United Nations General Assembly
56th session
Third Committee
Agenda items: 112 and 113



18 October 2001

Mr. Chairman,

             At the outset may I join the previous speakers in extending our thanks to Ms. Angela King, Assistant Secretary-General, Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, Ms. Dorota Gierytcz, Officer-in-Charge of the Division for the Advancement of Women, and Ms. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director of UNIFEM, for their introductory statements on the agenda items under consideration.

             My delegation also wishes to associate itself with the statement made earlier by the distinguished Ambassador of Iran on behalf of the G-77 and China.

 Mr. Chairman, 

             As we can see from the reports submitted under the present agenda items, as well as from our deliberations in this Committee, despite the progress made so far in improving the status of women, there remain a host of challenges and obstacles that require intensified efforts in order to fully implement the agenda for action outlined in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and in the outcome document of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly. In this context, my delegation fully supports the view expressed yesterday by the Chairman of the G-77 and China that the resolution 55/71 adopted by the General Assembly last year, as well as the decisions and resolutions of the Commission on the Status of Women, in particular its multi-year programme of work and the medium-term Plan provide us with a comprehensive and well-targeted road map that should be pursued and implemented.

             It should also be noted that last year the world leaders renewed in the Millennium Declaration their commitment to assure the equal rights and opportunities for women and men, to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women as effective ways to combat poverty, hunger and diseases and to stimulate development that is truly sustainable. This commitment remains high on the agenda of the Government of Mongolia.

 Mr. Chairman,

             Mongolia was among the first to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. In September last year Mongolia signed the Optional Protocol to CEDAW. In January-February of this year the combined third and fourth report of Mongolia was considered by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women at its 24th session. I am pleased to note that the consideration of the report, conclusions and recommendations provided by the Committee are of considerable importance in our follow-up activities to implement the provisions of the Convention and improve the overall situation of women in Mongolia.

 The challenges faced by women in my country include complex inter-related problems in the domain of poverty, unemployment, education, health, social protection, culture and behavior. In order to meet those challenges continuous efforts have been made on the part of the Government in close cooperation with the main actors within our society, including women’s NGOs, to forge genuine partnership between men and women, between public sector, civil society and private sector. We have enacted new legislation and revised some older acts to mainstream gender into policies and programmes.

 Among the activities being implemented at the national level, poverty reduction has been and still is of high priority. Thus, today the poverty rate in Mongolia stands at 36 percent, affecting in some rural areas nearly 45 percent of the population. Women account for 42.4 percent of the total unemployed people. Therefore, a particular focus is being made on the improvement of the situation of women, their health care and education, income generation for female-headed households within the newly elaborated Programme on Household Livelihood Capacity Support to be implemented from 2001 to 2006. Furthermore, the creation of equitable social environment for human development, improvement of education quality, health assistance, poverty alleviation and promotion of employment, improvement of the livelihood of the people, including women, are the main thrust of the national Programme on Good Governance for Human Security adopted in January last.

             My delegation also wishes to underline in this context the importance that Mongolia attaches to its cooperation with and assistance provided by the organizations of the United Nations system, including UNDP, UNFPA, UNIFEM, UNICEF, WHO, in developing and strengthening national capacity on gender issues, in promoting employment and advancement of women in Mongolia. I wish to single out here the most recent UNIFEM report on the situation of women in Mongolia in the context of the political and economic transformation entitled “Women in Mongolia: Mapping Progress under Transition”. The report contains many important conclusions and recommendations that help us define our specific action to empower and advance women, the most critical among them being review of the National Programme for the Advancement of Women with particular emphasis on streamlining the structure, function and composition of the institutional machinery for its implementation. Objectives of the Programme are to be reviewed to set realizable benchmarks and targets along with the indicators needed.

 Mr. Chairman,

             Turning to the report of the Secretary-General on the situation of women in rural areas, I wish to highlight once again the critical importance that my delegation attaches to this question. Indeed, particular attention should be given to the improvement of situation of women in rural areas in implementing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome document of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly. In this context, my delegation wishes to draw the attention of members of this Committee to the conclusions and recommendations of the expert group meeting on “The situation of rural women within the context of globalization”, which was organized by the Division for the Advancement of Women in cooperation with UNIFEM and hosted by the Government of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar from 4 to 8 June 2001. Important case studies, best practices and contributions were provided by eminent experts representing all regions at this meeting. Representatives of the UN entities, including the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, FAO and the World Bank also actively participated.  Among its recommendations I wish to single out the recommendation on special studies to be undertaken by Governments, research institutes and the private sector to establish the best model for integrating rural women in the field of information and communication technology, in particular in connection with the preparation of the World Summit on the Information Society. We strongly believe that its conclusions and recommendations deserve closer attention and consideration by the international community in its efforts to empower women worldwide. To that end the delegation of Mongolia together with its traditional co-sponsors will be submitting a draft resolution for the Committee’s consideration.

             Mr. Chairman, may I take this opportunity to extend once again our gratitude to the Division for the Advancement of Women, UNIFEM for the assistance and support in organizing the abovementioned expert group meeting, and through them to all experts and representatives of international organizations for sharing the wealth of knowledge with all of us. 

 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.