Secretary-General's press encounter
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 26 July 2009Q: Good morning Secretary General, welcome to Mongolia. My question is, how do you assess the cooperation between Mongolia and the United Nations? How do you assess the contribution being made by Mongolia to the UN?
SG: Sain baina uu. It is a great pleasure for me to visit Mongolia as a Secretary-General of the United Nations for the first time. I am an old friend of Mongolia, in fact. I had visited Mongolia previously in my different capacity as Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea. But this is my first time as a Secretary-General.
I am very happy that there is an increasing, a growing partnership between the United Nations and the Government and people of Mongolia. Mongolia has been playing an important role and contribution to peacekeeping operations in many parts of the world. And also Mongolia has been taking a leadership role in meeting the target of the Millennium Development Goals. I know that there are still some challenges to be addressed in your country in terms of eradicating poverty, tuberculosis and gender empowerment. But all in all, Mongolia is a model country among the Member States in achieving a successful transition to democracy and also in achieving market economy with an empowered population. This is a very important example. I believe that many Member [States] should emulate the Mongolian model.
It is also very important and again challenging for the Mongolian Government and people to adapt to the changing situation, the consequences of climate change, how to ensure sustainable economic development. This will be one of the most important agenda items which I am going to discuss with the President, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, and the Environment Minister. I will have an opportunity to [also] witness [this country's] natural beauty and, at the same time, [see] the consequences of climate change. You have a problem of desertification. You also have economic degradation and problems. But these are all common challenges which we must address. As you know I am going to convene a summit meeting on 22 September [on climate change] at the United Nations. I am going to invite President Elbegdorj to participate himself in this summit meeting which I am going to convene.
All in all, I am very happy that your Government is taking an MDG-based National Economic Development Plan. I hope that you will be successful. The United Nations stands ready [to help]; the United Nations Country Team is going to work very closely with your Government. Thank you very much. Thank you, Bayarlalaa.