Statement by Representative of Mongolia in the
Second preparatory session of the Commission on
Sustainable Development acting as the preparatory committee for the
World Summit on Sustainable Development  

 February 1, 2002                                                                                        New York

 Mr. Chairman,

        As we look back to the decade since the UNCED, we come to an unsettling conclusion: our common environment is in a worse shape than before, the vast majority of the world’s population still struggles with dehumanizing poverty, economic growth didn’t materialize in faster development for many of the world’s countries. Even at the global policy level a coherent holistic approach towards sustainable development that comprises trade, finance, transfer of technology, etc. has proven to be elusive. Furthermore, philosophically, value change has not taken place in our global village and we continue to live, consume, produce in a wasteful and unsustainable manner at the expense of future generations.

        Faced with such a grim reality, what is it then that we expect from the World Summit on Sustainable Development?

        In the view of my delegation, first of all, it should re-affirm the very foundation of the previous UNCED that achievement of three-fold goals of sustainable development is a global challenge, and, as such, demands not only national but also collective and global actions. This realization has driven the progress that has been achieved since Rio Summit in standard-setting and institution-building, at both national and international levels. Besides increased awareness, progress in this area is a major achievement of the past decade.   

        We expect that, building on renewed commitment for collective and global action, the Johannesburg Summit should reinforce the political will of member states to implement the blueprints already drawn by various institutions and stakeholders. Political will and courage are required since implementation of these blueprints would necessitate increased demand in resources and time.

        United Nations plays a key role in coordinating and guiding the global response to the threefold challenge of sustainable development. Therefore, thirdly, we hope that the Summit will strengthen institutional arrangements within the UN system. This should result in more coherent and coordinated interactions among the UN organizations and major stakeholders in addressing all three pillars of sustainable development.

        Last but not least, we believe that the World Summit should seriously address the issue of helping the most disadvantaged and vulnerable to share the benefits of globalization and ensure sustainable development since it is the most poor and vulnerable who are bearing the unproportionate share of costs and shocks of unsustainability of current pattern of development. When frequency of natural disasters increases, it is the poorest among the poor that usually are the first to be deprived of the very minimal subsistence that they have. When the global economy suffers, it is the poorest among the poor that are further marginalized.   

        Mr. Chairman,

        My country Mongolia is among the most vulnerable. As a country with extremely low population density, high susceptibility to natural disasters, narrow industrial base, highly sensitive to fluctuations of commodity prices and where much of the economy is dependent on the environment, Mongolia attaches special significance to full implementation of the objectives of the Agenda 21.  Furthermore, regional development is one of the issues to which attention is being paid. Mongolia is in the process of formulation of the Eastern Regional Agenda-21. In the future more attention will be paid to regional development considering it to be one of the most important components in promoting effective implementation of sustainable development principles.

        In August 2001 Mongolia has assessed the status of implementation of Sustainable development in Mongolia and released a National Report, which summarizes the progress, achievements and obstacles in sustainable development at both local and national levels .

        The copies of the Report are available to the participants and can be viewed at the Mongolian Mission to the UN website.   

        There has been continuing afford to institutionalize multi-stakeholder dialogue and partnership at all levels. In many countries this has already been institutionalized through the NCSD (National Counsel for Sustainable development) or similar institution and LCSDs (Local Counsels for Sustainable development).

        In Mongolia ,our NCSD has proud to be an effective governance mechanism for SD. NCSD chaired by Prime-Minister of Mongolia , which is more appropriate integration al our activities beyond the Mongolian action Program for the 21st century.

        Assessing the current implementation of Mongolia’s national sustainable development plan and looking into the future beyond Johannesburg, we do hope that the efforts of such nature will continue to receive increased international support.

        We therefore recommend that :

1.                  Countries establish their respective multi-stakeholder mechanism in the national level(NCSD) and local level(LCSD).

2.                  UN(Department of Economic and Social Affairs) promote establishment of regional and global forums of NCSDs.

3.                  Donors should support the establishment of NCSD/LCSD and strengthening of existing ones.

        The issue of desertification affects the lives of more than 250 million people in nearly 100 countries. While Mongolia is the 17th largest country in the world in terms of its territory, over 40 percent of the country’s territory is currently covered by desert. It is estimated that 95 percent of the total land is highly susceptible to desertification, and droughts, covering as much as 25 per cent of the country’s territory, occur every two to three years. Therefore, nationally Mongolia attaches high priority to implementation of the provisions of the United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification, a convention that has been recognized as the only environmental convention that integrates all the three pillars of sustainable development. Mongolia was among the first in Asia to adopt its National Plan of Action to Combat Desertification. Within the framework of the National Plan of Action, a number of projects in such areas as sand movement monitoring, forestry rehabilitation, improvement of the legal environment and public awareness are being implemented at the national and local levels.

         Amb. Diallo, Executive Secretary for CCD, has rightly emphasized during the presentation he made at the plenary session that it is high time to increase assistance to countries like Mongolia who already undertook commitments at the national level and are willing to work towards their implementation. In this connection, my supports the move by the GEF to designate desertification and land degradation as its focal area.

        The issues of desertification, land degradation, climate change, loss of biological diversity are closely interrelated, and synergies of environmental conventions needs to be strengthened. To this end, Mongolia hosted Third Asia–Africa Forum on Combating Desertification.    

        In conclusion, allow me to reiterate that Mongolia will continue to work actively to make the World Summit a success.