Executive Secretary underscores economic resilience and connectivity in mission to Mongolia

19 Aug 2019

ESCAP Executive Secretary Armida Alisjahbana traveled to Mongolia on 19 and 20 August to participate in the Boao Forum for Asia Ulaanbataar Conference and hold bilateral meetings with government representatives.

The Boao Forum brings Asian economies together to explore ways to achieve common development goals through strengthened economic cooperation. In her interventions, she emphasized that deepening economic integration in the region can lead to better development outcomes in Mongolia and the Asia-Pacific region at large.

“Mongolia has also been a key driving force in advancing clean energy, especially towards power interconnection in North-East Asia, leveraging the country’s abundant renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind. We must seize this opportunity and enhance further cooperation among member States,” she said at the Forum.

On the sidelines of the Forum, Ms. Alisjahbana met with Prime Minister H.E. Khurelsukh Ukhnaa. They discussed Mongolia’s success in presenting its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the High-level Political Forum in July, during which air pollution was featured as an example of a development challenge facing Mongolia. The Executive Secretary and the Prime Minister expressed a shared commitment to cooperate on implementing a resolution to combat air pollution, adopted at the 75th Commission Session of ESCAP in May.

Ms. Alisjahbana met with other key government representatives, including Chief of Staff to the President H.E. Enkhbold Zandaakhuu, Foreign Minister H.E. Tsogtbaatar Damdin, Vice-Minister of Environment and Tourism H.E. Batbayar Tserendorj, Chairman of the National Development Agency B. Bayrsaikhan and Minister of Energy H.E. Tserenpil Davaasuren. The Foreign Minister was recently chair of ESCAP’s 75th Commission Session and emphasized the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals to reduce inequality in the region. Ms. Alisjahbana and the representatives from Mongolia discussed ways to build on existing development initiatives within Mongolia and advance regional partnerships.

Ms. Alisjahbana also visited the International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDC)—a UN-supported organization to enhance development in LLDCs—and met with the UN Country Team, the UN Resident Coordinator Beate Trankmann and country representatives from UN agencies.

In conjunction with her mission, she published an op-ed outlining Mongolia’s story of economic development despite the challenges posed by its small, landlocked economy. Ms. Alisjahbana notes that Mongolia’s rich policy experiences in economic diversification and good governance have not only fostered development at the national level but have also allowed Mongolia to emerge as a leader in connectivity and regional cooperation.

Read the op-ed here: https://www.unescap.org/op-ed/scaling-support-sustainable-development-mongolia-rise