71st SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
10 October 2016
STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. SUKHBOLD SUKHEE, AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY AND PLENIPOTENTIARY AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MONGOLIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS ON AGENDA ITEM 19: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
My delegation associates itself with the statements delivered by the distinguished representative of the Kingdom of Thailand on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
This agenda item covers many issues of sustainable development to which Mongolia attaches high importance. Mongolia is fully committed to sustainable development and healthy planet. The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development that we collectively agreed a year ago provides a clear guideline for us.
I would like to highlight the following points in my statement.
First, the current climate change intensity in Mongolia is almost 3 times higher than global average because of it’s geographical locations, climate and weather specific features. Last year Mongolia completed the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC). Even though Mongolia’s total emission of greenhouse gases is very small to compare with other countries, Mongolia aims to cut emissions by 14 percent by 2030.
Greenhouse gas emission mitigation and other potentially ambitious commitments are contingent upon gaining access to new technologies and financial aid through internationally agreed mechanisms. It is extremely important for those countries like Mongolia, with limited capacities.
Secondly, there is an increasing trend of threats to forests and water caused by climate change and human induced activities. Water is crucial not only for daily consumption by the people and for herders to maintain their livestock, but also for Mongolia’s industrial development. Apart from water scarcity, water quality is also a significant concern with posing threats to public health. Therefore SDG 6 is great importance of Mongolia.
Mongolia is a low forest country, which only 8 percent covered and approximately 40 percent of them are suffering from degradation. Sustainable forest programs and plans are key concerns as well.
Third, due to climate change and unsustainable human activities there are serious desertification, drought and land degradation in Mongolia. Animal husbandry is considered as the most essential human induced factor affecting desertification and overgrazing risks in Mongolia. In addition, the poor crop cultivation practices are also cause of desertification, land degradation and soil erosion. The Government of Mongolia has adopted National Strategy on Desertification and community based pasture management has been applied successfully in the recent years.
Fourth, Mongolia has been undergoing rapid urbanization. Urban population increased sharply due to high rate of movement from rural areas. At present, more than 2/3 of the population live in urban settlements, mainly in the capital city, whose population doubled in the last two decades alone. The unplanned growth of the cities has resulted in various challenges, including unemployment, traffic congestion, increased air, water and soil pollution. The Government of Mongolia is ready to engage in UN initiatives on sustainable cities and looking forward working together.
Lastly, Mongolia has a great potential of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. A National policy on Energy efficiency has been approved. Mongolia’s first wind farm with the capacity of 50 MW was enacted in 2014 as a flagship project in sustainable energy sector of the country.
In closing, my delegation wishes to stress the importance of effective implementation of SDG’s. From our past experiences of implementing MDG’s clearly demonstrates that follow-up and review is most critical. Therefore, Mongolia pays a significant attention to the follow-up and review mechanism of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development at all levels of it’s implementation.
I thank you for your attention.