Keynote address at Boao Forum for Asia Ulaanbaatar Conference Boosting Regional Development

Excellency Mr Ukhanaa KHURELSUKH, Prime Minister, Mongolia
Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia and 8th Secretary General of the United Nations
Excellency Mr Li Baodong, Secretary-General of Boao Forum for Asia
Excellency Mr Damdin TSOGTBAATAR, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mongolia
Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to be with you for this first Boao Forum for Asia Ulaanbaatar Conference Boosting Regional Development. I welcome this opportunity to share some of my thoughts for your consideration.

Today, our world faces several unprecedented economic, social and environmental challenges. Trade tensions are intensifying, while multilateralism is constantly being challenged. So, keeping our focus and principles closely aligned with sustainable development is all the more important.

The priorities of the ‘Action Program of the Government of Mongolia for 2016-2020’ are very important tools for advancing the national Sustainable Development Vision 2030.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

As we look ahead to Mongolia’s national policy designs and priorities, let me highlight few areas you may wish to consider in your deliberations.

Achieving sustainable connectivity development will require further streamlining of physical infrastructure sectors, which should be guided by international standards, UN norms and values. The Intergovernmental Agreement on International Road Transport along the Asian Highway among China, Mongolia and the Russian Federation support Mongolia’s aspiration to transition from a landlocked to a landlinked country.

Mongolia has also been a key driving force in advancing clean energy, especially towards power interconnection in North-East Asia, leveraging the country’s abundant renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind. We must seize this opportunity and enhance further cooperation among member States.

Air pollution is an increasingly pressing development challenge in Mongolia affecting public health and productivity while creating considerable costs to the flourishing national economy. We must act now and lead the way on finding sustainable solutions.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

We need unwavering political commitment at the national, subregional and regional levels that would empower people and promote equality.

I commend Mongolia for advancing these agendas through pragmatic and visionary leadership that benefit not only Mongolia, but also the North-East Asian subregion and beyond.

Mongolia has adopted policies to enhance sustainable connectivity that would help cultivate solutions for shared regional development challenges.

Mongolia has also undertaken policy actions needed to strengthen environmental protection and combat climate change that could bolster resilience.

To this end, I welcome Mongolia’s emphasis on the “whole of government” plus a “whole of society” approach.

Mongolia leads the global agenda of the special needs and development challenges faced by landlocked developing countries (LLDCs). The presence of the International Think Tank for LLDCs in Ulaanbaatar further highlights the key role of Mongolia as a credible broker of the LLDCs development agenda.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the United Nations family stand ready to be partnering with Mongolia’s leadership and all stakeholders to strengthen regional cooperation and achieve sustainable development by 2030.

First, we have been providing continued support in the formalisation of regional transport networks and infrastructure to overcome bottlenecks to cross-border transport, to improve energy connectivity, and to address air-pollution.

Second, we are focusing on the areas of capacity-building programmes on ICT infrastructure which would enable significant cost and time savings and building disaster resilient infrastructure and financing options.

Third, we are working closely with the Government of Mongolia in the implementation of policies to the development of an inclusive digital society strategy with support from the Pathways for Prosperity Commission.

Fourth, we are effectively, and proactively engaging businesses committed to sustainable development though UN ESCAP’s annual Asia Pacific Business Forum. Your continued engagement can offer practical solutions to meet the sustainable development needs of Mongolia and beyond.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

I firmly believe that where common objectives exist, we must work to complement each other.

I am committed to working with all member States to achieve sustainable development by 2030 in Asia and the Pacific.

Thank you for your attention. I wish you a successful forum.