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Tirsdag den 9. juni 2015 - Strasbourg Revideret udgave

5. Højtideligt møde - Mongoliet
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  Der Präsident. – Meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren! Sehr geehrter Herr Präsident der Mongolei, lieber Herr Elbegdorj. Es ist eine große Ehre und eine Freude für uns, Sie heute im Europäischen Parlament begrüßen zu dürfen.

Sehr geehrter Herr Präsident! Die Mongolei, Ihr Land, ist ein Land einer alten und sehr reichen Zivilisation und das Land einer sehr jungen und sehr lebendigen Demokratie. Vor 25 Jahren fand in Ihrem Land zum ersten Mal eine freie und demokratische Wahl statt. Im vergangenen Jahr haben Sie unter Ihrer Führung mit der Bildung einer Regierung der nationalen Einheit ganz schwierige Situationen erfolgreich gemeistert. Jetzt können Sie die wirtschaftliche und nachhaltige Entwicklung Ihres Landes mit großer Kraft und mit breiter Unterstützung anpacken.

Die geografische Lage Ihres Landes zwischen den beiden großen und mächtigen Staaten – der Russischen Föderation und der Volksrepublik China – ist sicher nicht immer einfach; wir sprachen gerade in unserem bilateralen Gespräch darüber. Umso beeindruckender sind die Errungenschaften der Mongolei, nicht zuletzt auch durch das, was Sie die Drittnachbarpolitik nennen.

Ganz sicher ist die Mongolei ein Leuchtturm in der Region. Deshalb ist es für uns auch besonders wichtig – und es freut uns, Herr Präsident –, dass Ihr Land der Gastgeber des nächsten ASEM-Gipfels im Juni 2016 sein wird. Dieses ASEM-Gipfeltreffen ist ganz sicher unentbehrlich dafür, dass Brücken zwischen Europa und Asien gebaut werden und dass wir gemeinsame Lösungen für die vielfältigen regionalen und globalen Probleme finden. Ich bin mir ganz sicher, dass wir in der Hauptstadt Ihres Landes große Fortschritte erzielen können. Ich hoffe im Namen meiner Kolleginnen und Kollegen, dass bis dahin das Partnerschafts- und Kooperationsabkommen zwischen der Mongolei und der Europäischen Union von allen Parlamenten ratifiziert sein wird.

Sehr geehrter Herr Präsident! Seien Sie herzlich willkommen im Europäischen Parlament!

 
  
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  Tsakhia Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia. Mr President, I would like to begin with something simple: thank you. Thank you, Mr President, for inviting me. Thank you, Members of the European Parliament, for giving me this opportunity to share my views with you, the distinguished representatives of 28 sovereign states of this great continent – Europe.

I am the youngest of eight sons. For generations, my family lived as nomadic herdsmen in the western highlands of my country, in the ranges of the Altai Mountains. My mother and father never dreamed that, one day, their youngest son would speak from this respected podium to the most caring hearts of democracy: the European Parliament.

(Applause)

But this is not about me. I am here to speak for my people about my country. I am proud of my motherland, Mongolia. I am proud of our history, our culture, our traditions and the natural beauty that surrounds us. But most of all I am proud of our spirit and our values.

The brief story of my country’s modern history and our journey to democracy will sound familiar to many of you. In the early 1920s, Mongolia came under communist rule, which lasted for seven decades. During the Stalinist purges one out of every six adult men was killed. More than 700 Buddhist temples were burnt to ash. The foreign and domestic agents of the communist experiment targeted the very spirit of our nation. But they were not destined to win, not destined to last forever. In the end, our will to live free prevailed.

(Applause)

After many years, our defining moment finally arrived. On the cold morning of 10 December 1989, we organised the first unauthorised public street meeting in our capital city, Ulaanbaatar. I was fortunate enough to be chosen by my fellow democracy fighters to moderate that historic event. ‘We have remained silent for a long time: this is our time to work; this is the time for reform’ – these were my opening remarks.

That morning, we demanded our rights – of freedom of assembly, of speech, of religion, and freedom of the press. We demanded the right to create a multiparty system, conduct democratic elections, and begin market reforms. It was the beginning of my country’s journey to liberty, justice and openness. That was a tough journey to embark upon. During that time, our neighbour – the Soviet Union – was intact. Its grip and control was still tight, powerful and overwhelming. In our other neighbour’s capital, the Tiananmen Square massacre had happened. Its shockwave was still fresh and influential. In Mongolia, the old regime was stubborn. The old mindset was strongly resistant to change.

We organised many meetings, demonstrations and hunger strikes. We tried to eliminate every reason for violence. We always called for compromises, for peaceful solutions. Indeed, Mongolia’s democratic revolution was totally peaceful. Not a single shot was fired. Not a single window was shattered. Not a single drop of blood was shed.

(Applause)

A month from now, Mongolia will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its first full democratic, multiparty election. Since that historic day on 29 July 1990, we have had full-scale democratic elections for parliament seven times and for the presidency six times. And since that day, a quarter of a century ago, we have transformed from a dictatorship to a democracy, from being one of the most isolated, closed communist regimes in the world, to one of the most open. Today we have a dynamic market economy, and a vibrant, plural, creative society. Our per capita GDP has increased more than 20-fold. Our private sector now produces more than 80% of our gross domestic product.

