Statement by Amb. J.Enkhsaikhan,
Permanent Representative of Mongolia
to the United Nations,
in the general debate in the Second Committee

 New York October 1, 2001 

 Mr. Chairman, 

         Allow me at the outset to join the previous speakers in congratulating you and other members of the Bureau on your well-deserved election. This session has a special significance as a number of important events such as the International Conference on Financing for Development and the World Summit on Sustainable Development are to be held in the near future and this Committee is called upon to play an important role in their successful preparation and outcome. I am confident that under your most able leadership, Mr. Chairman, the Committee will fulfill its objectives.

  Mr. Chairman,

         My delegation wishes to associate itself with the statement delivered by the Chairman of the Group of 77. Bearing in mind the long list of speakers, I wish to make brief remarks on four issues.

1. Implementation of the Millennium Declaration

         The world is beginning the new century faced by numerous and profound challenges. The process of globalization, that has a tremendous positive potential, has also been associated with deeply disturbing and socially destructive processes as unsustainable pattern of consumption, and, increasingly, with a huge economic instability. Never before, at times of such abundant wealth, has social inequality and exclusion reached such levels.

In the face of these global challenges our leaders reaffirmed in the Millennium Declaration their common vision for a better future. They pledged to halve the number of the world's people suffering from hunger and poverty, to reduce child mortality, to halt and reverse the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemics and other diseases, improve the living conditions of at least 100 million people in the slum areas of the cities, etc. Whether these concrete time-bound goals will pass beyond mere rhetoric and deliver real improvements in the life of the world's people in the coming years depends to a great extent on the coordinated efforts of the international community and UN bodies.

In this regard, my delegation welcomes an integrated and comprehensive approach outlined by the Secretary-General in the Road map for implementation of the Millennium Declaration. We hope that the Road map will serve as a guidance for concrete and coordinated efforts of UN bodies towards achieving the objectives set in the Millennium Declaration and bring new as well as existing programs at both national and international levels under a broad umbrella of implementing the Declaration.

Nationally, the Mongolian Government has adopted the Good Governance for Human Security Programme as a means of meeting the goals set in the Millennium Declaration. It includes several components such as economic transition, equity and social policy, environment and sustainable development and sound governance. Currently poverty rate in Mongolia stands at 36 percent, affecting in some urban areas nearly 45 percent of the population, and equity and poverty reduction are the most important and integral part of the Programme. The strategies adopted by the Government to alleviate poverty include accelerating per capita income, reducing inequality in distribution of income and productive assets, creating productive employment and placing more responsibility on local government institutions, the civil society and local communities in rural areas. One of the important aspects of this strategy is to make available more financial resources for poor people through innovative microfinance initiatives. Success of the MicroStart program, implemented in cooperation with a number of developmental partners, has given a significant impetus to these efforts. The Government of Mongolia stands resolved to fully implement the Good Governance for Human Security Programme in close cooperation with its bilateral and multilateral development partners.

2.Financing for Development

Mr. Chairman,

The comprehensive nature of the objectives put forward in the Millennium Declaration highlighted even more vividly the necessity of ensuring adequate financial resources for achieving the developmental objectives.

Official Development Assistance (ODA) globally has been declining at an alarming rate. A perception of aid dependence among the poorest and growing scepticism generally of effectiveness of aid in promoting development and reducing poverty have been among the major behind-the-scene factors that led to decline in ODA. It has to be stated that more effective use of ODA is essential in overcoming the current donor fatigue and in promoting political support for increase of ODA levels by the governments and general public in donor countries.

ODA still remains an essential source of funding for many developing countries, especially for the most vulnerable among them, such as the Least Developed, Landlocked and Small Island Developing countries, and particularly in the areas of social development. They can scarcely be replaced by private financial flows.

Hence, the upcoming International Conference on Financing for Development faces heightened expectations that rise from ambitious objectives set in the Millennium Declaration. The FfD offers a unique opportunity to re-instate the role the ODA in sustainable development and highlight in a comprehensive manner its major contribution to achieving economic growth, social progress and equity, and in the protection of the environment. These goals stand at the core of the commitments made by States at several world conferences held during the last decade and should prevail over any short-term considerations.

