Statement by H.E. Miyegombo Enkhbold,
Prime Minister of Mongolia,
in the general debate of the sixty-first session
of the United Nations General Assembly
21 September 2006 New York
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Considerable progress has been registered in implementing the specific set of actions to ensure peace, development and human rights agreed upon by over 150 heads of state and government at the last year’s world Summit. The Peacebuilding Commission, Human Righst Council, Central Emergency Revolving Fund, UN Democracy Fund, Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and other achievements speak for themselves.
However, we cannot afford to be complacent with what we have achieved so far. As redoubled efforts ought to be made so that to ensure that people in every corner of the world feel benefits of development in their everyday life. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his annual report on the work of the Organization observed that “the words of 2005 have yet to have a direct impact on the lives of the poor people they are meant to help. Nor have they produced the implementation breakthroughs required to achieve the Millennium Development Goals”. A sad, but true conclusion.
My delegation therefore welcomes, Madame President, your most timely initiative to focus our attention at this session of the General Assembly on the implementation of the global partnership for development.
The global partnership for development was coined as the MDG-8 and thus cannot be divorced from the rest of development goals and objectives. The global partnership for development means, in our view, a global compact between developed and developing states. It is a responsibility of developing coutries to formulate and implement sound policies to ensure their sustainable economic and social development and to that end mobilize domestic resources. For the developed countries it entails their obligation to support such efforts through provision of development financing, including ODA in a timely and sufficient manner and ensure an increased market access for developing countries. Mongolia, for one, takes her responsiblity seriously and stands committed to its development objectives.
Allow me to share with you the policies and specific actions taken by my country to implement the MDGs as well as my views on the need to build partnership to achieve them.
First, Mongolia attaches particular importance to its implementation of the MDGs. The first progress report was taken up both at the cabinet and parliamentary levels resulting in the adoption by the Parliament in April last year of a specific resolution institutionalizing Mongolia’s MDGs. Thus they have been mainstreamed into the guidelines for the country’s economic and social development and the necessary funds to meet the individual goals are reflected in the annual state budget.
Second, to honour its commitment made in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document Mongolia is developing its MDGs-based comprehensive development strategy and plans to submit its first draft to the Parliament during this fall session. Active participation of political parties, civil society and private sector in this undertaking will ensure sustainable implementaion of the National Development Strategy over the years.
Third, the adoption of an additional Millennium Development Goal-9 on promoting human rights, fostering democratic governance and fight against corruption was an innovative step reflecting the inseparable link between development, good governance, human rights and democracy in the national policy. Within the framework of working towards meeting this goal the Parliament has recently passed a new law against corruption, thus creating a legal environment to remove the shackles that this phenomenon imposes on development. In accordance with the new law, a new Anti-corruption body is to be set up that will deal with public awareness raising, prevention and detection of corruption, investigation of corruption cases and auditing of financial and income declarations of public officials.
Fourth, the Government of National Unity, formed early this year, is undertaking a host of quick impact measures on poverty reduction and income generation in implementation of its MDGs so that the benefits of this social security policy could reach various strata of the population. To cite but a few examples, salaries in the public sector have been raised by 33 per cent, the minimum wage by 30 percent; a monthly allowance is being provided to each and every child in Mongolia, which accounts for 1 million, i.e. almost half of the entire population, as well as one-time monetary support is offered to newly married couples and new born children; mothers with five or more children and the elderly have seen considerable increase in their monthly allowances and pension. Starting from this academic year my Government has also introduced a free school meals program for elementary school children in collaboration with the private sector. Launching of all these quick-impact initiatives shall help our efforts to reduce poverty and achieve the MDGs.
Fifth, on the policy level, my Government is also paying particular emphasis to the human development dimension of the MDGs, such as education and health. For example, a program on “A Healthy Mongolian”, to be implemented in 2006-2008, will provide for medical check-ups, diagnosis, surveys on prevalent illnesses among the population over 15 years of age and preventive measures and cure. Furthermore, the execution of the Master Plan of Educational Sector for 2006-2015 shall improve the access, quality and competitiveness of the national education system, and ultimately advance the level of human development. It also shall serve the goal of increasing employment by means of building human resource pool that corresponds to the economic structure of the country and meets labor market demands.
In addition to that, amendments have been made to the tax legislation at the initiative of my Government with a view to easing the overall tax burden, thus creating a favourable business environment, attaining higher economic growth and generating new jobs.
Even though Mongolia is poised to achieve most of its MDGs on education, gender, child and maternal health, and combating various diseases by 2015, the goals of halving the poverty and ensuring environmental sustainability continue to be a source of concern. It goes without saying that like many other developing countries Mongolia will not be able to achieve them on its own.
