentarian S.Ganbaatar expressed his support and said that there must be an independent law.

The law initiators said that humanities education promotes and develops human values such as sincerity, compassion, honesty, discipline, respect, care, and patience. It aims to promote environmental friendliness, patriotism and participation, they said.

Misheel Lkhasuren

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