The FfD should deliver new ways of strengthening international monetary, financial, and trading systems to enable them to fully support developmental efforts. The preparatory process and the conference itself should address all aspects of development and development financing, especially concerning the most vulnerable such as the Least Developed, Landlocked and Small Island Developing countries.

3. International trade: special needs of landlocked developing countries

Investment, trade and ODA constitute major contributing factors of enhanced growth and development. The landlocked developing countries face multiple challenges in all these areas, especially in the area of international trade.

The Chairman of the Group of 77 in his statement highlighted the necessity of enhancing trade opportunities for development and the necessity to restore confidence in the multilateral trading system. The landlocked developing countries depend heavily on export-based sectors for their economic and social growth. Thus, it is important that the interests of the LLDCs are taken in to account and special consideration is given to their circumstances at the new round of trade negotiations, if and when they are to commence.  

My delegation welcomes the fact that the Road Map on implementation of the Millennium Declaration highlights the special circumstances of the landlocked developing countries and their special needs.

It is especially significant in light of the fact that the Fifth Meeting of Governmental Experts from Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Representatives of Donor Countries and Financial and Developmental Institutions held this year recommended to convene in 2003 an International Ministerial Meeting on transit transport cooperation. The meeting is expected to contribute to achieving the objective set out in the Road map. We express the hope that the United Nations, and particularly UNCTAD and UNDP, will continue to render their valuable support to the efforts of the landlocked and transit developing countries to enhance and facilitate their transit transportation, which is vital for accelerating their trade and development. The relevant office of the UNCTAD needs to be strengthened if preparations for the International Ministerial Meeting are to be carried out successfully. 

            Taking this opportunity, my delegation wishes to commend the continued assistance by the UNCTAD in promoting transit transport cooperation between landlocked and transit countries. In case of Mongolia, with the assistance of the UNCTAD and SU TCDC, two rounds of negotiations have been held with its neighbors, China and Russia, and preparations for the third meeting are under way. Successful conclusion of the agreement would enhance and facilitate transit trade not only in the subregion, but within wider Northeast Asia, and ought to bring down excessively high transit transportation costs and raise efficiency. My delegation strongly believes that continued support by the UNCTAD and SU TCDC is of vital importance to bringing the negotiations to a successful conclusion and thus to promoting trade within and beyond Northeast Asia.

4. Protecting our common environment

Mr. Chairman,

For a country such as Mongolia, susceptible to natural disasters, with much of the economy dependent on environment, implementation of the objective of the Rio Summit has a special significance.

According to the recent data, average temperature in Mongolia increased by 1.56 Celsius during the last 60 years, which is more than 3 to 5 fold of the global average increase. This increase led to more frequent reoccurrence of draught and overall increase in dryness. Due to global warming and human induced factors, over-grazing, land deterioration and desertification are increasingly threatening economic and social structures of the country. 78.4 percent of pastures, that constitutes a backbone of Mongolia’s major economic sector – animal husbandry, have been affected by degradation of some degree. 

Mongolia attaches great importance to addressing these challenges. Mongolia has launched its sustainable development agenda for 21st century and its implementation is underway. Mongolia was the forth country in Asia to adopt its National Plan of Action of Combating Desertification. However, the country faces tremendous difficulties in its implementation due to financial and human resource constraints.  

Mr. Chairman,

Given the particular importance of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), my delegation welcomes the progress achieved in its resumed session in Bonn.

My delegation also wishes to underline the necessity of continued efforts to combat desertification. Bearing in mind the overarching role played by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), governments have the responsibility to ensure the adequate replenishment of the Facility as well as to identify ways and means to improve access to its resources. Furthermore, consideration of the scope of GEF's programme activities, particularly with regard to land degradation, and desertification is to be welcomed.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development should undertake a comprehensive and critical look at the achievements and shortfalls in the implementation of Agenda-21. While States have agreed that funding for the implementation of Agenda 21 and other international commitments towards sustainable development should mainly come from countries' own public and private sources, they have also reaffirmed time and again the need to mobilise and provide new and additional, adequate and predictable financial resources to meet the targets of poverty reduction, protection of the environment and economic growth. Beyond financial concerns, the outcomes of the Summit should have special political impact on strengthening international consensus on sustainable development in the future and, in particular, on its environmental aspects.

            In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to assure you of my delegations full support and cooperation as we embark on the major task of implementing the Millennium Declaration.