48th Session of the Commission
on Population Development
13 April 2015
Statement by H.E. Mrs. Atarmaa Dashdorj,
Deputy Minister for Health and Sport of Mongolia
(Agenda item 4. General Debate on National Experience in Population Matters:
Realizing The Future We Want - Integrating Population Issues into Sustainable Development,
including in The Post-2015 Development Agenda)
Members of the Commission,
At the outset, my delegation wishes to associate itself with the statement made yesterday by the distinguished representative of South Africa on behalf of the Group 77 and China.
We also would like to join the previous speakers in extending a gratitude to the Secretary-General for his reports submitted under this agenda item and welcome the progress achieved during the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.
The 1994 ICPD agenda, galvanized by the Millennium Development Goals in 2000s, brought profound substantive changes into our population policy. Focus of the national population policy has been shifted from quantity to quality, inter alia, quality of life with equity and dignity.
While putting into action the ICPD and MDGs agendas, Mongolia achieved a steady population growth and notable results in major fields of the population development. In the past two decades, Maternal Mortality and Child Mortality Rates in the country were reduced by more than 4 times, with MMR reaching at 30.6 per 100 000 live births and CMR at 18.4 per 1 000 live births. Prevalence of HIV/AIDS has been under control. Sexual and reproductive health services became more available and accessible, particularly through the nationwide telemedicine network. Comprehensive sexuality education was included into the secondary school curricula.
More importantly, the legal and institutional environment of the population development has been improved to a large extent. In addition to appropriate amendments to major laws including the legislation on family and social protection issues, the Laws on Combat Domestic Violence and on Promotion of Gender Equality have been adopted by the national Parliament in 2004 and 2011, respectively. The Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection established in 2012 has been effectively cooperating with relevant ministries on revision, formulation and implementation of population related policy documents. Among them, the State Policy on Population Development of 2004 was timely revised upon emerging population dynamics and is underway for adoption by the Parliament.
Despite these achievements, challenges associated with the population development issues persist in Mongolia. Along with the country’s upgrade to the category of middle-income countries, inequalities have been widening in terms of having access to quality social services, sharing equal opportunities between men and women, especially in decision making, and reducing and eliminating gender-based violence. Decisive measures need to be taken to tackle adolescent birth rates, unmet need for family planning and unsafe abortion.
In recent years, the country has witnessed significant changes in its population dynamics. First, the proportion of young people is at its highest in the history of Mongolia composing 38.5% of the total population. Second, the elderly population is growing. While the elderly is currently estimated at 3.8% of the total population, it is projected to triple by 2040. Third, internal migration to urban areas is at its peak and the country is muddling through a fast urbanization process. Currently, more than one third of the country’s population reside in urban areas, mainly in the capital city Ulaanbaatar. These are putting considerable pressure in resolving social issues of youth and elderly and providing social services in urban areas, such as health, education, sanitation and security.
While the national statistical system has significantly improved in terms of data collection and data disaggregation, there is still much improvement needed at sub-national and local levels for a robust and integrated population data which is essential for policy and decision-making.
Subsequently, the aforementioned and other issues such as poverty, environmental degradation and spread of communicable and non-communicable diseases identified during the national consultations on the Post-2015 development agenda need to be addressed in the future agenda of Mongolia’s sustainable development and a great amount of investment is required.
While emphasizing the value and principles of sustainability, equality and efficiency, in Mongolia, we are giving much importance to developing a human rights-based approach to development as well.
At the end, my delegation wants to reiterate its committments to addressing unfinished agenda of the ICPD and MDGs and pursuing them further within the SDG framework. Mongolia will continue to cooperate with national and international partners in line with the recommendations and commitments made at the 29th Special Session of the General Assembly on the Follow-up to the ICPD beyond 2014.