Statement by Representative of Mongolia
On agenda item 104 entitled Implementation of the
Outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women
/Third Committee of the 51st UNGA
New York, 25 October 1996/
A little more than a year has elapsed since the landmark Beijing World Conference on Women brought about a viable strategy for the empowerment of women and for the mainstreaming of a gender perspective into our development policies and programmes. Our first review of the work done so far is based on the report of the Secretary-General contained in document A/51/322. It covers in a succinct manner the process of implementation of the Platform of Action by the organizations of the United Nations system, as well as activities at the national and regional levels and identifies possible means of its implementation. My delegation is grateful to the Director of the Division for the Advancement of Women Ms. Angela E.V.King for her clear-cut and comprehensive introductory statement on the items under consideration.
My delegation notes with a great deal of satisfaction the important work done by the United Nations and the organizations of its system in compliance with the decisions of the Beijing conference. While commending the overall vigorous start launched by the international community to follow-up the goals set at Beijing, I wish to confine my statement to the following points:
1. Mongolia shares the view expressed in the Secretary-General's report that the key aspect of implementing the Beijing Declaration and the Platform of Action is for inter- governmental forums and the secretariats to ensure the inclusion of the concept of mainstreaming a gender perspective into their programmes and policies. In this regard, we welcome the initial steps taken by many organizations of the UN system for this purpose. We support the decision of ECOSOC to select the issue of "mainstreaming of a gender perspective within the United Nations system" as a global cross-cutting theme for the coordination segment of its 1997 substantive session. The mainstreaming of a gender perspective into anti-poverty strategies and programmes at the last sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women and ECOSOC is also commendable.
2. My delegation commends the work being done by the Statistical Commission with a view to developing a minimum national social data set, disaggregated by gender, as a guide to national statistical services in monitoring the implementation of the outcomes of the recent UN conferences. We encourage the Statistical Commission at its 29th session next February to duly consider adopting the minimum national social data set as well as the recommendations for the regional commissions to conduct pilot studies in each region on the availability and quality of the required statistics.
3. As seen from the Secretary-General's report, the regional commissions have organized a wide variety of activities as follow-up to the Beijing conference through, inter alia, elaboration of guidelines for the implementation of the regional platforms for action, holding of series of expert group meetings and seminars on selected critical areas of concern, regional follow-up conferences. The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, for one, has convened regional meetings on promoting women's participation in decision-making (Bangkok, Thailand, 18-19 December 1995); protecting women's rights and fighting violence against women (Saitama, Japan, August 1996); and strengthening national machineries for the advancement of women (Seoul, ROK, September 1996), which resulted in the formulation of sound policy recommendations.
4. Mongolia welcomes the appointment of the Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Gender Issues, Ms. Rosario Green, and the setting up of the Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Issues as an important step towards system-wide coordination and mainstreaming. However, my delegation wishes to express its concern over the fact that the current financial crisis of the Organization has led to delays in strengthening the Division for the Advancement of Women with sufficient human and financial resources. We hope that this would not impair the ability of the Division to carry out the tasks set out for it in the Platform of Action.
5. It goes without saying that the successful implementation of the decisions agreed upon in Beijing would to a great extent depend on the availability of sufficient resources. Here, my delegation would like to welcome the specific commitments undertaken by the organizations of the United Nations system contained in ACC (Administrative Committee on Coordination) report on the proposed system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women, 1996-2001 (E/1996/16) to allocate certain part of their resources and funds to the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action.
General Assembly resolution 50/203 on the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women reaffirmed the need for new and additional resources to achieve the goals set at Beijing. In this connection, my delegation welcomes the ECOSOC decision requesting the Secretary- General to prepare a report, in cooperation with UNDP, on all aspects of new and innovative ideas for generating funds for globally agreed commitments and priorities.
My delegation also supports the idea that those countries committed to 20/20 initiative should fully integrate a gender perspective into its implementation.
6. Resolution 50/203 states, inter alia, that the primary responsibility for implementing the Platform for Action lies with national Governments. Like in many other countries, following the Beijing conference a national Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women for the years 1996-2000 has been elaborated and adopted in Mongolia by Government resolution 145 last June.
The draft of the national Plan of Action was extensively discussed at the national Assembly held in March 1996 under the theme "Women in development". The Prime Minister and the Speaker of the Great Hural (Parliament) of Mongolia addressed the Assembly. It was also attended by key Cabinet ministers as well as the representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations, private enterprises, both urban and rural grassroot organizations, research and academic circles thus ensuring broad-based discussion of the situation of women in Mongolia and thorough formulation of a future strategy.
The national Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women in compliance with General Assembly resolution 50/203 has set time-bound targets by the year 2000, which, inter alia, include reduction of the number of people living in poverty from the current 26 % to 10% and the poverty rate among women by 50 %; decrease in the maternal mortality rate by 50% as against the 1992 rate, infant and child mortality rates by one third; increase the secondary school enrollment rate up to 98 % as against 88% in 1994 etc.
A Development Fund for Women was created with an initial contribution of $ 800,000 from UNDP to promote employment opportunities and income generation for women living in poverty. The issues of feminization of poverty, especially the critical situation of female single-headed households are to be discussed at the seminar on "Reduction of poverty in Mongolia and social safety policy" to be organized in December this year in collaboration with the World Bank.
The Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women is being implemented in conjunction with the relevant national strategies to follow-up the other major UN conferences on children, population and development, social development as well as the Poverty Alleviation Programme. Furthermore, the objectives of the Plan of Action are being mainstreamed into the national development strategy.