Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons ratified

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Parliament passed a bill on ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons during its plenary session on October 22.

During the session, Minister of Foreign Affairs B.Battsetseg introduced the bill. She noted that the ratification of the treaty is important for Mongolia in strengthening its position on a nuclear-weapon-free zone, and actively participating in dialogues, meetings and events in this area.

In 1992, Mongolia declared its territory a nuclear-weapon-free zone and proposed to have this status internationally guaranteed at the UN General Assembly, the minister stressed.

She continued, “For the past 29 years, Mongolia has been pursuing policies and activities aimed at securing our status in the context of the law. The country also ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in 1997.”

Minister B.Battsetseg underscored that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons prohibits member states from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, acquiring, possessing, and stockpiling nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices.

“The signatories are also prohibited from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices. They cannot allow the stationing, installation, or deployment of nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices in their territory. In addition to the treaty’s prohibitions, member states are obligated to provide victim assistance and help with environmental remediation efforts,” she reported. The minister added that the treaty fully supports the peaceful use of nuclear energy in agriculture, medicine, science and energy production.

Provisions of the treaty are reflected in the domestic legislation of Mongolia. In accordance with Article 4 of the Law on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Status, an individual, legal person or any foreign country shall be prohibited from committing, initiating or participating in the acts or activities relating to nuclear weapons within the territory of Mongolia.

According to Minister B.Battsetseg, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty regulate the acquisition, non-proliferation and control of strategic weapons, such as nuclear weapons.

Provisions of this treaty meet the fundamental interests of national security and are in full compliance with the Constitution of Mongolia and other laws, she highlighted.

In connection with the introduction of the bill, lawmaker J.Sukhbaatar said, “Our country does not have the opportunity to have nuclear weapons, nor will it in the future. In general, countries need to defend themselves. Biotechnology needs to be developed in Mongolia.”

State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs N.Ankhbayar reminded that Mongolia has not acceded to any international treaty prohibiting the use of biology for nuclear, scientific or research purposes. He added that there is no provision in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons for the peaceful use of nuclear elements for agricultural or business purposes.

LAW ON DISASTER PROTECTION AMENDED

During its plenary session last Friday, Parliament amended the Law on Disaster Protection. 

Chairman of the Standing Committee on Security and Foreign Policy B.Battumur made a presentation on the bill. He noted that the bill will come into force in 2023. In the first year, 261 emergency workers of soums other than the provincial center will receive a total of 5.6 billion MNT in cash bonuses equal to 30 months’ basic salary. Starting from 2024, about 2.3 billion MNT will be required annually for emergency workers.

“There are 853 employees working for a term of one year, 224 for up to two years, 97 for up to three years, 87 for up to four years and 261 for five or more years in soums. The bill was originally planned to be implemented in 2022. However, it was changed due to the submission of the bill on the 2022 state budget,” lawmaker B.Battumur said. During the session, some lawmakers expressed their views on the bill. Parliamentarian Ts.Sandag-Ochir stated that emergency workers stationed not only in soums but also in remote districts should be granted cash bonuses.

BILL ON CIVIL SERVICE UP FOR REVIEW

Parliament decided to discuss a draft amendment to the Law on Civil Service.

The bill raises the requirements for becoming a government official. In particular, the draft amendment stipulates that a government official must have a profession or specialization or a degree in a field relevant to the position. It also states that a government official must have at least four years of experience in the respective field and at least four years of experience in the civil service.

The bill, which provides for a direct appointment of graduates of the world’s best universities to public office, was criticized during the session. This provision was removed during the voting process.

Lawmaker J.Munkhbat noted that the working group will review the criteria related to behavior and self-conduct of government officials.

Misheel Lkhasuren

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