By Dr. J. Enkhsaikhan, Blue Banner NGO Mongolia
On 20 July consultative meetings were held by the delegation of the Global Partnership to Prevent Armed Conflict (GPPAC), a network of civil society organizations established in 2005, that paid a working visiting to DPRK – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. During the visit the GPPAC delegation met with representatives of a number of research institutions and non-governmental organizations, and shared information regarding the situation on and around the Korean peninsula, exchanged views on issues of mutual concern and identified areas of future cooperation.
Mongolian NGO Blue Banner, which is a member of GPPAC’s Northeast Asian network and hosts annual meetings of Northeast Asian civil society organizations known as the ‘Ulaanbaatar Process’ or UBP, held a separate bilateral consultative meeting with its counterpart – the Korean National Peace Committee. The two sides discussed preparations for the next UBP meeting to be held at the end of August in Ulaanbaatar as well as ways to promote further bilateral cooperation in the areas of mutual interest. Blue Banner representative underlined that the decade of bilateral cooperation of the two organizations was fruitful and that the consultative meeting contributed to better understand each other’s thinking on issues of common concern and agreed on some concrete measures to develop further the contacts and cooperation.
Central to the UBP is the possible strategic role of Mongolia within the Northeast Asian context. It is a state with internationally recognized nuclear-weapon-free status that benefits from political security assurances of the five nuclear weapon states. It also maintains friendly relations with all the states of the region. Hence it is well-positioned to play a significant and unique role as provider of political space and venue as well as of good offices or even a possible mediator in regional dialogue efforts. It is bearing these in mind that in 2015 GPPAC’s Northeast Asian network and Blue Banner have launched the UBP that includes representatives of both Koreas.
The next meeting of UBP will be held on 29-30 August in Ulaanbaatar.