For information only - not an official document.
Press Release No: UNIS/SG/2654
Release Date:    8 September 2000
 Secretary-General Thanks Mongolia for Gift

NEW YORK, 7 September (UN Headqurters) -- Following is the text of a statement, delivered on behalf of the Secretary-General by his Chef de Cabinet, on receipt of a gift to the United Nations from the Government and people of Mongolia.

With this gift, the Government and people of Mongolia have opened a new door to ancient wisdom.  You have chosen to give the United Nations a laissez-passer from centuries ago.  This is a splendid symbol of a people whose forbears ruled vast territories, were legendary travellers and, as we can see, prescient in the tools of international diplomacy. 

The laissez-passer is also a symbol of our United Nations.  For more than half a century, laissez-passers -- or LPs, as we call them -- have served as indispensable travel documents to thousands of men and women in the Organization, facilitating their mission in the cause of peace and development.

Today, we in the United Nations are thankful for Mongolia's contributions in several fields of the United Nations’ work, whether in economic and social development, arms control or the challenges facing landlocked States.  At the same time, the world still has much to discover about the people who make up the nation of Mongolia. 

In this Millennium year, Mongolian tradition and travel have brought new triumphs in that regard.  As you organized the first Festival of Mongolia in the United States, you allowed some of your national treasures to journey halfway around the world. 

You made it possible for others to see them and learn from them.  Your highly skilful Ambassador, Jargalsaikhany Enkhsaikhan, said that with the festival, Mongolia hoped to introduce its nomadic civilization to a broader audience and "start a dialogue with the Western world". 

You are succeeding.  As globalization weaves the peoples of the world more closely together, a more visible Mongolia is enriching the tapestry of our family of nations.  Nothing could better capture that introduction to the world stage than the laissez-passer you have given us today.  And we can hope that in the years to come, we will all make use of it to open doors to other worlds we never knew.  From the United Nations, our thanks to Mongolia.  Baierluhlah.

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