Development Dialogue on “Utilising mining revenue for Mongolia's Development"Jan 28, 2013
DEVELOPMENT DIALOGUE ON “UTILISING MINING REVENUE FOR MONGOLIA’S DEVELOPMENT”
UN House, Ulaanbaatar
Speech by Ms. Sezin Sinangolu, UNDP Resident Representative
H.E. Mr. Ulaan, Member of Parliament and Minister of Finance
Mr. Davaasuren, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Budget Standing Committee
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to welcome you to the third dialogue in our Development Dialogue series. This is the first big event in our new ‘home’. We moved in here last month and are still getting used to the new place. We look forward to having more events here in future.
We had launched the Development Dialogue series with support from the British embassy in Mongolia last November to provide a forum for key stakeholders to have informed policy discussions on key development issues. The first two dialogues were very successfully organized with active participation of members of parliament, and representatives of the Government, civil society, academia, media and international development organizations.
The 3rd dialogue is organized as a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Utilising mining revenue for Mongolia’s development – a topic that is of central importance for the country. 20013 is an important year for Mongolia as many large mining projects are likely to come on-stream and this makes the topic all the more pertinent.
The sheer size of Mongolia’s mineral resources and potential revenue flows are staggering. This puts a huge responsibility on the government as it faces tough policy choices on how to use it wisely for the benefit of all.
An important aspect of the mineral resources is that they are finite and this makes the decisions on utilizing the revenue all the more challenging as the country needs to balance competing priorities – such as between the present and the future; across various sectors; and between investing in the mining sector and promoting economic diversification by investing in the non-mining sectors.
In the midst of all these policy challenges, it is important that we don’ t lose sight of our overall objective that is, to ensure sustainable human development of the Mongolian people. While the revenue flows are finite, we have to ensure that “benefit flows” continue for longer and are enjoyed by future generations of Mongolians.
To my mind this requires that we put in place a healthy and robust development planning structure which promotes evidence-based policy-making; a participatory and a consultative process so that all citizens feel that they have a stake in the country’s mineral wealth; and an effective monitoring system that promotes accountability.
Before concluding I would like to thank all our panelists and the British embassy in Mongolia for supporting this Dialogue series; to the Ministry of Economic Development which took ownership of the entire series; and to the Ministry of Finance for being the national partner for today’s Dialogue. I am particularly thankful to the Minister of Finance for taking leadership of this topic and for agreeing to be on the panel.
I hope the debate and the exchange of views today, both during the panel discussion and the open discussion afterwards, will generate ideas for effective utilization of the mining revenue. I also hope that the discussions will give each one of us a better understanding of the other’s viewpoint which while different from our own, maybe equally effective in achieving the overall objective of improving the lives of the present and future generations of Mongolians.