H.E. Mr. Chultem Ulaan
Minister for Finance and Economy

at the
International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico
March 22, 2002

Mr. President, 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset I wish to express our sincere gratitude to the people and Government of Mexico for their warm hospitality and organization of this important conference in Monterrey.

Mongolia attaches great importance to development financing and has been actively engaged in this process since its very beginning. We believe that Monterrey Conference will be a crucial leverage for implementing the objectives of the Millennium Summit.

For landlocked Mongolia with a transition economy, the outcome of this conference, in particular, the Monterrey Consensus, is of utmost importance.

Mr. President,

More than a decade has elapsed since Mongolia joined the international community by upholding freedom and democratic principles. During these years we have made enormous efforts to promote human rights and good governance, to open up its economy on a market basis. Our achievements in building a democratic society are substantial and the reforms are irreversible. However, the transition has negatively affected the social infrastructure, especially the health and education sectors as well as and the most vulnerable groups of the population. During these difficult years of transition, poverty has emerged as a phenomenon and today it has turned into one of the critical issues facing the society. At the national level, we are taking decisive, step by step measures to reduce poverty. That is why we are seriously working to turn the PRSP into a national program.

As we place the human being at the centre of development, the Government of Mongolia has elaborated a national program on "Good Governance for Human Security" and is presently working hard to implement it. From this perspective we consider the concepts of good governance and human security as two sides of the coin. In order to achieve this goal Mongolia places high importance to human development and structural reforms. That is why we believe that the efforts of the countries that promote human security should be supported by practical deeds, and not merely by lofty recommendations. We express the hope that the Monterrey Conference would make an important contribution in this regard.

Trade and investment are an integral part of the concept of development. In many developing countries, especially in landlocked developing countries, trade and investment flows are much less than we wish to see. The two major obstacles to this are: first, underdeveloped infrastructure and second, high transit transport costs for their goods. Moreover, smallness and vulnerability of economies, recurring natural disasters as well as decreasing world prices on export commodities hamper greatly the pursuit of sound economic policies and add further pressure to the already limited domestic resources.

Although developing countries and transition economies pursue liberalization of their economies, the multilateral trading system is not doing enough to facilitate their trade. As for landlocked developing countries, we believe it is important to focus on development of the physical infrastructure in these countries and formulate a concrete international action strategy. In this context it should be noted that there are grounds to address the problems of landlocked developing countries at the new development round of negotiations that is to start soon, in line with Doha Ministerial Declaration. We express the hope that the forthcoming international conference on transit transport cooperation, to be held in 2003, would mark an important step in this respect.

Mongolia believes that the decisions taken in recent days by the European Union, the United States and some other developed partners could play an important role in promoting poverty reduction and further strengthening democracy, human rights and free enterprise. That is why Mongolia welcomes these decisions. At the same time we believe that immediate implementation of these initiatives together with the commitments taken by the Monterrey Consensus would help improve the living standard of millions of the poor and fully achieve the noble goals of the Millennium Declaration.

Let us launch a genuine partnership for development here in Monterrey.

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