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UNGA 59th session
Agenda item: 85 (a), (c), (g)
H.E. Mr. CHOISUREN BAATAR
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MONGOLIA
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
20 October, 2004
First of all, I wish to align myself with the statement made by the representative of Qatar on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on the agenda item 85.
I thank the Secretary-General for his comprehensive reports and recommendations contained in documents A/59/220 and A/59/228.
My delegation is pleased to learn that there is encouraging progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. With a view to pursuing sustainable development and achieving the goals set in the JPOI, the Government of Mongolia making its utmost efforts. The Sustainable Development Strategy up to 2021 is being developed upon the initiative of the President of Mongolia. The economic growth, social equality, sustainability, and appropriate use of natural resources are key strategy for development. As a State party to the most international environmental conventions, Mongolia has been successful in establishing the legal basis for sound environmental management. However, we still face challenges and constrains which we should overcome in cooperation with other stakeholders. Developing appropriate institutions for pastureland management, reducing emissions, improving urban air quality, introducing fuel-efficient heating systems and changing incentive structure to promote conservation, protecting fragile ecosystems and wildlife, improving forest management, and combating with desertification are all major problems and challenges to be addressed. Thus, we believe that in order to achieve long term sustainable development objectives, the partnership at all level should be strengthened and development assistance should be directed to this endeavour.
Water issues played an important role at the World Summit in Johannesburg. We recognize water as a key factor for economic growth. Enhanced water and sanitation services represent a fundamental step towards improved livelihoods for poor people. In this matter, my delegation commends the work of the Commission on Sustainable Development and outcome of its 12th session, which substantially reviewed JPOI particularly, targets on water and sanitation.
With regard to water and sanitation, the year of 2004 was announced by the Government of Mongolia as the year of Water Policy Reforms. The Law on Water Supply and Sewerage Networks Use in Cities and Settlements has been in force since 2002 and it was amended in May 2004 to include institutional streamlining, management of river basin within ecosystem. Safe drinking water supply, rehabilitation of rural deep-water wells, changing behavioral patterns concerning water use are major challenges for us and we work closely with all partners including international donor community to that end.
We believe that education and public awareness are essential to environmental protection and sustainable development. My government has been implementing an educational programme since 1997, integrating environmental sustainability issues into the curriculum. Therefore, my delegation attaches importance to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development to be launched in January 2005. We consider that the draft International Implementation Scheme prepared by UNESCO should be enacted and implemented effectively at all levels.
Despite the considerable efforts exerted by the developing countries towards ensuring sustainable development it is still faced with environmental challenges most of them beyond their control. Mongolia is vulnerable to a variety of natural disasters such as severe snowfalls, droughts, flash floods and earthquakes. With a view to strengthening the national capacity building and improving the disaster management system, the Government of Mongolia has taken particular steps. In collaboration with the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the UNDP the Government of Mongolia enacted a new disaster management law in June 2003 and created the National Disaster Management Agency earlier this year. My Government also invited 10 members United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team to evaluate the entire disaster response system in my country. Now we have a thorough and practical report with many specific recommendations. We hope that implementation of these recommendations will enhance our disaster management capacity.
We also attach importance to the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and support the activities carried out by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Disaster Reduction. My delegation believes that World Conference on Disaster Reduction to be held in January 2005 in Kobe will become a milestone in advancing our common interests in disaster reduction and significantly contribute to our efforts to achieve MDGs and JPOI. Mongolian delegation is prepared to participate actively in the Conference.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.