2017-2021 UNDAF signing eventJun 3, 2016
2017-2021 UNDAF SINGING EVENT
Remarks by Ms. B. Trankmann, UN Resident Coordinator
03 June 2016
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Your Excellency Mr. Purevsuren, Minister of Foreign Affairs,
UN Colleagues, media representatives
It is a great pleasure to be with you today to sign the new United Nations Development Assistance Framework which will guide the work of the UN in Mongolia in the coming 5 years, 2017-2021.
This UNDAF is the result of a year of intensive consultations between the Government and the UN and its signature comes at an opportune moment. 2016 marks the first year of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals as a global call-to-action to rid the world of poverty, make sure that all people benefit from development and stop environmental degradation and climate change.
Mongolia has recently approved its own version of the SDGs with the Mongolia 2030 Sustainable Development Vision. The SDV translates the global goals into Mongolian context. It envisions Mongolia to be one of the leading Middle Income Countries - eradicating poverty in all its forms and preserving the ecological balance while continuing to build strong and stable governance systems.
Mongolia has shown solid development progress over the last 15 years. Last year, it has been classified for the first time as a high Human Development Country. Economic progress has lifted more than half a million people out of poverty. But poverty remains a challenge with 1 in 5 Mongolians living below the poverty line. And progress has been achieved at the cost of environmental degradation impacting the lives of all with the poor often bearing the brunt.
The new UNDAF provides an excellent opportunity for the UN system in Mongolia to facilitate an early take-off of the SDGs in Mongolia and closely align its support behind the core aspirations of the SDGs and Mongolia’s SDV.
The new UNDAF will therefore focus on promoting inclusive growth and sustainable management of natural resources, enhancing equitable access to social services, and fostering voice and accountability.
The SDGs put forward the most ambitious and comprehensive development agenda the world has ever seen. For countries to achieve them, we will need to think and do development differently. We will need to work across sectors and groups and apply an all of society approach involving government, private sector, civil society, academia and youth to make the SDGs a reality.
Likewise, for the UN in Mongolia this means that we will need to change the way we do business. And so, this UNDAF is in many ways different from previous UNDAFs and presents a new approach.
It identifies the strategic contributions that the UN wants to make to development change in Mongolia. As such, it focuses on areas of joint work where UN system needs to come together as One to leverage its combined expertise for better results.
In the context of Mongolia’s graduation to upper Middle Income Country status and changing ODA flows, the UN will also move away from supporting the delivery of public services that can increasingly be funded from government resources. Instead, we will focus on provision of policy and technical advice as our comparative advantage. We aim to provide the government and other stakeholders with knowledge that leads to innovation, platforms that bring global expertise and skills to develop tailor-made, evidence-based solutions to complex development challenges.
In doing so, we look forward to new types of partnerships with the private sector as an engine for job creation and innovation in Mongolia; and with the Government for new financial burden sharing arrangements.
The financial envelope for the joint UN initiatives outlined in the UNDAF is estimated at $79 million over the five year period. There are 14 UN agencies contributing to the UNDAF. In addition to this, individual agencies will continue to focus on areas of their mandate through their own country programmes and strategies.
With these ingredients, we hope to build an ever more relevant UN for Mongolia. A UN that has open doors and brings everyone together. A UN that generates top notch and timely policy advice and innovation. A UN that can help ensure that growth and development progress can become truly inclusive and equitable while protecting Mongolia’s environment for present and future generations.
Thank you for the excellent partnership that the UN has enjoyed over the years. We look forwarding to taking this partnership to new heights under the new UNDAF for a bright, prosperous and healthy future for Mongolia and all its people.