Mongolia is one of the few countries that have added a ninth MDG. In recognition of the cross-cutting importance of good governance to socio-economic development and environmental sustainability, Mongolia endorsed a ninth Millennium Development Goal in 2005 to: “Strengthen human rights and foster democratic governance.”
The Millennium Development Goals Nine Goals for 2015
- 1 Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty
- 2 Achieve universal primary education
- 3 Promote gender equality and empower women
- 4 Reduce child mortality
Mongolia's progress on the MDGs
The Millennium Declaration, endorsed by 189 governments at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2000, was an unprecedented commitment among world leaders to work together to ensure a more peaceful, prosperous and just world. Aiming to advance a global vision for improving the human condition and strengthening efforts to reduce poverty, enhance human rights and democracy, and promote protection of the environment, these commitments were translated into the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2001.
MDGs are strongly embedded at the policy level in Mongolia. The Parliament adopted the MDGs as development benchmarks in 2005 and then as the framework for the MDG-Based Comprehensive National Development Strategy (CNDS) of 2008-21. Mongolia is one of the few countries to have a 9th MDG on ‘Strengthening Human Rights and Fostering Democratic Governance’ that emphasizes democratic governance and human rights as necessary conditions for the achievement of all the MDGs. The targets were revised in 2008 and there are a total of 24 targets with 67 indicators for the nine MDGs.
Mongolia has witnessed significant economic progress in recent years. GDP growth averaged nearly 9 percent annually in 2004-08 largely on the back of high copper prices and new gold production. Recovering quickly from the global financial crisis in 2008-09, the economy recorded double-digit growth in 2011 and 2012. GNI per capita increased from USD 1,300 in 2006 to about USD 3,035 by the end of 2012, and Mongolia is now classified as a lower-middle income country.1
Still the economy has a narrow base. Mineral commodities account for about 80 percent of the country’s exports and mining provides around 40 percent of total government revenues, though the sector employs only 3 percent of the total workforce. The manufacturing sector contributes only about 11 percent to the GDP, about half of the mining sector’s contribution. High dependence on mining revenues exposes the country to fluctuations in the external environment.
Mongolia is classified as a medium-human development country with human development index (HDI) of 0.675 and a rank of 108 out of 187 countries. 2 The average HDI of the countries in the Asia and Pacific Region is 0.683, which is slightly greater than that of Mongolia. However, Mongolia’s HDI is greater than the average HDI of countries with similar level of development.Poverty head count declined by more than 11 percentage points from 38.7 percent in 2010 to 27.4 percent in 2012. The sharp decline in poverty in recent years is mainly attributed to effective government policy on social welfare, labour market, food supply and maternal and child health.
1 The income categories follow the World Bank’s classification of countries by GNI per capita: low-income (less than USD 1,005); lower middle-income (USD 1,006-USD 3,875); upper middle-income (USD 3,976-USD 12,275); high-income (above USD 12,276).
2 UNDP Human Development Report 2013.
The poverty rate is unacceptably high for a country undergoing rapid economic growth. Insufficient access to health and other basic services, natural disasters, lack of employment opportunities, inequalities in regional development, and a mismatch between education and the demand of the labour market have been identified as some of the underlying causes of poverty in Mongolia.The fifth MDG Progress Report 2013 assesses the progress made against the specific indicators and targets of the MDGs, the status of the current policy environment, as well as the challenges to overcome in order for Mongolia to achieve the MDGs by 2015. It demonstrates the commitment of the Government to meeting the targets and improving the welfare of its people.
The Report undertakes an analysis of trends and inequalities, including differences in rates of change, and the geographic variations in progress; reviews lagging and off-track indicators; and identifies key implementation bottlenecks constraining progress, their prevalence across sectors and goals, and provides indications on what the government is doing to address them.
Process of Report preparation
The Report was prepared in a participatory and consultative way under the leadership of the Ministry of Economic Development (MED). All key stakeholders were involved at various stages of its preparation. To start the process, MED organized a series of technical consultations in February-March 2013 to address issues of data. A National Consultation on “Accelerating Progress on the MDGs by 2015” was organized in March 2013 for which a Background paper was prepared by two national consultants to initiate the discussion. A national workshop was organised in August 2013 to discuss the draft report. Before finalization, the report was shared with all relevant Ministries and UN agencies to get their comments and suggestions.
Key features of the Report
The fifth MDG Progress Report has a number of key features. One, an objective analysis has been undertaken to assess progress in achieving the MDG targets. Assessment of progress has been classified into four categories. One-third of the targets (8 out of 24) are either on-track or have been fully achieved. Seven more can be achieved by 2015 with some additional effort. Four targets across three MDGs are unlikely to be achieved, and it is difficult to assess progress on five targets because of data or measurement issues.
Another key feature of the Report is that a number of field visits, covering both prosperous and poor soums, were undertaken by the team preparing the report to get a ground-level understanding of the challenges in achieving the MDGs. A sample qualitative survey was also conducted in 12 soums of 4 aimags in Khangai region with the highest rates of poverty. These local-level perspectives helped complement the aggregate data analysis and provide an improved understanding of the bottlenecks in programme implementation.
The Report needs to be understood in a context that recognises that factors external to Mongolia will also have an impact on the pace with which the MDGs are achieved, notwithstanding the very committed efforts made to attain them.The economic transition witnessed in recent years has led to a decrease in donor funding and a shift in donor priorities, even as Mongolia’s development challenges remain. This is having an impact on resource mobilization for implementing development projects, and may affect Mongolia’s progress on the MDGs. Even as discussions are taking place globally to design and agree on a framework to succeed the MDGs, the impetus towards achieving the Goals by 2015 must be sustained over the remaining period.
In 2000,189 nations made a promise to free people from extreme poverty and multiple deprivations. This pledge became the eight Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015. In September 2010, the world recommitted itself to accelerate progress towards these goals.
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