My delegation would like to thank Ms. Henrieta H.Fore the UNICEF Executive Director and welcomes her first annual report for 2018 to the Executive Board.
Promotion and protection of the rights of children remain one of the key priorities for the Government of Mongolia. In 2016, the Government has developed its Program of Action for the period of 2016-2020, reflecting Mongolia’s Sustainable Development Vision 2030. Since then a number of important legislations has entered into force, including, the revised Law on Rights of Children and the new Law on Child Development and Protection, the new Laws on Benefits to Single Mothers and Fathers with Multiple Children, Youth Development and the Law on Violations. The above has brought the changes designed to further advance human rights of its citizen, particularly vulnerable groups.
In September 2017, the Cabinet has approved the National Program on Child Development and Protection for the period 2017-2021 in order to support the implementation of the Law on rights of children and Law on protection of children. Following the consideration of the 16th Annual Report on the Situation of Human Rights and Freedoms in Mongolia presented by the National Human Rights Commission, the Parliament has adopted its resolution to implement measures aimed, inter alia, at improving schooling conditions for ethnic minority and disabled children in 2017.
By 2030 the Government of Mongolia is planning and implementing policies and programs to address effectively the challenges faced by the capital city, including shortage of kindergartens, about 30 schools in suburbs functioning in three shifts, overload of family hospitals, hazardous impacts of air pollution on public health, especially child health.
Ulaanbaatar city’s air pollution problem has grown with the city, which has almost tripled in size since 1990, and today accommodates just under 1.5 million people. Ulaanbaatar’s air pollution exceeded by over 20 times the safety level set by the WHO, according to the National Agency for Meteorology and Environment Monitoring. Air pollution has become a child health crisis in the city and is putting every child and pregnancy at risk. In Mongolia, a 3.5-fold increase in fetal deaths has been documented between winter and summer. Pneumonia is now the second leading cause of under-five child mortality in the country.
Reducing air pollution levels in Ulaanbaatar is the only long-term sustainable solution to protect children’s health. The Government of Mongolia has been making its efforts to address air pollution through refining the necessary legal framework, implementing national programs and projects and collaborating with international partners.
The most detailed and recent policy document tackling with air polution related issues is the National Action Plan for Reducing of Air and Environmental Pollution was adopted in 2017. The National Action Plan aims by 2025 to decrease air pollutants by 80% and calls for prohibiting the use of unprocessed coal everywhere except in thermal power plants in Ulaanbaatar.
My delegation welcomes that the UNICEF programming in climate change, energy and environment was strengthened in 2018, with a growing focus on promoting climate-sensitive infrastructure in WASH, health and education and supporting young people as drivers of change. Investing in children’s issues and voices must continue to be at the center of Sustainable Development Goals implementation, follow-up and review efforts at all levels. Mongolia remains strongly committed to advancing progress with regard to the protection and promotion of children and their rights. To reach the SDG’s by 2030, we must ensure that no child is left behind.
I thank you.