Mongolian leader says 2015 must be seen as beginning, not end of effort to achieve development for all
Labelling his country “an old nation with a young heart,” the President of Mongolia told the United Nations General Assembly today that while his nation was able to achieve many of the Millennium Development Goals MDGs, reaching the unmet targets required national stakeholders, the private sector, research institutions, civil society and media working together.
“Rather than seeing 2015 as the end, we should view it as a beginning of new era. In this era, we should build on our successes, attend to gaps and meet emerging challenges,” said Elbegdorj Tsakhia, adding that the currently, the world has too many hungry people, too much violence, and too little commitment to human rights. “We need to change that,” he told the Assembly’s General Debate.
On the issue of the environment, he said Mongolia promoted a green development policy, creating and preserving national parks to curb desertification, as well as exploring the potential of renewable energy. In light of the many environmental challenges, such as land degradation, deforestation, natural disaster and pollution, Mongolian people, especially its youth, are fully committed to building a better environmental future.
Turning to the issue of corruption, Mr. Tsakhia said that Mongolia had a zero-tolerance policy at all levels of Government, which resulted in the country advancing 26 places in the Transparency International ranking of Member States. Convinced of transparency being key in the fight against corruption, he pointed out the country’s “glass account” system, which ensures that all funds were accounted for openly and transparently.
He noted that, as the country held the chair of the Community of Democracy, Mongolia placed great importance on democratic development. Promoting freedom and democracy, as well as fostering civic engagement would strengthen democratic institutions and improve human rights, because “knowledge is power”, he said.
The move towards greater democracy was pursued nationally and regionally, as displayed by the country’s efforts to share the lessons of parliamentary democracy and legal reforms with Kyrgyzstan, as well as other initiatives, including providing trainings for diplomats and public servants from Afghanistan, he said.