Speech by Sezin Sinanoglu, Resident Representative: National Forum “Together for Corruption Free Society”

25 Jun 2014

Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (part of the Post 2015 consultations)

Your Excellencies:

  • Mr. Demberel, Member of Parliament and Chair of the Mongolian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Ms. Burmaa, Member of Parliament, and Chair of Standing Committee on Petitions
  • Mr. Oyunbaatar, Member of Parliament and Chair of the Standing Committee on Security
  • Mr. Donovan, Country Representative of USAID
  • Ms. Lindberg, Country Representative of Asia Foundation
  • Ms. Bat Otgon, Director of Prevention and Public Awareness at the Independent Agency for Anti Corruption
  • Representatives of the Public and Private Sectors, Civil Society

Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you for this opportunity for the United Nations to participate in this Forum.

The Millennium Development Goals are due to end in 2015. Over the last 2 years the UN has been leading a global effort to come up with a new, a Post 2015 development agenda. Over 3 million people from all over the world and all walks of life have participated in global, regional and national level consultations to help shape this future development agenda, including the formulation of a set of new goals, which are called the Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs for short).  Good governance, transparency, accountability and anti-corruption have featured very strongly in all these discussions.

Mongolia has been a part of the global Post 2015 discussions. The UN supported a series of consultations on the Post 2015 development agenda in 2012 and 2013 with various stakeholders such as young people and women in Mongolia and carried their voices in a report to the UN General Assembly. In the hall you will find background information on this process and the outcomes which I encourage you to review.

This year the UN has been tasked to do a second round of consultations.   And the target group this time is the private sector. We had one consultation last week to discuss the role of small and medium sized enterprises in the Post 2015 agenda. Today we are here to consult with the private sector on key challenges and actions in the areas of governance, transparency and accountability – which are key to the achievement of any development goal.  

But in this discussion today, we would like you to go beyond the conventional meaning of the words transparency and accountability. We do not want you to only look at transparency and accountability of financial performance. We would like you also to explore how to improve transparency and accountability in non-financial performance.

Let me explain:

All companies have a responsibility to operate in accordance with universal principles, such as those of the UN Global Compact, which include respect to human rights, support to decent work and promotion of environmental sustainability.

In practice, this means making sure that a company identifies, prevents, mitigates and accounts for any negative impacts it may have on society and the environment by incorporating these universal principles into the their business strategies, policies and procedures, and by establishing a culture of integrity and compliance.

This is the topic that the UN would like you to additionally discuss today. How does the private sector achieve transparency and accountability in this type of non-financial performance? 

There are three areas where we would encourage discussion:

  • First, measurement – how do you introduce a system of measuring and benchmarking the impact of companies in areas such as poverty reduction or greenhouse emissions,
  • Second, how do you expand the existing practice of company financial reports to preparing integrated reports which include company’s progress in economic, social, environmental and governance issues, and
  • Third, certification – how can you introduce certification schemes to help individual consumers make their purchasing decisions taking into account sustainable development priorities.

The thoughts, comments, ideas and recommendations that come out of your deliberations today will be captured in a report that will be submitted to the UN Secretary General.  Your voice will be carried to the global agenda and help shape the world we all want after 2015.

In ending, I would like to thank the Mongolian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The UN has been partners with the Chamber in a number of programmes in the past. They are also the lead national agency for the UN Global Compact – which at its heart is all about good governance and sustainability. I would like to thank also USAID and the Asia Foundation for accepting our request to be a part of this Forum.

Thank you and I wish you a fruitful Forum.