Civil Society and Government Dialogue on UPR recommendations:Opening Speech by Ms. Beate Trankmann, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative

Oct 15, 2015

Opening Speech by Ms. Beate Trankmann,

UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative,

15 October 2015, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Distinguished representatives of the Government and Civil Society of Mongolia,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning to all of you and thanks for inviting me to address you.

First of all, let me express my sincere appreciation to you for your active participation in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process over the last few months. Many of you took part in preparation of the national report and in the NGO and stakeholder submissions where you raised your concerns and expressed your views on various human rights issues in Mongolia.    

I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice for their excellent leadership and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRCM) for being a distinctive voice of the most vulnerable groups in the country and for continuously bringing together government and civil society actors for the betterment of human rights in Mongolia.

Recently I addressed at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly hosted by the Parliament of Mongolia where I promoted the UPR process as an opportunity for constructive dialogue to improve human rights in Mongolia.

Last month, the world leaders at the UN formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As a globally agreed blueprint for 2015-2030, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are likely to have a significant impact on the human rights agenda for years to come. The SDGs include an explicit goal on accountable and inclusive institutions and access to justice for all (Goal 16). This goal incorporates targets on important human rights standards and principles such as access to information and ‘protecting fundamental freedoms’; participation in decision-making; non-discriminatory laws and policies; and access to justice. The inclusion of such commitments provides a much-needed recognition of the crucial role that civil and political rights play in making sustainable and equitable development possible. Now the priority for all countries is to translate these global goals into national and sub-national policies and programmes, to identify national targets and indicators, and to develop the tools for assessing progress.

As you know, Mongolia has recently undergone the second UPR cycle and has received a number of recommendations. Today’s workshop is therefore very timely to take stock of the progress and find ways for Mongolia to move forward as a society.

The main areas covered by the UPR recommendations include: i) abolishment of the death penalty; ii) preventing torture; iii) adoption of the revised Law on Domestic Violence and implementation of the Law on Combatting Human Trafficking; iv) prevention of child labour and prohibition of corporal punishment; v) enhancement of women’s participation in political life and in decision making processes; and vi) guarantees of freedom of expression including on the internet. The UPR, and reinforced by other human rights treaties and conventions , reiterated the need to focus on especially vulnerable groups such as LGBTI persons, disabled, ger district dwellers and recent migrants.

These recommendations are not new to most of us, but require continued advocacy and awareness raising, coordination of national actors, and explicit, targeted and concerted actions. With all the information, capacity building, and experience gained over the past cycle of UPR, Mongolian civil society organizations are well positioned to make a significant contribution to implementation of the above recommendations in real life.

I would like to invite government, civil society and development partners, to also link any plan of action for implementation of the UPR recommendations to the SDGs and long-term development visions and approaches, so that all the efforts are concerted and sufficiently funded.      

Taking the opportunity of today’s workshop let me reaffirm the commitment of the UN System in supporting Mongolia in the area of human rights. The UPR follow-up has been a priority of the current United National Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and will remain so for the next five year cycle starting next year. The UN agencies will continue to support a wide range of activities, to articulate human rights issues, to develop national capacities, to strengthen legislative and policy frameworks, to fulfill international reporting requirements and so on, and work in partnership with the Government, civil society and the national human rights institutions in addressing existing and emerging human rights issues.

I thank UPR Info for taking initiative and for being proactive in coming to Mongolia to work with Mongolian CSO’s to come up with a comprehensive strategy for implementation of the UPR recommendations.

Finally, the UPR is not an end in itself but a means to improving the human rights situation on the ground.

Thank you to all of you once again for taking part in this valuable process. 

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