Statement by H.E. Ambassador J. Enkhsaikhan,
Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations,  
Agenda item 29, Follow-up to the outcome of the
Millennium Summit

Monday, 19 November 2001

 Mr.President,

 At the Millennium Summit all member states of our Organization pledged to achieve a set of development objectives and reiterated their common vision for a prosperous, peaceful and just world. They adopted the Millennium Declaration - a historic blueprint for a common action in the new century. In this regard, Mongolia highly commends an integrated and comprehensive approach outlined by the Secretary-General in his report entitled “Road map towards the implementation of the Millennium Declaration”.

 My delegation finds the report very useful in considering the ways and means of implementing the Millennium Declaration. We agree at this stage what is needed is not more technical or feasibility studies, but rather political will to carry out the commitments and to implement the strategies already worked out. We find the structure of the report simple and yet very informative. The eight goals, 18 targets and more than 40 indicators given in the report are, in our view, a good basis for working out the criteria against which the international community could assess the process of implementation. The Mongolian delegation finds the background information, including the statistical data, where available, that is provided for each target, as very useful. Likewise, the strategies for moving forward, provided in the report for attaining each goal, my delegations finds useful. On the other hand, some of the goals we find too general and difficult to breakdown their implementation in stages.

 In his report, the Secretary-General proposes that he submit annual reports and comprehensive reports every five years. My delegation could agree with such approach.  As to the themes for the reports to be submitted in 2002, 2003 and 2004, we believe that some additional consultations would required before the Assembly takes a decision on it.

 Mr.President,

 The Government of Mongolia is fully determined to attain the goals of the Millennium Declaration at the national level and has been taking concrete steps to that end. I am pleased to inform this Assembly that we have submitted to the Secretary-General our Government’s Memorandum on the implementation of the Millennium Declaration on 5 November 2001.    

 Mongolia’s policy measures towards the implementation of the Millennium Declaration have been drawn from our past experience, as well as the discussions and recommendations of a joint conference organized in September in Mongolia by the Government of Mongolia and the United Nations under the theme “40 years of Mongolia-United Nations cooperation: Implementation of the Millennium Declaration”.

 The 1992 Constitution of Mongolia reflects the vision of the fundamental values of freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance and respect for nature outlined in the Millennium Declaration. Furthermore, the principle of shared responsibility has found reflection in the basic concepts of national security and foreign policy adopted back in 1994.

 Over the past decade the consecutive governments of Mongolia have promoted these goals by mobilizing domestic resources and drawing on the external experience and assistance of the international community. As a result, Mongolia has made real progress in its political reforms.

 Mr.President,

 As to economic reforms, substantial efforts have been made in fostering a market economy, achieving macro-economic stability, advancing privatization and improving the infrastructure. However, we admit that there still much needs to be done.

 In addition to its difficulties associated with transition, the land-locked location and ecological conditions pose a most fundamental challenge to Mongolia’s economic security thus making her a prime case of economic vulnerability.

 However, to attain to goals of the Millennium Declaration Mongolia needs to accelerate its economic development. Due to heavy dependence of the economy on a few export commodities, Mongolia’s economy remains highly vulnerable to external shocks and harsh terms of trade. Trade represents an important engine of growth and a means of developing cooperation among nations. However, due to their geographical location, the land-locked countries find themselves structurally disadvantaged to equally benefit from trade liberalization. It is for this reason the Millennium Declaration recognized the special needs and problems of the 30 land-locked developing countries (LLDCs), half of which are also the least developed countries. High transit costs of their exports and imports negate whatever comparative advantage they could have in world trade.

 The challenges that the LLDCs are facing have been clearly highlighted in para. 156 of the Secretary-General’s report. My delegation fully agrees with the conclusion that “the high transport costs of landlocked countries imports impose a significant economic burden on the economies of landlocked countries in the form of inflated prices of both consumer and intermediate inputs, such as fuel”. Though my delegation could agree with the 3 strategies given in the para. 157 of the report to address the above challenges and difficulties, and that proportion of ODA allocated for transport sector in landlocked countries could be taken as an indicator for attaining the target, we believe that some concrete statistical target or indicator should be developed so as to be able to constantly monitor and assess implementation of the goal. In this regard my delegation, together with other landlocked developing countries, could provide some specific proposals to the Secretary-General.    

 Mr.President,

 Poverty is one of the critical issues that Mongolia faces today. Thirty six percent of the population lives in poverty - a phenomenon that, unfortunately, accompanied the process of transition. The Government of Mongolia implemented the 1994-2000 National Poverty Alleviation Program (NPAP) with the support of the international community. The primary goal of the NPAP was to halt the growing tendency of poverty in the country. To that end more than 13.000 small scale projects have been undertaken with active participation of the civil society. The national survey conducted in 2000 has shown that the level of poverty has not increased despite the continued economic hardships.

 In accordance with the present poverty reduction strategy, which is harmonized with and supported by broad-based, people-oriented and labor-intensive growth strategies, the Government of Mongolia is aiming to reduce by year 2005 the number of people living in extreme poverty by at least 25 percent, and half it by the year 2015 as envisaged in the Millennium Declaration.

 Mr.President,

 Mongolia stands resolved to fully implement the Millennium Declaration goals. Domestic resources to meet these goals are limited, especially in light of growing concerns for world economic downturn exacerbated by the terrorist attacks of 11 September. However, we have no doubt that the continued support and assistance of the international community - both our bilateral and multilateral development partners - will remain crucial in our efforts to achieve the Millennium Declaration goals. Furthermore, Mongolia hopes that the upcoming International Conference on Financing for Development and the World Summit on Sustainable Development will provide fresh impetus to the attainment of these goals.

 Mongolia has taken first steps to implement the goals of the Millennium Declaration. It believes that with political will, resources, correct strategy and cooperation, the noble goals of the Declaration are attainable. The spirit of partnership and shared responsibility that has shaped the Millennium Declaration are also essential to translate the vision into reality. To this end Mongolia is prepared to closely cooperate with the UN family organizations, its fellow members and international financial and economic institutions.