Statement by Ms. P. Narangua
Deputy Permanent Reprensentative of Mongolia, on Agenda Item 94 :
Environment and sustainable development
New York, 21 October 1998
My delegation associates itself with the earlier statement made by the representative of Indonesia, who spoke on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
According to the new concept of sustainable development, for the first time, the world is being offered an approach that reflects a coherent, comprehensive and powerful process that could simultaneously advance economic well being, and the allocation of wealth and resources while preserving ecological and environmental health.
The safe and sound environment is an essential component of a viable development and a factor of production and competitiveness, determining the long-term pace and quality of economic growth. Cross-border pollution, the protection of international waters, handling of dangerous waste, bilateral and multilateral aid - all these illustrate the global dimension of the relationship between the environment and development.
The causes of most environmental problems in the world have their origins in the development process or in its failures and inadequacies, and in our mind, it is only through better management of this process these problems can be managed and solved.
Sustainable development requires ensuring the compatibility of environmental protection and natural resource use with the requirements of social and economic development and external global changes with impacts on specific countries. Sustainable development is an aim, through each country has to design its own strategy. Therefore, it is important to establish effective national mechanisms to formulate and implement their own agenda of action for sustainable development.
It gives me a pleasure to note that Mongolia was among the first countries that supported the concepts, declarations and programmes of the Earth Summit held in Rio De Janeiro in 1992. A clear manifestation of this support is the enormous work undertaken to elaborate Mongolia`s Agenda 21 in spite of the painful period of transition to democracy and market economy. For the first time in the history of Mongolia, we have a comprehensive program, which outlines the national development strategy designed for environmentally friendly, economically stable, socially wealthy development. The country`s sustainable development strategy reaffirms Mongolia`s committment to sustainable development, describing and analyzing the challenges facing the country. It also defines, what we need to do to achieve sustainable social and economic development, to ensure the proper use of natural resources and to protection the environment.
The impact of the global climate change on Mongolia is quite evident. The studies, carried out over the last 50 years have shown that the overall temperature of Mongolia has increased by 0,7 degrees, droughts occur every 2-3 years, water level of the large rivers have dropped by 20-30 per cent, one third of the pastures and more than half of the cultivated lands have degraded and loss of fertility of the soil has reached 20-30 per cent. That is why we are attaching great importance to the climate change and environmental problems.
What we want to achieve in the field of environment is to create an effective legal basis for reliable environmental protection and associated enforcement systems as necessary conditions for the harmonized relationship of human society and nature. The mobilization of all necessary resources is required to prevent environmental degradation such as deforestation, desertification, degradation of agricultural lands, species loss, air pollution,increasing wastes and toxic chemicals, and reduction in the volume and quality of water resources, and to prevent or reverse adverse changes to Mongolia`s exceptional natural bounty.
We believe that comprehensive programmes to combat drought and desertification need to be elaborated and implemented by every nation and region facing these kinds of natural disasters, and especially, the development of international cooperation and partnership must be accelerated.
Sustainable development requires increased investment, for which financial resources are needed. But these resources are critical for the developing countries to achieve economic growth, improve the welfare of their populations, meet their basic needs in a sustainable manner, all without deteriorating or depleting the resource base that underpins development.
The international community should promote an open international trading system that improves developing countries access to the latest environmentally sound technologies, which is a prerequisite for overcoming the technological gap and harmonizing relationship between production and environment. In these circumstances it is necessary to create a favorable environment of economic and legislative measures to streamline the processes of transfer of technology.
Official Development Assistance is an important vehicle for financial transfers between developed and developing countries, providing external resources for invesment and financing projects which would not be undertaken with capital from commercial sources. Unfortunately, the committment of the developed countries to devote 0,7 per cent of their GNP to ODA objectives for development have not been met except a few countries. Reversing the decline of ODA and fulfilment of the internationally agreed target and committments on new and additional resources are pivotal for integration of developing countries in the global economy as well as making the environment safe.
Mongolia believes that the entry into force of the conventions on the climate change, biological diversity and desertification is a remarkable achievement that should be followed up by their full-scale implementation.