H.E. Mr. Sanjaa Bayar, Prime Minister
24 September 2008
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SANJAA BAYAR, Prime Minister of Mongolia, said that the current financial, food and energy crises were exacerbating the complex challenges and threats facing the world -- challenges that only the United Nations could help countries effectively address. Yet, the Organization needed reform to adapt to evolving global realities. While there had been progress in several areas, such as system-wide coherence, General Assembly revitalization and, most recently, the Assembly’s decision to begin negotiations on Security Council reform, he believed that small States, who made up the majority of the Organization’s membership, should be a driving force behind the democratization process.
He said that the global food crisis had driven an additional 75 million people into hunger and poverty. Soaring food prices boosted inflation rates, bred economic protectionism and inhibited economic growth in developing countries. He called for immediate attention to address the needs of the net food-importing developing countries to secure their right to purchase foodstuffs and agricultural products.
Vulnerable countries must also focus on policies that would boost agricultural production and build national resilience to similar shocks in the future. He noted that Mongolia had designated this year as the “Year for Food Supply and Safety” with the objectives of reducing the country’s dependence on imported goods, raising public awareness of food quality and ensuring safe food production and processing domestically.
On the impact of escalating oil prices, he called for improved energy efficiency and diversification. Energy security required a comprehensive solution both nationally and internationally. He spoke of energy cooperation among States of North-East Asia through the Senior Officials Committee on Energy Cooperation in North-East Asia and the Intergovernmental Collaborative Mechanism on Energy Cooperation in North-East Asia. He further said that integrating Mongolia’s economy into the region’s economy was among the best means to overcome its developmental difficulties. He also addressed the need for market access, technical trade assistance and technology transfers to help all developing countries integrate into the global economy.
Turning to the Millennium Development Goals, he noted the contrast between countries on track to meet them and those lagging behind, saying that effective global cooperation was needed to help the latter. While Mongolia was ahead of schedule on many of its own targets, the important goals of halving poverty, providing housing and ensuring environmental sustainability required redoubled efforts. Mongolia’s efforts had been hampered in its recent past by partisan division, but it had recently formed a unity Government between the two main political parties. He was convinced that that political achievement would lead to success in achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.