Opening Remarks by Beate Trankmann Resident Representative

Ulaanbaatar, 24 September 2019

Holiday Inn Hotel


Excellency Ms. Undraa, Member of Parliament, Head of the SDG Sub-Committee,

Distinguished Mr. Bayarsaikhan, Chairman of the National Development Agency,

Representatives of the Government, CSOs, academia, private sector and international partners,

A very good morning to you all. Today’s consultation on Mongolia’s national targets and indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals is a powerful re-affirmation of its commitment to them.

Mongolia has made strong initial progress towards the SDGs, which aim to end poverty and safeguard life on earth. It was an early adopter by creating its own Sustainable Development Vision for 2030, bringing the global goals into national context. It has also set up regulatory and institutional frameworks  to include the SDGs within national and local plans, as well as developing SDG-led budgeting. 

This summer Mongolia also successfully presented its first National Voluntary National Review at the High-Level Political Forum. Despite not yet having SDG targets and indicators, Mongolia’s VNR offers a comprehensive snap-shot of its development process. In particular, the report stresses the importance of policy coherence, along with anchoring implementation across government ministries and levels, as well as setting up monitoring and evaluation systems to report on progress.

I congratulate Mongolia on developing its own SDG targets and indicators. Achieving the 2030 Agenda depends on high-quality data that is accessible, timely, reliable and disaggregated. It relies on appropriate targets across the economic, social and environmental pillars of the agenda that are backed up by solid policies. Those targets and indicators lay the foundation for results-based planning, allowing the Government to track progress against the SDGs, assess whether policies have the desired effect and take corrective measures if not…

Indeed, the 169 Targets underpinning the 17 SDGs are 169 ways of explaining how no one is to be left behind. These goals, targets and indicators - together with the monitoring systems that are being set - form the basis of a new social contract between leaders and people.

Realising the goals and targets calls for working across the whole of society – coordinating across institutions and government levels to ensure consistency, as well as engaging with companies, civil society and communities in unprecedented ways.

Despite Mongolia’s early adoption of the global goals, it must continue to take progressive steps to localize those complex and interdependent global goals further at subnational levels and across sectors. We welcome the work that the Working Groups have been doing in this regard and stand ready to continue supporting this process to accelerate the SDGs in Mongolia.

As part of these efforts, UNDP supported the NSO in creating the SDG dashboard, to generate all available data to measure SDG progress, and challenges. Today, we are proud to officially launch and handover that Dashboard to the NSO.

Going forward, Mongolia must continue to expand data generation for the SDGs beyond traditional sources and means of computation.  This calls for:

i) defining SDG indicators, estimation methods and data sources;

ii) Improving disaggregation of data to better identify and counter disparities by regions, including urban versus rural, as well as by gender, and other population groups, to find and ultimately include, those being left behind;

iii) Collecting qualitative, along with quantitative data, especially from less visible groups, which are not always counted in official statistics. This is critical to truly ensure that no one is left behind.

iv) And finally, new technologies, which are essential for national statistical systems to remain relevant and give policy-makers the most current evidence-base.

We hope the SDG Dashboard will be the main tool for all SDG working groups to further refine that critical data, and enable transparent, regular monitoring of progress towards every SDG.

I would like to thank all working group members, who have led this complicated and essential work with commitment and dedication.

Ensuring the future of life on earth depends not only big dreams, but on the tiniest of details – on every inch we record, between where we are, and where we wish to be.

If, by 2030, we want a planet that can sustain everyone, and a society that includes everyone, we must plan, fund and monitor every step. And, with its new targets and indicators, Mongolia will be better able to do so, from now on. 

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