Your Excellency Mr. President,
Esteemed Foreign Ministers,
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of the Government of Mongolia, I extend my heartfelt greetings to this illustrious audience – to my fellow friends – Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Mozambique and South Africa, Ambassador-at-Large of Australia, OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid, Executive Director of ITC and Director of External Affairs of the Green Climate Fund. I am truly honored and humbled by your presence and profoundly grateful for accepting our invitation and coming to Mongolia despite your very busy schedule.
I dedicate my special thanks to my dear friends Annalena and Catherine, Foreign Ministers of Germany and France, for your invaluable support and co-sponsorship of our meeting.
It is also my pleasure to welcome two distinguished women – Ms. Nyamosor Tuya, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia from 1998-2000, and Ms. Sanjaasuren Oyun, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia from 2007-2008.
We have gathered today as members of one big family, with confidence, with hope, and with a determination that together as women-leaders we will be able to make a change, a lasting change to improve the well-being of our peoples. We will engage in open and sincere discussions on the most pressing issues the world is facing today. We will deliberate on our policies and actions to ensure that our children, youth, women and men alike, enjoy better lives, enjoy equal opportunities and enjoy lasting peace and freedom.
I sincerely hope that during your stay, although rather short, you get a glimpse of our history, culture and development. May I now share with you some of the most remarkable features of my country.
Mongolia is a land of 3.4 million freedom-loving, brave and proud yet humble people. We take pride in our millennia-old history of statehood, unique culture and traditions and the modern story of democratic transformations.
Mongolia is a land of striking contrasts. Our climate showcases extreme variations, with scorching 35-40 degrees Celsius in summer and plummeting well below -40 degrees in winter.
Our lands stretch as far as eyes can see, unveiling boundless wonders – the remote Gobi Desert, the forested and alpine north, the mountainous west, the endless rolling steppe and the crystal-clean rivers and lakes. In these lands serenely roam 71 million heads of livestock and a rich array of wildlife.
Mongolia is a vibrant democracy. Mongolia’s peaceful democratic transition in 1990 ushered in a new change. The values of democracy, freedom, human rights are deeply rooted in our people and in our history. The 1992 Constitution of Mongolia guarantees the fundamental freedom and human rights.Today, Mongolia is a party to all major international human rights instruments.
Like every other democracy, Mongolia does face challenges. Major policy and legal reforms are underway to eliminate corruption, strengthen rule of law and ensure transparency. However, we have accumulated experiences and would be happy to share our lessons learned with our partners and colleagues throughout today’s meeting.
Over the past years Mongolia has been an active participant of international activities aimed at strengthening democratic institutions and processes, protecting human rights, and promoting democracy worldwide. Mongolia is proud to have chaired the two major world democratic movements – the International Conference of New and Restored Democracies and the Community of Democracies.
Mongolia is “a symbol of peace”, as appraised by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during his official visit to Mongolia in August 2022.
Mongolia has consistently pursued a peace-loving, open, multi-pillar, and independent foreign policy. I am pleased to recall that at the initiative of Mongolia, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Peoples to Peace, the Principles and Guidelines for International Negotiations, and resolutions to observe annually a disarmament week. Furthermore, as a strong advocate of nuclear-weapon-free world, in 1992, Mongolia declared its territory a nuclear-weapon-free zone and acceded to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2021.
Mongolia supports UN peacekeeping operations as one of the important means of maintaining international peace and security. Following our first deployment of female personnel in 2006, more than 900 Mongolian female military personnel have served in United Nations peacekeeping operations. Mongolia is fully committed to implementing the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda and firmly devoted to the policy to increase the number of female peacekeepers by 15 percent by 2027.
Dear friends and colleagues,
As a symbol of peace, as a country which maintains diplomatic relations with all UN Member States, as a country which has no territorial, political or whatsoever disputes or issues with whomsoever, as a country with no hidden agenda, Mongolia is willing to host various regional and international events, meetings and conferences as its contribution to global peace and security.
Mongolia is strongly committed to gender equality both at home and abroad.