I want to talk about some of the virtues at the core of our young democracy, virtues we hope to strengthen in the coming years through cooperation with our partners in Europe and elsewhere. Individual freedom is the cornerstone of our democracy. Mongolians love freedom because we have earned it through hard work. Government in a free country is not the property of any specific group of people. In order to sustain a healthy society, we must keep nurturing and challenging it every day. The beauty of freedom is that it is a learning process. It is the healing system of human society. We can make mistakes, but mistakes will not cost us our lives, as in a dictatorship. That is why we love freedom.

(Applause)

Mongolia is among the top countries in the world in terms of the number of media tools used per capita. We have only three million citizens, but it feels like there are three million journalists too!

This is great. People have the right to question authority. Transparency and interaction make us stronger. That is why Mongolia is proud to be chairing the Freedom Online Coalition. We will use this opportunity to promote access to the internet for all. We will support the UN’s effort to create a comprehensive convention on internet freedom.

As our society becomes more open, we increasingly hear voices concerned for safety. But we should not depart from universal values in response to today’s security concerns. We see that violent extremism continues to evolve and threaten but, by contrast, our commitment to freedom, tolerance and peace must stay unbending.

I therefore applaud the European Parliament for its brilliant initiative to adopt a charter of fundamental digital rights in the 21st century. Let us continue to work together to advance this great digital revolution.

(Applause)

I want to say a few words on elections, government and accountability. New technologies have been vital to the health of our democracy. In our last three elections we used electronic voting machines and a biometric voter registration system. These fraud-prevention measures assure voters that their participation will make a difference. Of course, instilling confidence in government goes beyond elections. Mongolians are deeply interested in how the government spends their hard-earned tax money. To ensure transparency, we have developed a very effective monitoring system – the ‘Glass Account Law’ – that mandates online disclosure of public expenditure.

One challenge we face is the growing size of government. In response to new challenges, government functions tend to increase and government becomes bigger, more bureaucratic, and more distant. Technology has the opposite tendency: it becomes smaller, more functional, and more user-friendly over time. To tackle this, I put forward a smart government initiative, which incorporates new technologies to allow our Government constantly to adapt to new challenges.

Turning briefly to corruption: corruption is an infectious disease that grows in darkness. It destroys the fundamentals of a fair, just and secure society. It scares away honest partners and investors. It robs people of opportunity and devours the fruits of their hard work. To exterminate this evil, we must shine a light on corruption – ensuring that it is exposed and that those responsible for it do not escape justice.

I am proud to say that, in just four years, Mongolia has risen from 120th to 80th place on Transparency International’s corruption index. We still have work to do, but we are making good progress in cleaning up our beloved country.

We have also made progress in the sphere of human rights. The foundation of justice is respect for human dignity, central to which is the sanctity of human life. Under no circumstances is capital punishment acceptable.

(Applause)

Before 18 June 2009, Mongolia was regarded by Amnesty International as one of the worst countries in terms of capital punishment. That was the day I took my oath as President of Mongolia. That same day I saw on my desk two draft decrees. I had to make the choice on whether or not to have two men executed. I chose life, and I kept to my decision – and I began delivering that message to the public and to our decision-makers.

(Applause)

It was not easy to exercise leadership on this issue, but in 2012 my country ratified the UN’s International Covenant which aims at the abolition of the death penalty. There have been no executions in Mongolia since June 2009.

Let me be clear: capital punishment is ineffective and barbaric. From this podium I would like to thank the EU and all our European friends who support and encourage us on this important cause.

(Applause)

Honourable Members, reform of the judiciary is imperative for us. Reforming our legislative and judicial frameworks is an important part of the efforts to build a free and fair society. It has been one of my priorities, and we have taken great steps to modernise all aspects of the justice system, from police and prosecutors to courts and judges. People’s confidence in a fair court of law is being restored.

A free society must also be an inclusive one. Women are the backbone of the family and the bedrock of a nation. They bring life into the world. Often it is they who care for the old, the sick, and those in need. They are our mothers, our sisters and our daughters. For society to advance, we need more women in public service at all levels, from local to global.

(Applause)

I am proud to report that, at our last election, we tripled the number of women in our Parliament. With more women in power, I think we would have more harmony, more engagement, less suffering and less conflict.

(Applause)

I would also like to say a word about education. Education is the ground on which our future success will be built. I went from a family of herdsmen to Harvard. I want other young people to have the same opportunity. We are working hard to build our capacity in schools, universities and other academic institutions. We are particularly grateful for being able to draw on the expertise of the Council of Europe’s education programmes to strengthen our institutions.

I understand that all democracies should not look the same. We have to respect differences. Democracy is a representative form of government. In any nation it should reflect the cultures and traditions. But in every decent society you will see a common trend: democracies limit the power of the state; they tend to be responsive to their people’s grievances; they protect human rights, with impartial and consistent rule of law; they support healthy civic institutions, independent media and judiciary; they fight corruption, invest in human capital and recognise gender equality; and they allow people to choose their leaders in free and fair elections.

