Opening statement by H.E. Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia, at the 11th ASEM Summit 2016-07-15 20:53
Excellences, Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the beautiful country of Mongolia. I extend to you, honourable Heads of State and Government of the ASEM member countries, Heads of ASEM partner organizations, high level dignitaries and senior officials, the most auspicious wishes for sustained success and wellbeing. The people of Mongolia, and our Government are profoundly grateful to you for assembling at the capital city of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar for a Summit.
Mongolia is uniquely placed between Asia and Europe. Historically Mongolia has connected these two great continents of our planet and has had fine traditions of enabling our two continents to meet. This current ASEM Summit shall proceed under the theme of “Partnership for the Future through Connectivity”. The origin of this theme dates many centuries back.
Eight hundred years ago the envoys of Asia and Europe used to meet in the ancient capital city of Mongolia, the city of Kharakhorum. Those envoys discussed ways and means to expand connectivity between the countries of our two continents, promote understanding between religions, facilitate to free and secure trade, exchange new innovative know-how and skills and extend postal stations network. Many historical accounts and sources note such dialogues and exchanges of those times.
It is a matter of honour for Mongolians to host an ASEM Summit in our motherland. On behalf of the State and Government of Mongolia I extend my profound gratitude to all countries, organizations and people who, during the past two years, have cooperated with Mongolia, strengthening ASEM multilateralism, and who have rendered financial, human resources and professional assistance to successfully organize ASEM.
There are many pending issues waiting for discussion and solution that we have on our agenda these two days, of which some are common for our two continents as well as member countries while others are totally country-specific and unique ones. Here rests the very goal of the Summit. Besides, on the side-lines of our Summit, many important multilateral and bilateral meetings will take place. I wish to emphasize again that the officials, delegations and working groups representing member countries and partner organizations have worked hard to ensure sound preparations for these meetings and exchanges.
The 11th ASEM Summit will release Ulaanbaatar Declaration and Chair’s Statement. These documents shall assess the ASEM past activities, chart the future course of actions and reflect on the current status of discussions of pending issues and the possible solutions. I do also believe that we will draw our plan for follow-up activities and next steps. As a Chair of the Summit I wish to reiterate my hope that the member countries would accord keen attention to these issues and participate in the most constructive manner in the deliberations and discussions of the Summit.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the ASEM. And the main gist of the 11th ASEM Summit is to draw on the past 20 years of our organization ASEM and map the blueprint for the future 20 years of ASEM. For Mongolia, this year marks 4 momentous anniversaries. Mongolia is celebrating the anniversaries of the foundation of the Mongol statehood and proclamation of the Great Mongol State.
It is auspicious that the ASEM Summit coincides with the celebration of Mongolian National Festivity Naadam. Since ancient times the Mongols have said that the celebrations of the Mongol Naadam Festivity bring peace and harmony. The Mongol National Festivity Naadam is the supreme assembly of our great history, peace, unique culture, customs and traditions and has manifested our people’s national pride, glory and the aspirations of prosperity. We have prepared a Naadam for you as well. I hope you will enjoy it.
We, the Mongolians, regard the current ASEM Summit as a once-a-century event of great magnitude and value that is taking place on the Mongolian soil. We have done our best to prepare and host a successful Summit. Mongolia is an open country of bright aspirations, hospitable people, pristine nature and great history. I wish you a most enjoyable stay in Mongolia.
At this juncture, I declare with honour and delight the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting open in the capital city of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar.
May the peoples of Asia and Europe enjoy lasting peace!
Thank you for your kind attention.
July 15, 2016.