Historically, women in Mongolia have always been held in high esteem. Women used to advise the Great Khaans on state affairs, and their voices carried much weight in politics. Historical records also indicate that women participated in diplomatic activities with other nations in East and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and in Europe. They recognized the diplomatic and strategic advantages of placing women in such roles to leverage their abilities and skills in forging long-lasting diplomatic ties and alliances.
We take immense pride in being one of the first Asian countries to legislate gender equality. Women’s right to vote and to be elected has been enshrined in the Constitution of Mongolia since 1924 and other civil rights, including women’s right to work, right to education, and right to political participation were enacted subsequently.
Yet, only 17 percent of the State Great Hural (Parliament) and 14 percent of the Cabinet members are women, and the recent appointment of the first woman Provincial Governor clearly demonstrate that much remains to be done in terms of ensuring gender equality in management and decision-making positions.
To this end, we have amended the relevant legislation increasing the gender quotas for electoral candidates and decision-making positions in the public administration. The latest amendment to the Law on Elections set a minimum quota of 30 percent for either gender candidates in the parliamentary elections and starting from the 2028 parliamentary elections it will be increased to 40 percent.
Although Mongolia has not officially declared its foreign policy as a feminist foreign policy, it has been a strong advocate for international initiatives aimed at advancing women and gender equality agendas.
Since 1976, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Mongolia-sponsored resolution on improving the situation of women, later retitled to better focus on women and girls living in rural areas.
Ms. Ider Luvsandanzan, a Mongolian female diplomat, was appointed as the Head of the Working Group of the Whole on the Drafting of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 1977 and four years later she was elected as the first Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
The role of women in Mongolia’s foreign policy has been steadily on the rise. Until 1990, less than 10 percent of the Foreign Ministry staff were women, today half of our staff and managerial positions are held by women. However, currently only 6 out of 31 Mongolian Ambassadors are female.
Statistical analysis of extensive datasets unequivocally demonstrate that when women engage in peace processes, the likelihood of achieving lasting peace significantly increases. A study analyzing the presence of women as negotiators, mediators, witnesses, and signatories to 182 peace treaties signed between 1989 and 2011 revealed that women’s participation had the greatest long-term impact. In fact, an agreement is 35 percent more likely to endure for at least 15 years when women actively contribute to its creation. Additionally, women play a vital actor in peacemaking, as their involvement in negotiation increases the probability of ending violence by up to 24 percent.
While notable progress has been made since the adoption of the United Nations Security Council’s landmark resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, we must acknowledge that the representation of women in peace processes still remains insufficient.
Despite the wealth of evidence highlighting the benefits of investing in women can bring in terms of conflict prevention, crisis response, and peace, the failure to allocate sufficient resources and funds has been perhaps the most serious and persistent obstacle to the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda over the past 23 years. In this regard, we welcome the decision by Germany to allocate at least 1 million euros to the “Women Peace and Humanitarian Fund” for 2024, and France’s decision to allocate 1 million euros to the UNDP’s “Gender and Crisis Management Facility”.
The empowerment of women is not just a moral imperative. It is an essential catalyst for social, economic, and political progress.
Let us not forget that progress toward gender equality is our inherent shared responsibility. Our governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, and individuals must act collectively. We must work together to dismantle the barriers that limit women’s full participation in all spheres of life.
We, as Ministers, but above all, as women, have the heart, mind and soul to succeed in our pursuit of equal opportunities, equal representation, and equal rights for all.
It is our common responsibility as loving mothers, as caring daughters, as affectionate wives, and as devoted sisters to join our efforts and create a better world for every girl and woman; a world, where women empowerment and gender equality is a lived reality rather than a distant goal.
Let us all together make concerted efforts to bring about notable change, remarkable improvement in the lives of our girls and women. If there is a will, there is a way. On this cause, the most noble of all, we are destined to succeed.
I eagerly look forward to fruitful discussions, invaluable exchanges and a lot of happy moments, with you, friends, that will inspire us for many years to come. Let us make our planet, one for all of us, a place of lasting peace, love and happiness.