Launching ceremony of the Book 21st Century Public Manager

Opening speech by Ms. Beate Trankmann,

UNDP Resident Representative,

Blue Sky Hotel, Jade Hall, 2nd fl.

30 August 2019


Your Excellency, Mr. Oyun-Erdene, State Minister, Chief of the Cabinet Secretariat,

Mr. Baatarzorig, Chairman of the Civil Service Council of Mongolia,

Dear State Secretaries,

Dear Heads of State bodies and government agencies,

Distinguished guests from the academia, NGOs and media, 


Good morning! I am honored to join you for the release of the Mongolian edition of 21st Century Public Manager by Professor Zeger van der Wal.   

I can’t think of a more timely topic for public managers in Mongolia. Because the main thrust of this book, is how to make the civil service - and its leaders - ready for tomorrow. Namely, rethinking their roles, skills and values to face the challenges and opportunities of the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous world facing governments today. At the same time, our colleagues in the Government are making commendable efforts in carrying out the new Civil Service Law, defining the civil service reform strategies and long-term development vision for Mongolia, beyond 2040.     

Ensuring appointments and promotions based on merit is the single biggest priority of Mongolia’s civil service reform. This calls for attracting, retaining, developing and motivating capable civil servants. And Zeger’s book offers thought-provoking ideas about the need to develop specific new skills, such as designing social media campaigns, video-editing, collaborating, innovating and data analytics, as well as considering public managers’ future education. I truly hope this book inspires you all, as much as it inspired me and my colleagues in UNDP.      

UNDP’s main mandate is to connect countries around the world, by sharing our knowledge and experience – acting as an information bridge. Through our project “Towards a professional and citizen-centred civil service in Mongolia,” we are supporting the implementation of the Mongolia’s civil service reform priorities, in which professional development and training are key. Together with our national partners, including the Cabinet Secretariat, the Civil Service Council and the Academy of Management, we are working to improve the content and methods of training Mongolia’s civil servants, to help them represent a 21st-century service.

A modern civil service is critical, if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals within the next decade – a world free of poverty, and ready to address our rapidly-changing climate. Civil servants are the custodians of society today, and their tomorrow. It is crucial to our shared future that they are confident, capable, communicative and quick, in adapting to the unprecedented upheavals of our time.

Every country is unique, in their governance situation, administrative traditions and culture. However, it is important to draw on the latest developments around the world, and learn from the successes and setbacks of others. To enable this, we exposed Mongolian civil servants to countries whose civil services are regarded as some of the world’s strongest, including Canada, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. I thank the Canadian Government for making those exchanges possible, through its generous funding.

The idea of translating this book into Mongolian language is part of wider capacity-building efforts. I hope this is not the last we launch together. We are also honoured to have Professor Zeger, who generously agreed to fly in and join us. I would also like to thank my long-term colleague, Davaadulam, who volunteered to take the daunting task of translating this book into Mongolian, on her shoulders.           

On a personal note, I am also happy to cross paths with you all again, before leaving Mongolia later this year, to begin another journey with UNDP. It has been an honour and joy working with you all. Indeed, this was one of the most interesting assignments for me, as I witnessed the courage and enthusiasm of the Government, and our colleagues in pursuing many pivotal reforms, such as this, as well as to be part of them. Thank you for your friendship and collaboration.      

UNDP looks forward to continuing our fruitful partnership, and building a professional, modern civil service that delivers inclusive, sustainable development to all people across Mongolia.

Thank you.

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