UNGA 61st session
Agenda item 57: Eradication of poverty and other development issues
Mr. GANSUKH PUREVJAV, DEPUTY DIRECTOR,
DEPARTMENT OF MULTILATERAL COOPERATION
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MONGOLIA
10 November 2006
At the outset, I would like to align myself with the statement made by the representative of South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
As the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006) is nearing to its end we cannot but add our voice of concern over the slow and uneven progress in global poverty reduction. With all the political commitments made over the past decade, unfortunately we did not witness any decisive breakthrough in resolving the issue of poverty eradication both at national and international levels.
The world leaders committed themselves in their Millennium Declaration “to spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty”. And as highlighted by the Secretary-General in his report the proportion of people living in extreme poverty dropped from 28 per cent to 19 per cent in the developing world from 1990 to 2002. But progress has been uneven. Implementation of MDGs, especially that of halving the extreme poverty in many developing countries is being handicapped by significant capacity constraints. Therefore, continued support of the international community is much needed in the war against poverty.
Mongolia is fully committed to achieving MDGs by 2015. As an expression of this commitment, the Parliament of Mongolia adopted in April last year a specific resolution endorsing our national MDGs while entrusting the relevant state entities with its implementation and monitoring. 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 to be reflected in the state budget every year.
Simultaneously, the Government is undertaking a host of quick impact measures on poverty reduction and income generation so that the benefits of this social security policy could reach various strata of the population. To name a few, 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 almost half of the entire population. We are confident that these quick-impact initiatives will help us in our efforts to reduce poverty and achieve MDGs. In addition, amendments have been made to the tax legislation at the initiative of the Government with a view to easing the overall tax burden, thus creating a favourable business environment, attaining higher economic growth and generating new jobs.
The observance of the International Year of Microcredit in Mongolia proved once again the importance of partnership at the national level of all stakeholders, including private sector and financial institutions, in achieving the goals of poverty eradication and MDGs, specially in rural areas.
The latest national statistics indicate that most of the goals especially those related to education, health and gender are well on track and can be achieved by 2015. However, poverty still remains high and persistent and needs to be addressed more aggressively. Therefore, a genuine partnership between all stakeholders, including private sector, and effective cooperation with our development partners are required to substantially reduce poverty and uplift development in the country.
The Government of Mongolia is currently developing its MDGs-based comprehensive development strategy and plans to submit its draft to the Parliament shortly. In this respect, I am pleased to note that the United Nations country team in Mongolia is assisting us in preparing our MDG-based development strategy.
Finally, I wish to highlight once again the importance of a genuine partnership and coordinated efforts both at the national and international levels in resolving the issues related to poverty alleviation. In this respect, my delegation wishes to extend its support to the Secretary-General’s call for action on “One country programmes” and reiterate its interest in being among the pilot countries. Furthermore, we are of the view that due consideration should be given to the Secretary-General’s recommendations regarding the incorporation of new commitments into the set of targets used to follow-up on the Millenium Declaration, specially the one related to the goal of full and productive employment and decent work for all.
I cannot conclude without expressing our gratitude to the representative of UNIDO for inroducing their report on industrial development cooperation. Mongolia highly values its cooperation with UNIDO in all three main priopity areas. We do expect that the integrated country programme between Mongolia and UNIDO will be concluded soon.
I thank you for your attention.