Mr President, honourable Members, these are all issues on which Mongolia and Europe share common values and on which we value your cooperation. Mongolia and Europe are old friends, as shown by a letter from the Mongol Ulziit Khan to Philippe le Bel, which dates back 710 years. It says: ‘How can we consign to oblivion the friendship our forefathers, grandfathers, fathers and brothers so cherished, who, being far apart yet feeling near, exchanged words of wisdom and gifts of peace?’

It is in this same spirit that I speak today of opening a new chapter in Mongolian-European relations. With the fall of communism, relations between Mongolia and Europe have again blossomed. Your financial, technical and humanitarian assistance and cooperation greatly aided our efforts to build a free, democratic society, and for that we are grateful.

In 2014, Mongolia and the EU celebrated the 25th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. I see the cooperation between the European Parliament and the Mongolian State Great Khural as being crucial to the continued strengthening of our partnership. We have already made great strides together, including the establishment of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Mongolia and the EU. I would like to thank the Member States that have ratified that agreement. There are now more opportunities than ever for European investment. First-rate European companies are coming to Mongolia to invest, often in partnership with our companies. As the Government takes steps to improve the investment climate, such opportunities are rapidly increasing.

We hope many of you will see our country’s beauties and its potential at first hand in 2016 when Mongolia proudly hosts the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting. I sincerely look forward to welcoming the leaders of the EU and of the Member States to my country, and I assure you it will be a memorable summit.

Mr President, honourable Members, Mongolia’s commitment to international cooperation is strong. We recently launched an initiative called the Forum of Asia. We hope this will serve as a much-needed mechanism to promote the regional integration of all sovereign nations in Asia, promoting equal representation of their diverse interests. My government is now working to finalise this concept and is inviting interested parties to contribute ideas that will aid its realisation.

Friends, Mongolia does not have any intention to lecture others about democracy. Yet we do have lessons to share. With Kyrgyzstan, we are sharing our lessons learned in building effective parliamentary democracy and enacting legal reforms. With Afghanistan, we are conducting training for diplomats and public servants. With Myanmar, we are hosting media workers, journalists and civil society members. With North Korea, we are engaging in economic and security dialogues. We strongly believe Mongolia can make a substantial contribution to regional security in North-East Asia and beyond.

We understand the consequences of the Cold War. Because of our experiences under both communism and democracy, we are uniquely suited to serve as an honest broker in promoting peace and security in that region. As part of our efforts to build regional understanding, in 2013 I announced the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on North-East Asian Security, an initiative similar to the Helsinki dialogue. We have hosted a number of meetings and conferences on topics beyond security matters, such as energy, women and nuclear issues.

My country has been pursuing nuclear-weapon-free status for 23 years.

(Applause)

In 2012, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council signed a joint declaration reaffirming our nuclear-weapon-free status. While nuclear power may remain a viable energy option for some, any nation seeking to build nuclear power must not endanger the peace and security of their independent neighbours.

We take seriously our common responsibility to promote peace. The Mongolian military proudly wear blue helmets and serve along with fellow UN peacekeepers to maintain international order and security. Mongolia has become one of the 20 largest peacekeeping contributors in the world. So far, more than 12 000 Mongolian peacekeepers have served on active duty in hotspots around the world. This is a significant number if you consider the small size of our population. We Mongols are proud to serve, and proud to contribute.

Mr President, honourable Members, once again, I would like to thank the European Council, the European Union, the European Commission, and you, the European Parliament, as well as the nations of Europe, for constantly supporting my country, Mongolia.

The Mongols say: ‘The finest of men is tested in need. The finest of horses is tested in riding.’ You were with us when we needed your support the most. You were with us when we needed your voice of encouragement. You are always with Mongolia, complimenting us on our success and helping in our challenges.

The EU is the world’s premier invention for advancing global prosperity, peace and harmony. Mongolia will be a strategic anchor for the EU in the East, helping to advance our shared values and interests and working to build peace, democracy and engagement in Asia.

Friends, let us continue working together.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Meine Damen und Herren! Ich glaube, ich spreche in Ihrer aller Namen, wenn ich dem Präsidenten für diese Rede danke.

Herr Präsident, auch wenn Sie eine Seite überschlagen hatten, glaube ich, Ihnen im Namen aller Kolleginnen und Kollegen sagen zu können: Wir haben schon lange nicht mehr eine solch ermutigende Rede gehört. Wir möchten uns für Ihre Gegenwart hier und für Ihre Rede und auch für die Einladung zur intensiven Kooperation mit Ihrem Land herzlich bedanken.

Vielen Dank für diesen großen Moment, den Sie uns hier ermöglicht haben. Herzlichen Dank, Herr Präsident!

(Beifall)

 
  
  

VORSITZ: ULRIKE LUNACEK
Vizepräsidentin

 
Juridisk meddelelse - Databeskyttelsespolitik