Support to the process of democratic consolidation is a key area of cooperation between UNDP and the Government of Mongolia. During earlier years of the country’s transition to democracy, the focus of cooperation was on promoting key concepts of good governance, capacity building of newly established governance institutions, including the Parliament, the National Human Rights Commission, and development the first national human rights programme. As the country gradually overcomes challenges of its political and economic transition, the focus of cooperation shifted to promoting transparency and openness in public organizations, anticorruption, policy advocacy for decentralization, electoral reform for increased representation, political empowerment of women and access to legal services for the poor.
Mongolia’s rapid economic growth driven by natural resource extraction, is amplifying threats to the environment leading to land degradation, water and air pollution, loss of biodiversity, in addition to overexploitation of forests and pasture. Environmental degradation combined with rising climate change impact makes the highly natural resources dependent local people and the fragile ecosystems most vulnerable.
Mongolia has a young population with nearly one in three classified as youth, that is between 15 and 34 years. A significant challenge facing many of these young people is income generation. With the current economic crises resulting in the fourth largest bailout package in (IMF) history (based on GDP), youth unemployment is nearly 21% (15-24 years, 2016), poverty has increased by 37% within two years (2016), and the school-to-work transition for urban Mongolians is up to 2.9 years. Within and outside Mongolia, entrepreneurship is being pursued by many as a means of addressing such challenges and advancing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Whilst there is a vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Mongolia, many of the projects and activities use international models often with minimal contextualization and results are often slow to have significant impact. Whilst there is a vibrant entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in Mongolia, particularly in Ulaanbaatar, results are often slow to have significant impact and young people are frustrated. On the other hand, poverty is also heavily segregated by geographic location and by industry. From this perspective, inclusive growth is one of the main priorities for Mongolia. Disparities need to be bridged, by creating economic opportunities, improving access to quality education and healthcare services, providing more accessible and efficient public services, and providing employment.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network, working in 177 countries and territories. UNDP opened its representative office in Ulaanbaatar in 1973 after more than a decade of successful cooperation with Mongolia. Ever since, UNDP has worked for equitable and sustainable development for the benefit of all Mongolians. UNDP is committed to helping the Government and the people of Mongolia achieve the Sustainable Development Development Goals as well as other national development priorities.