STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR J. ENKHSAIKHAN
IN THE PLENARY ON AGENDA ITEM 37
”THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE OUTCOME OF THE WORLD SUMMIT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT”
New York, 6 October, 1999
Mongolia attaches great importance to the consideration by the Plenary of item entitled “Implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development”.
Peaceful advancement of the human family and its safe livelihood can no longer be sustained in a world impregnated by abject poverty, external debt burden, growing technological and economic gaps between the rich and the poor, wide-spread hunger and malnutrition, violence and discrimination, drugs and infectious diseases.
Mindful of the urgency to adequately address these problems, the international community has taken, during the last decade of this century, various measures through, inter alia, organizing a series of world summits and conferences, proclaiming and observing UN decades and international years on specific social issues and target groups. The Copenhagen Social Summit was one of such conferences. It demonstrated that social development is indeed a question of global concern and, therefore, the implementation of its decisions, naturally, acquires special significance.
The cumulative result of the conferences offer a strong basis for promoting development cooperation and identifying the United Nations’ role in this area. Development cooperation has rightly been given a people-centered, sustainable, gender-sensitive and social dimensions.
Mongolia attaches great importance to the forthcoming
Special session of the General Assembly, that is to be held under theme
“World Summit for Social Development and beyond: achieving social development
for all in a globalizing world”. We believe that it should reaffirm the
Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action, identify the progress
achieved and the challenges that lay ahead. Concrete actions and
initiatives aimed at full and effective implementation of the Declaration
and the Programme of Action should be identified and adopted by the forthcoming
session. In this regard my delegation believes that the Human Development
Reports prepared by the UNDP, can serve as useful guidelines
for defining and elaborating new, concrete initiatives in the spirit
of the Copenhagen Summit.
My delegation welcomes the results of the last year’s Special Session of ECOSOC devoted to the integrated and coordinated implementation and follow-ups of major UN conferences and summits, as well as the work of the Preparatory Committee on the implementation of the outcome of the Summit and further initiatives. Likewise, we welcome the practice of holding panel discussions on the priority issues as an important and innovative input into the deliberations.
Mongolia, like many other countries undergoing fundamental changes, has been grappling with the challenges of transition period for the past 8 years. The market reforms have been boldly accelerated by liberalization of trade and prices, by large scale privatization and other economic measures.
However, the reform process has been and still is painful. The inherent burdens of a weak banking and financial system, insignificant foreign investment, unfavorable market condition, inefficient state enterprises coupled with a lack of free market traditions and experience have compounded the reform challenge. This has directly affected the social sector. Thus, according to the Human Development Report of Mongolia, the transition has not been without its heavy costs. A large section of the population is poor and unemployed. Child mortality rate is still high (56.4 per 1,000 live births). Almost one fourth of the population still does not have access to safe drinking water. Moreover, the phenomena of street children is still raising deep concern in the society.
To adequately address the problems, the Government of Mongolia
is mobilizing all its internal resources and possibilities, implementing
different programmes and projects. For these reasons, in the foreseeable
future, external assistance and support would still be important.
Taking this opportunity my delegation wishes to highlight an innovative project, known as “One World UN Conference series”, which was qualified by the Secretary-General as a “shining example”. It was initiated by the Government of Mongolia in close cooperation with the organizations of the United Nations represented in Mongolia and non-governmental organizations. This project, consisting of six national conferences, emerged as the national response to the United Nations objectives, so as to promote and ensure an integrated and coordinated implementation and follow-up of major UN conferences and the summit at the national and especially at the local grassroots levels. The series covered the conferences on children, human rights, population, social development and women and the national closing summit. All were held in 1998-1999.
Young delegates aged between 15 and 19, including those with disabilities and coming from low-income families, have participated in the conferences. The main purpose of these conferences, held with the direct and active participation of the youth, was to raise the awareness of the general public of the goals set and the commitments undertaken by governments, to promote dialogue with the decision-makers on follow-ups and to encourage an active involvement of youth, the civil society and the local governments in the implementation of the relevant national plans of action. Hundreds of interesting, thought-provoking and helpful ideas have been proposed during these conferences.
The conference series resulted in the adoption of the national development strategy, aptly portrayed by the participants themselves as “turning from a mosquito to a busy bee”, a strategy that is being reflected in the national policy. As a result of these conferences, and to ensure follow-up, “One World Clubs” have been established in all 21 aimags (pronvinces) and the capital city of Ulaanbaatar with the aim of expanding further the project and closely monitoring the implementation of the plans of action at the local level.
Bearing in mind the inspiring results of the One World Conference
series, the Government of Mongolia believes that other members of the United
Nations might find it interesting and even useful.
Implementation of the Summit decisions calls for a genuine political commitment on the part of Governments and the international community to substantially increase resources for sustainable human development. Therefore we reiterate our full support for the 20/20 agreement reached in Copenhagen. The resources pledged should be fully earmarked and utilized, both at national and international levels.
The current decline in ODA and in contributions to the UN core resources
is a matter of concern for Mongolia, like for other member States.
As a developing land-locked country with limited financial resources,
at present Mongolia relies to some extent on external resources
for development. My delegation supports the cost-sharing practices in the
UN Systems operational activities and would like to reemphasize the need
to increase core resources on a predictable, continuous and assured basis.
It also favors increased non-core and earmarked fundings as well as mobilization
of private sector support.
In conclusion, Mr. President, may I express my delegation’s sincere hope that the ongoing deliberations on the implementation of the outcome of the Social Summit will help generate renewed political will at the national and international levels that are needed to attain the noble objectives of sustainable human development.