Opening remarks by Beate Trankmann, UNDP Resident Representative
August 23, 2019 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Mongolia is gradually recovering its economy from the challenges faced in 2015 and 2016. The progress in both economic and fiscal sides is visible and it is the assistance provided by the Development Partners is turning into a tangible benefit for the country. However, the quantitative side of the economic growth must also transform into a quality of the economy. A particular challenge that the Mongolian economy faces these days is the transformation of the economic growth into more jobs and more sustainable jobs. Decent work is one of the key goals of the Agenda-2030 that Mongolia has adopted as part of the Sustainable Development Vision-2030 in 2016.
As statistical data indicate, the recent improvement in macroeconomic situation in Mongolia had limited correlation with improvements in the job market and unemployment rates. Moreover, the same statistics indicates that the youth remains as a vulnerable group in the job market and the proportion of unemployment amongst the youth is disproportionally higher than the average unemployment. Labour force with intermediary and advanced education levels also remain more vulnerable in the job market which indicates that employment-oriented interventions need to also address professional and vocational education systems to build more demand-driven education systems for the existing and new markets.
At the same time there are still some possible risks and challenges in future associated with the external economic shocks that are beyond the direct control of the Government of Mongolia. Therefore, it is critically important for the public sector to proactively support and fund employment and labour sector related activities, including via more effective use of public resources and budgets. This is when effective and results-oriented public budgets come in to support and stimulate economic growth with more sustainable jobs created.
With all this in mind, it is extremely good news that the European Union will be providing a Budget Support to the Government of Mongolia to support and boost employability in the country. The Budget Support will provide resources to the Mongolian budget system to fund budget interventions that can support employment sector. At the same time, the EU programme has a Technical Assistance component that will aim at supporting both the Public Financial Management system to integrate some elements of the results-oriented budgeting in the context of the SDGs, and the Employment sector.
We are grateful for the European Union which decided to partner with the UNDP and other UN organizations to support the Mongolian government in this extremely important task. As many of you may know, UNDP is currently working with the Ministry of Finance and other ministries in supporting integration of SDGs into the budgeting system. Mongolia is already showing progress in this regard and with the EU Technical Assistance the results-oriented budgeting will integrate upgraded national policies and goals for employment and labour regulation. This TA will support the Government of Mongolia, the State Great Khural, the National Audit Office and the civil society to closely cooperate with the ministries of Finance, Labour and Social Protection, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry and other stakeholders in the context of SDGs. This will be achieved through upgrading the national policies on employment and labour regulations, then bridging those with budget formulation and oversight. As a result, the stakeholders will enable better and effective budgeting processes for more effective and targeted employment support activities throughout the country.
Thank you all, and I look forward to fruitful discussions!