Statement by Mr.D.GANKHUYAG,
Director, International Organizations Department,
Ministry of External Relations of Mongolia  UN General Assembly, 54th Session
Second Committee
General Debate
New York, 7 October, 1999

 

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, on behalf of the Mongolian delegation, allow me to congratulate you and the members of the Bureau on your well-deserved election and wish every success in your important work ahead.
 
We fully associate ourselves with the statement made by the distinguished representative of the Republic of Guyana on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
 

Mr.Chairman

It is a common understanding that globalization process opens up new opportunities for economic development. However, it also entails a risk of marginalization of many developing countries, especially those with specific problems and needs. The adverse effects of globalization and liberalization cannot be prevented solely by unilateral measures. Concerted efforts of the international community are needed. The present trends of globalization and liberalization also call for greater participation of the private sector, which possesses abundant development experience, technology and financial resources. We need global action and global approach.

 
Mr.Chairman,

Experience of the 1990s, particularly of East Asia during the recent financial crisis, has vividly demonstrated that development is not just about right policies and sound investments. While these are indeed important, a nation`s development requires good governance in the context of open, transparent and accountable public institutions, as well as a working relationship of trust with the private sector and the civil society.
 

Mr. Chairman,

At present the most crucial issue for developing countries is how to finance their development. Although an appropriate level of  domestic savings could generate some economic growth, most developing countries also need external sources of financing. The burden of foreign debt, decline of commodity prices and worsening of foreign trade terms negatively affect the capacity of these countries to finance their development. ODA has reached its lowest level. Therefore, Mongolia attaches great importance to the forthcoming high level intergovernmental meeting on financing for development.
 
Lack of the access to the see is universally recognized as a particular and serious handicap to development. The present situation of the LLDCs is fraught with the danger of their further marginalization in the face of the growing globalization. Prohibitive transportation costs serve as a grave impediment to trade and development.

In this connection, I would like to note the importance of timely and effective implementation of the Global Transit Transportation Framework and the decisions of the trilateral meetings on this issue. The fourth meeting of Intergovernmental Experts from Landlocked and Transit Developing countries and Representatives of Donor countries and Financial and Development Institutions, recently held in New York, has identified the ways to further accelerate the Global Framework implementation. Mongolia also  attaches great importance to the resolution on specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of LLDCs, to be submitted this year to the GA. In this regard, I would like to stress that in order to integrate the economies of these countries into the global economy, the continued support from the international community is now becoming more urgent than ever.

Mongolia, as one of the 29 land-locked developing countries, has set its priority task to cooperate actively with its foreign partners in different fields, including development and improvement of transit transport infrastructure. As a follow-up to the decisions of Ulaanbaatar meeting on transit transportation, held in 1997, efforts are underway to conclude a sub-regional agreement which would create a sub-regional legal framework for facilitating transit transportation.
 

Mr.Chairman,

It is generally recognized that the debt burden forms a major impediment for economic and social progress of many developing countries. Although the HIPC represents an important initiative, debt relief is required on a much more comprehensive scale. In this connection, my delegation welcomes the additional initiatives of our developed partners aimed at relieving the poorest developing countries of a certain amount of their debt. However, we are of the view that dealing with external debt issues on a case by case basis is not satisfactory. The debt problem of developing countries should be comprehensively addressed and resolved. We believe that innovative forms and approaches could be widely utilized.

South-South cooperation and TCDC/ECDC continue to be of vital importance in current international economic environment. Therefore, my delegation attaches great importance to the forthcoming South-Summit to be held in Havana next spring. We see this Summit as an opportunity to assert and renew the collective presence of the South in global international relations and to define the actions and strategies for South-South cooperation in the new millennium.

Turning to the issues of sustainable development, my delegation wishes to reiterate the urgency of accelerating the implementation of Agenda 21 which stresses that all dimensions of development-economic,social and environmental- should be taken into account. We believe the international community has a collective responsibility for achieving this goal.
 

Mr.Chairman,

Now, allow me to briefly touch upon Mongolia`s current economic situation and our efforts to further the economic reform and restructuring.

10 years have passed since Mongolia started its transition to a private-sector led market economy and to a democratic society.

Mongolia has had five consecutive years of economic growth. Inflation has been brought down to a single digit. The livestock, the backbone of the country`s economy, has been privatized. Dynamic private companies are operating in the key sectors of the economy.

At the same time, many serious problems remain to be addressed and solved. The external trade environment has turned extremely unfavorable, leading to trade and budget deficits. The sharp fall of world market prices for copper and cashmere, which are the two main export items of the country, have severely hit the economy. The banking sector is still very weak and unable to play its proper role in promoting economic growth. Some important sectors of the economy are still predominantly state-owned. We intend to privatize at least 60 per cent of state assets by 2000.

Mongolia has adopted and began the implementation of its medium-term economic and social development strategy. Export promotion and diversification, creation a favorable environment for foreign investment, an extensive and intensive introduction of modern technologies, improvement of human and financial management are among the major goals of the Government`s strategy.

Improvement of the efficiency and coordination of the foreign aid and loans remains a vital task in the coming years. We hope that with the growth of the market economy and increased levels of foreign and domestic investment, the donor assistance will be gradully reduced.

In conclusion, Mr.Chairman, I would like to reiterate that my delegation looks forward to the successful outcome of  our deliberations and pledges its full support.

Thank you.