United Nations Day: Speech by Ms. Sezin Sinanoglu, UN Resident Coordinator

24 Oct 2013

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UN House, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 

  • Honorable Mr. Tsog, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament,
  • Honorable Ms. Erdenechimeg, Member of Parliament,
  • Your Excellency Minister BOLD,
  • Excellencies,
  • Distinguished Guests,
  • Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the whole UN Country Team – most of whom are out of the country on mission – I sincerely thank you for joining us to celebrate the 68th anniversary of the United Nations.

The United Nations Day is an opportunity for us to reflect on this unique organization that brings together 191 member states and to celebrate our achievements and contributions to peace and development around the world.

You have just heard the Secretary General: the world agenda continues to be dominated by issues related to:

  • security – Syria being one of them;
  • environment and climate change
  • human rights
  • poverty 

The UN aspires to work with the peoples of this world in all those areas, to end conflict, ensure sustainability of the environment, eliminate human rights abuses and to reduce poverty and inequality. It is not an easy job, but together, united in our common goal, we have come much closer to those global objectives. There are half a billion fewer people living below the international poverty line of $1.25 a day. Child death rates have fallen by more than 30%, with about 3 million children’s lives saved each year. This is significant and while the UN cannot take full credit for their achievement, it is also a fact that it is the UN that keeps this agenda fresh, the countries focused on key development issues and help monitor progress.

And we have had significant achievements in our work in Mongolia as well. Let me give you a few examples:

UNFPA supported the Government in achieving a maternal mortality reduction of 25% in the first half of 2013 compared to that of last year.

UN Habitat’s project for community led ger area upgrading has received huge recognition by the national counterparts and is being scaled up by the Municipality of UB and the Ministry of Construction and Urban Development.

FAO has just approved its first ever country strategy with Mongolia – helping improve agricultural practices and standards in all areas. 

UNICEF which puts children at the forefront of its agenda is scaling up its “reaching every district” strategy including nutrition interventions and access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation.

UNDP has now institutionalized and has been implementing a series of Development Dialogues that bring policy makers and stakeholders together to debate key development issues.

WHO – among many other successful projects, has helped establish acute stroke and cardiac intensive care units at a key hospital in UB.

UNESCO is working very closely with the civil society and media to promote freedom of expression and has conducted a holistic assessment of Media Development in Mongolia, which it will launch next week at a Conference on Media Development next week.

ILO has introduced the concept of social protection floor to ensure there is a basis minimum of social protection that every citizen in Mongolia should receive.

UNAIDS has been working very closely with most vulnerable groups, mainly the LGBT community to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS to help prevent its spread.

UNV has been in the forefront in developing national legislation to support volunteerism and volunteer infrastructure. We hope that both will come to fruition soon.

IOM has provided invaluable support to border management agencies to prevent human trafficking, which is of serious concern to everyone.

And we do not always work alone. Let me give examples of how the UN joins forces and works as ONE:

  • With support from the Human Security Trust Fund – WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP have worked together to improve water and sanitation in targeted locations in South Gobi.
  • UNFPA and UNICEF are jointly supporting the national Social Indicator Survey which will provide the main national level indicators on reproductive health and child health and well-being. This used to be done separately by two agencies in the past 20 years.
  • Together we supported the Government in preparing its 5th MDGs Report and in organizing national consultations on the Post 2015 agenda.

We have excellent partnership with the Government, but also with the Parliament, many multilateral and bilateral organizations, the civil society, local governments, media and increasingly with the private sector – without which these successes would not have been achieved.

Let me also recognize and thank all the UN staff who are the real soldiers for development. Without their commitment and tireless work, we would not have achieved any of the goals that we had set out to do.

That is all about the UN. But what about Mongolia in the UN? I would like to acknowledge with great appreciation the huge contribution that Mongolia has made and continues to make to the UN. Let me give a few examples:

  • Currently : 936 peacekeepers around the world
  • Supported a resolution on Democracy Education
  • Hosted the World Environment Day in Mongolia this year.
  • Most importantly: this beautiful UN House. We are truly grateful and proud to be working in Mongolia and being partners with you.

Thank you for  your partnership and the support to make all of this happen.

Thank you again for coming celebrating the UN Day with us. I wish you all an enjoyable evening.