In the near future, Mongolian citizens living outside the country may be able to receive emergency assistance from embassies of other Asian countries as a result of a pact being drawn up.
Meeting in Manila, country representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are formalizing a pact which would require each members’ embassies to assist citizens from the association countries.
"It is aimed at helping ASEAN nationals in crisis situations outside ASEAN countries...for member-nations to help each other out with migrant workers when they have no embassies in the country they're in," Assistant Foreign Secretary for ASEAN Affairs Luis Cruz told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The new procedures follow an agreement reached during the last ministerial meeting "to have in place procedures that will guarantee our ability to help each other's nationals in time of need, consistent with our commitment to act as one family, as one community," said Cruz.
Expressing "deep concern" for their citizens, ASEAN ministers said in a joint statement after 2006's ministerial meet: "We recognize that some of our member countries may not have diplomatic representation [in third countries] and therefore our nationals may not be able to receive adequate assistance in certain countries."
As a practical example of implementing assistance, many Thai workers found themselves trapped in Lebanon during the war in 2006 as Thailand has no embassy in Lebanon. However, the Philippine mission in Beirut provided help in evacuating the Thai citizens from war torn Lebanon.
Mongolia is currently a dialogue partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.