As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
November 21, 2013
Today marks the one-year anniversary of Mongolia becoming a full participating State of the OSCE. Ambassador Batjargal, I would like to take advantage of this occasion to thank you for the enormously positive contributions you, your team, and your country have made to this organization over the past year.
One of the first things Mongolia did as a newly-minted participating State was to invite ODIHR to observe its presidential elections last June. Mongolia was an exemplary host to the Election Observation Mission, providing all of us with a clear example of how to give ODIHR observers full and transparent access to the entire election process. More than that, as we can see from the final election observation report, Mongolia demonstrated how a country with a relatively recent past of authoritarian rule can conduct credible and inclusive elections that provided a meaningful opportunity for political participation for its citizens. There are many participating States that have much to learn from Mongolia’s example in this regard. Of course, the Final Report highlighted several areas for Mongolia to focus on improving in order to fully meet its OSCE election-related commitments. The United States encourages and supports Mongolia in implementing all of the Report’s recommendations, and we continue to encourage ODIHR to assist Mongolia in this effort where appropriate.
Mr. Ambassador, you and your team have also made valuable contributions to our work here in Vienna. Your comments and advice, whether at formal or informal occasions, are always measured, thoughtful, and substantive. I thank you for your strong engagement in our work and for the positive influence you have on our deliberations.
Your personal engagement and your country’s participation have enhanced our shared endeavors.
Madam Chair, unfortunately, the OSCE has not fully reciprocated Mongolia’s positive approach. Several months ago, Mongolia requested the OSCE to establish a field presence in Ulaanbaatar. The Chairmanship sent a representative to lead a small delegation of OSCE officials to Mongolia to study the need for, and feasibility of, establishing a field presence there. That visit produced a report that recommended establishing a small presence in Ulaanbaatar in order to assist our newest participating State to fully implement its OSCE commitments. Unfortunately, we have not had a formal discussion about Mongolia’s request. Madam Chair, as a participating State of the OSCE, Mongolia deserves a response. We urge the Chairmanship to make the necessary arrangements for us to formally consider Mongolia’s request. The United States fully supports the establishment of a small field presence in Ulaanbaatar and we see no reason that consensus cannot be found on this question as we see no substantive reason to deny such a strong and constructive partner this request of support.
Thank you, Madam Chair.