Your Excellency President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Ladies and Gentlemen,
May I extend, first of all, the warm greetings of the Mongolian people and Government to the friendly people and Government of Indonesia. This is the first time Mongolia is represented at the Bali Democracy Forum by the head of Government. Therefore, it is a great honor for me to be here among such prominent dignitaries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The year of 2011 has been full of landmark events in the world as a whole and in Mongolia in particular.
We are celebrating this year among other historic events the 100th Anniversary of the contemporary diplomatic service of Mongolia and the 50th Anniversary of Mongolia’s UN membership.
All these years have been the history of Mongolia’s drive for regaining our independence and cementing its foundations.
The democratic revolution of 1990 and the 1992 Constitution of the democratic Mongolia have dramatically changed the life of the Mongolians to become full of opportunities and freedom.
The simultaneous political and economic transformations we have carried out during the last 20 years are now producing their fruits. Our GDP growth is expected to reach around 20% in 2011 and expected to be 25% in 2012.
As one of the fastest growing economies, Mongolia’s weight in the international affairs is expanding.
Mongolia has taken over the Chair of the Community of Democracies since last July. In this capacity, Mongolia has carried out a number of forward-looking steps to transform the Community from “aspirational to operational” organization. We have chosen education for democracy, regional cooperation, civil society enhancement, and exchange of experiences as our priorities during our Presidency.
All these priority areas are also the topics we discuss at the Bali Democracy Forum. We highly value this important initiative by Indonesia as the first intergovernmental forum in Asia about democracy.
As such, the Forum has become a prominent event to bring together all Asian nations who respect and nurture democratic values and human rights.
The CD’s priority for regional development is to work with such established regional mechanisms as the Bali Democracy Forum in order to intensify our common efforts to strengthen and enrich the democratic development in Asia.
We together with the Republic of Korea put forward a new initiative last August: the Asian Partnership Initiative for Democracy (APID). This is to add values to the existing initiatives such as the Asia-Pacific Democracy Partnership (APDP).
Within these regional undertakings, Mongolia is ready to work together with our Asian partners to consolidate and streamline our common strive for upholding the ideals and values of democracy in Asia.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As we witness, our region is becoming more a center of the world affairs. Mongolia as an ARF member warmly welcomes the increasing role of the ASEAN in the regional development.
We are also encouraged by the reform measures recently taken by the Government of Myanmar. Mongolia is ready to work with Myanmar to foster cooperation and friendship between our two nations.
It is very timely that this Forum is focusing on how to improve the ability of state to respond to the voice of democracy, to the needs and concerns of people.
Our experience back to the 1990s testifies that people’s just demands must be met not with coercion, but with understanding and dialogue. Since our peaceful transformation to democracy, Mongolia has been in continuous dialogues among all stakeholders of the society.
Dialogue, respect for different views, searching for common grounds and values, and consensus building have become the established elements and standards of the Mongolian society.
The civil society in Mongolia has become now a powerful participant in the policy formulation and decision making.
My Government has initiated Public and NGOs Partnership in Mongolia to address crucial societal issues, engage in debate and find acceptable solutions.
Draft laws and decisions are published on the Internet to get feedbacks and comments by citizens. All Government decisions and budgets are published online.
Such an increased access by citizens to information and policy documents helps make the Government transparent, responsible and accountable.
On the other hand, we have put education for democracy as our top priority during our Chairmanship of the Community of Democracies, because it is essential to educate citizens in understanding and exercising not only their rights, but also responsibilities within a democratic society.
Within this context, Mongolia jointly with UNESCO will organize an international seminar on the subject in 2012. We are also in discussion with the Government of India to hold a regional conference on education for democracy in India late in 2012. All these events will help develop a basic curriculum and mobilize governments, civil society and private sector to focus on education for democracy.
As Mongolia is experiencing rapid economic growth and accumulation of wealth, there is growing need to pay increased attention to improving the well-being of the citizens.
Therefore, my Government has placed a high priority on social welfare and equitable distribution of income.
If in the past the democratic transformations were focusing on creating opportunity and environment for development, now it is time to make development work for the good of people.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As the world undergoes dramatic changes and transformations, we the governments need to work together to bring our common goals and efforts into synergy.
As the Bali Democracy Forum has demonstrated, the governments in Asia can come together in order to strengthen democracy in the region.
Now it is time to act together. As the Chair of the Community of Democracies, Mongolia is open to any initiative that will help emerging democracies to learn from our experience and to mobilize international support.
We will encourage policies that aim at openness and democratic transformations. Mongolia will work within the Community of Democracies to increase the weight and role of the Asian democracies. At the same time, our main task remains to be focused on strengthening the cooperation and coordination within the region in promoting democracy and democratic values.
Finally, let me assure you that Mongolia will continue to support the Bali democracy process. I thank the people of Bali for such a wonderful atmosphere and hospitality and President Yudhoyono for his leadership in advancing democracy in our region.
Thank you for your attention.