Achieving sustainable development is essential “because no one in the world should be left behind and deprived of the right to development,” the President of Mongolia told the United Nations General Assembly today, urging the international community to work together towards a world where everyone could have a dignified life, free from poverty, violence and depression.
“I firmly believe that justice, stability and security cannot be guaranteed without the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms for all. These basic principles must be respected and protected in every country by all governments,” Tsakhia Elbegdorj told delegations attending the Assembly’s annual general debate.
With the new UN 2030 Agenda, Mongolia would work to ensure that no one is left behind “by reaching out to the most vulnerable first,” he continued, noting that the Agenda’s policies have been translated into the national strategy as the ‘Sustainable Development Vision of Mongolia 2030,’ which is already being implemented.
“Our agenda calls for the establishment of a diverse and inclusive economic structure. That is for increasing decent jobs and providing opportunities and income generation. Our goal is for improving quality of life and ensuring environmental sustainability,” said the President, adding that it is equally essential to ensure cooperation between and among governments, international development communities, the private sector, and civil society institutions.
Addressing a wide range of issues, he noted, among others, that “development and accountability is all about democracy,” which should never be taken for granted. “It must be nurtured and strengthened on a daily basis […] a democratic society is sustainable because it aims at the highest development of every one of its members,” Mr. Elbegdorj said, emphasizing leaders should provide for an environment where democratic institutions can thrive, provide for rule of law, human rights, democratic governance, and free and fair elections.
On climate change, he called the Paris Agreement “our common success […] the result of hard work. And we must deliver on this promise.” Mongolia is one of smallest carbon emitters in the world but suffers disproportionally from the phenomenon “Desertification, deforestation, and the loss of biodiversity have been severe blows to the livelihoods of our traditional nomadic culture, and they spur further environmental degradation,” he explained.
Stressing that Mongolia is holding its end of the bargain, he said the promised international cooperation and support are still lacking. The benefits of the green funds and carbon credits are “sorely missed” in Mongolia and many other developing countries. As such, he urged the multilateral institutions to take the lead in such important efforts.
“We have one home, one world for all of us, and we have one universal goal to save it. And, today is our time to act. We must not miss it as we cannot miss our future,” he stated.