National Consultation on Mongolian Voluntary National Report for Implementation of the SDGs
Opening Remarks by Beate Trankmann Resident Coordinator ai
Ulaanbaatar, 15 April 2019
Mr Bayarsaikhan, Chairman of the National Development Agency,
Representatives of the Government, CSOs, academia, private sector, international partners
I am pleased to see this active participation in the national consultation for the Voluntary review of the SDG’s implementation in Mongolia. Today’s consultation aims at validating the recommendations of the VNR, that are now at the final stages of formulation.
SDGs are not new initiative for Mongolia, and Mongolia was one of earlier adopters of MDGs as well. Mongolia had prepared 5 MDG reports.
This first VNR provides an excellent platform to deepen SDG-awareness across stakeholders and strengthen consensus around the criticality of cross-sector, coherent, and coordinated action.
The VNR presents a snapshot of where Mongolia stands on the SDGs and provides insights into the existing development process, which has tended to be predominantly growth focused with separate, sector-specific actions.
The Report takes up the example of air-pollution – an issue much discussed publicly – and demonstrates how a single sustainable development challenge cuts across sectors and stakeholders. It provides a clear demonstration of the cross-SDG nature of any development issue, requiring a set of coordinated responses; silo-based actions will be incomplete.
Further, air pollution is analysed from a systems lens, providing a model that can be applied to other challenges as well; the exploration of bottlenecks with respect to overcoming air pollution leads to actions to overcome them, along with identifying who could do what.
The report highlights that inequality remains a serious challege which can undermine the durability of development gains.
As being an early adopter, Mongolia has done a lot in localizing the SDGs, including putting in place legislative and institutional frameworks and developing methodologies of SDG informed policy planning and budgeting. But even more must be done to ensure that Mongolia can meet the goals by 2030.
I would like to echo the report which stresses importance of policy coherence, institutionalization of the implementation and setting up monitoring and evaluation systems to report on progress is another key ingredient. We know that ‘What gets measured, gets managed and done’.
A core principle of the SDGs is ‘leaving no one behind.’ I am pleased to see that the report identifies vulnerable groups of population that are at risk of being left behind in Mongolia. Women, young people, the elderly, as well as disabled and vulnerable people are all, too often, neglected. Understanding who is being left behind and why, as well as identifying the actions needed to help them, is vital in ensuring we reach those who are furthest behind, first.
The VNR, especially a process of its formulation, provides a great opportunity to bring different stakeholders together for a broad-based alliance for action on the SDGs that goes beyond reporting. I invite you all to take active participation in the follow up processes of implementing the recommendations of the VNR and monitoring progress of the SDGs in Mongolia.
I wish you all fruitful discussions.