United Nations Day 2018 Speech by UN Resident Coordinator to Mongolia, Beate Trankmann
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening, sain-bain-uu, and welcome to the United Nations 73rd birthday!
The UN was founded on a dream for a better world – to build peace, protect human rights, uphold justice and raise standards of life.
This year’s UN Day coincides with the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, recognizing the rights and dignity of all people. In an era where daily news is dominated by conflict and disasters, with millions of people on the move and civil liberties threatened by populist politics, this declaration is as important today as it was 70 years ago.
Human rights are key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 – to end poverty, reduce inequality and protect our planet. Indeed, the SDG’s core principle of leaving no one behind puts human rights at the heart of development.
But, three years into the implementation of the SDGs, the Secretary-General’s latest report shows the progress is too slow. 815 million people are going hungry worldwide – 38 million more than in 2015. In Mongolia, poverty leapt by almost 40 percent between 2014 and 2016, during the economic crisis, from 21.6 to 29.6. almost 30% of the Mongolians live in poverty now,
We are also witnessing growing threats from climate change. Nature does not negotiate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently raised the alarm on just how far we have to go. For the survival of our planet – and all who live on it – carbon dioxide emissions must reach zero by 2050. This is crucial in Mongolia, where growing droughts and dzuds due to rising temperatures are already destroying nomadic livelihoods and century old traditions.
To meet the SDGs – to end poverty and fight climate change – we must do development differently. Recognizing the interdependence of these economic, social and environmental goals, the UN must also make bold changes. So we are reforming from within, to boost accountability locally and be stronger and better coordinated in carrying out the 2030 agenda. Our efforts aim to draw on the assets of each UN agency, their expertise and resources in the most effective way.
The urgent, complex and global nature of the challenges ahead call for a robust UN role as an international platform for finding solutions and continuing to build that better world. But we need your support. The success of UN reform depends on all member states contributing the capacities and financing agreed in the resolution for a reinvigorated Resident Coordinator System, passed by the General Assembly in May.
I thank Mongolia for its unwavering support to the UN and multilateralism in the past. For a nation of just over 3 million people, you have made extraordinary contributions to global stability, supporting peacekeeping, democracy, human rights and the needs of landlocked nations. We are proud to have been partners for more than 55 years.
We’re also celebrating the next generation of our partnership, with the 10th anniversary of our young volunteers, UNYAP in Mongolia, whose contributions are vital. The SDGs focus on our future, and our youth. This is especially relevant to Mongolia, where half the population is under age 30. You are the guardians of the global goals. We thank you for your tireless efforts and enthusiasm and encourage you to stay positive. We are with you, every step of the way.
With just 12 years left to achieve the 2030 agenda, our window to act is now. We must all step up efforts – from government, to companies and citizens – and go beyond business as usual. The UN stands with Mongolia and all nations to ensure sustainable, inclusive development reaches everyone, everywhere. Together, with your continued support, we can achieve this.