Therefore, a genuine partnership and effective cooperation between all stakeholders, including bilateral and multilateral donors, international financial organizations and private sector is required to substantially reduce poverty and uplift development in the developing world. Quality of aid should also be improved through tailoring foreign grants and loans to the implementation needs of the MDGs and MDGs-based national development strategies, as well as by providing more predictable and multi-year aid flows, addressing institutional capacity weaknesses and increasing alignment of aid with recipient countries’ priorities in line with the principles set out in the Paris Declarations on Aid Effectiveness.
Mongolia is a landlocked developing country dependent on a few export commodities and hence highly susceptible to world commodity and energy market fluctuations. I believe that establishment of commodity price stabilization tools and shocks facility could make a tangible contribution to the poverty reduction measures in low-income commodity dependent countries. At the same time, trade and investment are among the driving forces of development. The Doha Development Round of WTO negotiations should therefore be revived with a view to creating a more favorable and just trade regime that involves market access and trade and industry capacity-building assistance for developing countries, particularly economically vulnerable ones. Mongolia, on its part, is preparing to host a conference of trade ministers of Landlocked Developing Countries in 2007.
May I call on the international community to turn its attention to the Declaration of the Heads of State or Government of LLDCs adopted at their first ever summit meeting last week in Havana reflecting their common stance. Full implementation of this declaration will be instrumental in assisting LLDCs, including Mongolia in their development and poverty reduction efforts.
Democracy plays an important role in ensuring peace and development. Though democracy takes root on the soil of individual societies it has to be supported through international cooperation. In her capacity as Chair of the Fifth International Conference of New or Restored Democracies Mongolia has endeavored to promote democratic values at the international level. We have undertaken a set of concrete measures as a follow-up to the fifth conference, including the development of nationally-owned Democratic Governance Indicators, a Country Information Note and national Plan of Action to consolidate democracy. We have introduced the tri-partite structure in ICNRD to include governments, parliaments and civil society and have set up a “Friends of the Chair” group in addition to fully utilizing the Follow-up Mechanism in New York.
It is gratifying to note that the international follow-up conference to ICNRD5 held in Ulaanbaatar last June highly commended the work done over the last three years. My country stands ready to report on its activities and to share its accomplishments and lessons learnt with the greater membership of the movement during the Sixth International Conference of New or Restored Democracies to be held next month in Doha, Qatar.
This year marks the 800th Anniversary of the establishment of the Great Mongol State – remarkable date for my country. The General Assembly in its resolution 60/16 adopted last year invited Member States, international organizations and academia to take an active part in the commemorative events. I wish to express our high appreciation to all the people, including people of Mongol ethnicity, academics and guests from various countries and organizations for their active participation in many international conferences organized in the spirit of that resolution, such as International Conference on Traditions of Statehood, IX International Forum of Mongolists, The Convention of World Mongolians and international workshop on Tradition of Nomads. I am also happy to acknowledge that more than 300 state and government high-level guests representing over 30 countries attended the ceremony on the National Day – Naadam, the main commemorative event of the year.
The year-round celebration activities and events are of particular importance as they help us, the contemporary Mongols – heirs to the statehood, preserve and develop the nomadic culture and traditions, and reintroduce to the world our rich history and culture along with the progress and challenges facing us today.
The current 61st session has a special meaning for us as it coincides with the 45th anniversary of Mongolia’s membership in the world Organization. Our admission to the United Nations as its fully-fledged member on 27 October 1961 was a historically important event for the people of Mongolia. Our cooperation with the United Nations has expanded both in terms of its content and scope over the past years. The Organization’s support and assistance have been instrumental in helping Mongolia meet her development goals, build capacity and consolidate democracy. Mongolia on its part has throughout supported the United Nations and strived to actively participate in its activities and make its contribution to the efforts of international community to find solutions to the pressing issues facing the world.
This fall we are about to select the next Secretary-General of the United Nations. Starting from 2007 that person shall represent the international community on the world stage. As such the next Secretary-General must be someone who will effectively follow through the bold initiatives and reform actions carried out by the current Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the areas of peace, development and human rights and who is committed to make the world a better place, who posesses strong managerial skills, vision and experience. In short, he or she must be a genuine leader. I am convinced that such a person can and should be found from Asia – home to half of the world’s population.
Mongolia stands resolved to actively participate in the work of the United Nations and other multilateral organizations and processes and reaffirms her commitment to the world Organization as a central coordinating instrument of common efforts of the world nations to maintain peace and promote development.