STATEMENT

by

Ms. O. ENKHTSETSEG

Director

Department of Multilateral Cooperation

       Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia

in the General Debate

of the Second Committee

 

 

 October 1, 2002

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

            My delegation wishes to associate itself with the statements made earlier in this Committee by the distinguished representative of Venezuela on behalf of the G-77 and China and the distinguished representative of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on behalf of the Land-locked Developing Countries.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

A clear and firm consensus seems to emerge on the pressing need for action to implement the commitments made over the last decade, and epitomized in a most succinct way in the Millennium Development Goals. A strong impetus to forge action to implement the MDGs was further provided by the Monterrey and Johannesburg conferences. Now, the central challenge is how to ensure a speedy and sustainable implementation at both national and global levels.   

 

          Developing countries, on one hand, recognize their responsibility to build strong national commitment to implement MDGs and produce a nationally-owned, sound poverty reduction strategy. Many developing countries, including my own country Mongolia, are striving hard in that direction. Back in Mongolia we have established an inter-agency national task force entrusted with a task of tailoring the MDGs to the national context and setting the relevant time-bound targets and producing the implementation report with specific policy recommendations. The national task force is closely collaborating with the organizations of the United Nations system represented in Ulaanbaatar. We have also developed CCA and UNDAF, and working closely with IMF to finalize PRSP towards the end of this year.

 

          Recognizing the importance of the quality of governance in achieving the development goals, my Government launched back in 2000 a national program on “Good Governance for Human Security” (GGHS) to facilitate policy focus, coherence and sustainability of its Action Program. What we have succeeded in doing so far is: we have secured national commitment by all the branches of the State power to its implementation; we have institutionalized the program’s implementation mechanism; and laid the groundwork for greater involvement and participation of the civil society, private sector and academia.

 

            My Government is resolved to ensure sustained economic growth through reinvigorating and encouraging the development of domestic industry, rehabilitating the banking sector, upgrading the living standards of the people and ensuring equitable social and educational opportunities. We will intensify the structural reforms and encourage an export-oriented, private sector-led economy.

          

      Mr. Chairman,

          

            We are fully aware of need for perseverance on our part to attain the goals set. But no matter how righteous the internal policies pursued by the developing countries might be, they are not sufficient to ensure sustained economic growth in this era of growing interdependence. And it is even truer for less developed, more vulnerable, structurally disadvantaged countries. In a globally liberalized trade and financial system these countries need to be assisted to withstand powerful external forces that so often are utterly destructive. Therefore, my delegation wishes to echo the plea voiced at both Monterrey and beyond that there is a need for an enabling international environment, that there is a need to develop a new, more equitable system of international governance, the need to forge a qualitatively new partnership - new multilateralism as was so eloquently put by the Under-Secretary-General Nitin Desai in his opening remarks to this Committee.  

      

Mongolia believes that the United Nations is uniquely placed to provide for such a global governance in economic and social areas that allows equal participation of the South in its decision-making process. It is, in our view, high time to engage in an earnest dialogue on entirely new framework of development cooperation more responsive to the emerging imperatives of increasingly interconnected world. My delegation expects that this Committee could make the ball start rolling in that direction. The new development partnership between the North and the South should be based on justice, not on charity; on equitable sharing of global market opportunities, not on protectionism and aid; on mutual cooperation, not on unilateral conditionality or confrontation.

Mr. Chairman,

The new WTO round should become a real development round contributing to the achievement of the MDGs. The Doha agenda is a positive first step. WTO policies should actively respond and level the playing fields of the global trade regime, improving the market access for the less fortunate countries, thus supporting their efforts towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Tariff peaks and escalations are restricting export opportunities, hampering vertical diversification and limiting the opportunities for sustainable development. As attested by a number of studies and reports, the abolishment of all trade barriers would result in a much larger development boost for developing countries as compared to all ODA and the debt relief granted so far. Stating this as a fact my delegation does not wish to undermine in any way the importance we attach to ODA and current debt relief practices as we believe that all those measures taken together in a complementary manner will help us achieve the MDGs.   

In times of scarce private funding, like today when FDI is on decline worldwide, ODA remains instrumental in supporting the development efforts of the less fortunate countries. The pledge by the donor countries to increase their ODA to 0.7% of GNP is still critical. My delegation is heartened by the breakthrough produced at Monterrey in that regard with substantial new pledges and a major change in attitude, which could lead to reversal of the decade-long decline in ODA. Greater efforts seem necessary in both donor and recipient countries to improve ODA quality and effectiveness through, inter alia, provision of untied aid, enhanced capacity for its utilization and improved donor aid coordination.

 

The overall external debt situation of the developing countries remains complex. A number of low and middle-income developing countries and transition economies face external debt burdens exceeding the threshold level for sustainability in the HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) framework. Therefore greater flexibility in the eligibility criteria for debt relief could be extended to these countries, especially those with inherent development handicaps like land-locked and small island developing countries so as to support their poverty reduction efforts.

 

            My delegation wishes to reiterate its strong support to the NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) and urge the international community to lend its generous assistance to the implementation of the Declaration adopted earlier at the high level meeting of the Plenary.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

My delegation is grateful to fellow developing nations and our developed partners for their support and understanding of the enormous development challenges faced by land-locked developing countries.  In this connection, we believe that the upcoming International Conference on Transit Transport Cooperation, to be held in 2003 in Kazakhstan, will help enhance the international cooperation to ease the inherent development handicaps of this group of disadvantaged countries. My delegation is prepared to actively collaborate with Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, the Land-Locked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing Countries and other relevant partners to make the conference a success.

 

            Mr. Chairman, before concluding I wish to pledge my delegation’s full support to you and the other members of the Bureau in discharging your important responsibilities at this session of the General Assembly.

 

Thank you.