THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF MONGOLIA, PUBLIC RELATIONS & COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION

www.president.mn

2013-04-05




Speech by Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia, at the opening of the spring session of the State Great Khural



MAY OUR FREEDOM, AND OUR MOTHERLAND
DWELL INTACT



Dear fellow countrymen,
Mr. Chairman of the State Great Khural, Mr. Prime Minister, Distinguished Members,
Dear guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Greetings of the day of the start of the regular spring session of the State Great Khural. At this time a year ago the Parliamentary election campaign was being launched. You perhaps remember what worried you at that time, what you were talking about and what you were promising around.

Recently I participated in the meetings of people’s representativesat the grassroot level – micro districts in the city and bags in the countryside and listened to what people have to say. People openly talk about what is working well and what needs to be done in the country. And I decided to share with you what I have learned from the people. Let us start with what is going well, the good news.

One. People are changing. And changing not only in Mongolia; people around the globe are changing. People’s thinking, mindsets, lifestyles are rapidly changing. People’s desire to be the owners of their rights and properties is increasing.

In the last 20+ years many processes in our country have evolved and taken place as fast as screenshots. Changes in the society are leaving footprints in the people’s lives. Everyone is learning a lesson from a mistake made, and getinspiration from an achievement attained. Old and young, Mongolians are getting wiser. They now approach an issue not by instructions of others, but by their own values and beliefs.

A whole new generation of Mongolians with their own values and beliefs is entering the social life. A child who was 10 years old in 1990 is turning 33 today and has grown capable enough to shoulder the burden of both his/her family and the society. Toddlers of the end of 80 and the early years of turbulent 90s must have finished their schools last year and are starting an active life. I have no doubt that those youth between 20 to 40, these men and women of the new generation are the true owners of their fates. The history has proven that the young generation is always wiser, always brighter and always ismore creative and effective than its predecessor generation.

Two: People now want to participate in the solutions, in the work. Because the solutions made with people’s participation, wealth created by the people, their effects are useful for the people. The same is true for the country as a whole. Only after having been enjoyed, appreciated by people, only after making a difference in people’s lives, any effort, action or cause becomes an achievement. More than two third of all the wealth created in Mongolia is created by the people who work in the sectors not owned by the government.

People are actively discussing the ways how to most effectively spend the funds allocated to local development funds. A grassroot representatives’ meeting, a grassroot khural, takes place in no less interesting manner, no less constructive manner than the session of the State Great Khural. With people participating in making the decisions, the decisions and solutions are better controlled and monitored. With improved control and monitoring, performance and execution is improved.

As people get involved in making the decisions, the solutions become more realistic and practical. People have started making decisions that change their own lives;their decisions do not care for the wellbeing of any official, or serve the interests of any one particular political party or their electoral agendas. Speaking outrightly, people have started making decisions associating them with their life, the environment they live in. Such decisions and solutions ought to lead Mongolians to a healthy and comfortable life.

Three: Rule of law is being established. Mongolia is becoming a country of rule of law, and not of rule of officials. Mongolia is becoming a country where law is equally applied to all. Be that an official, a rich man, a man of connections - whoever he or she is, but if he/she violated a law, law comes after him or her. Mongolia demands both from its own citizens and citizens of other countries, if their feet step on the Mongolian soil, to obey the law, to be ruled by law.

Our citizens have started demanding the state to be tough with those who wrong, and appreciate those who do good. Briefly, people have started demanding law enforcement. The tobacco law is a quite tough one. But it’s being enforced. This shows that in Mongolia an environment for a law to be enforced is being created. The issue is not with the pluses and minuses of the smoking ban law. The thing is the very culture of a society to enforce a law is becoming our social value. This is a very good news. This is a valuable achievement Mongolians should be passing on to generations.

The basis for the State to exist is law enforcement.The basis for a country to exist is the heritable culture. The basis for the two to exist is the carriers and creators of the two – the people. Justice is not a property held by any one political party or a single individual. This is the wealth of Mongolia. Mongolians follow and honour custom and tradition at home, and outside of their homes, we honor the law. This is our precious achievement that has lived on through generations of Mongolians, of Mongolia of the past, of the present, and of the future. And this will define what Mongolia the world will know.

Four. Mongolia’s reputation is growing around the world. And the international community is valuing our reputation and honor. The name of Mongolia has reached the hear of the world. By virtue, the good news about Mongolia outnumbers the bad ones. Mongolia’s policies to ensure basic, legitimate human rights, uphold rule of law, ensure citizens’ participation, transparency and openness is appreciated not only in our region, but also in the entire world.

Last year Mongolia was named a country which recorded a drastic reduction in corruption level. The name of Mongolia has been acknowledged as a valuable asset on the global financial market. We must use this wisely. All 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council have acknowledged and affirmed Mongolia’s peace-loving and nuclear-weapon-free policies. Mongolia has become a full-fledged member of the European Cooperation and Security Organization. By the end of this month, Mongolia will host an international conference of the Community of Democracies to draw conclusions of the last threeyears’ efforts of the Community. Mongolia will report to the audience as the Chair of the global democratic movement.

Mongolian citizens, our officials used to travel abroad to learn from the democracy experiences of other countries. Today, many delegations of foreign countries come to Mongolia to listen to us. Without translation, everywhere in the world, Mongolia is known as a democratic country with open governance and rule of law.

When fighting in the revolutionary and hot political struggle in the cold winter and windy spring of 1990, I never thought that I would be addressing these our achievements from this high and respected rostrum of the Mongolian State. But I have always believed in good, and believed that the Mongolians do have the possibilities to create this good. This all is the common achievement of the Mongolian people. WE must thank our people and our good friendswho have created and been creating the good of Mongolia. Thank you.

Five. Many things in life, in the society are being put in order. There are many pressing challenges in front of Mongolia. And most importantly, the ability to realistically see these challenges, and openly and honestly discuss them is the achievement of Mongolia. We have all learned to discuss our mistakes and failures. And we also discuss our solutions. A good news is that we have all chances to correct our mistakes. We can see solutions to any problems. Discussing the pros and cons of solutions, at times, rectifying our mistakes, we tend to lose time. We must be aware of this.

We have started hearing about cases when one fails to garble and corrupt a government officerand grimly leaves the office of a public servant without having his illegal intention realized. Newspapers have started carrying the words of gratitude of businessmen who obtain a right to perform certain works without having to bribe officials. Law-abusers are found in despair and law enforces are inspired. It just doesn’t work with law abusers, no proper language is found for them any longer. Law is the only requirement, is the only medium of communication. People have started talking about this new attitude, new approach of a public servant with appreciation and approval.

Dear friends,

There goes a saying “better a small fish than an empty dish”. Things are changing for better, the direction of the wind has changed. Both the state and the public started acknowledging that a human life, human rights are valuable. Until recently, everywhere in this country ruled a policy which ignored law, ignored human life. The State would earn, a man would lose. This was the way we lived. Those gluttons did not know limits. The crisis caused by unlawfulness, invited by those who denigrated law was devastative. Not all traces of that immorality are swept off today, but those beasts have retreated to their lairs.

The end has come to the times when the government service was priced, and abused. It must have been ended. Law was nothing, law was void in front of money. Now money is nothing in front of law. But money remains strong.People see it. People see and despise using money as a means of disobeying law. People name such acts as the worst practice. In the past everything was decided with money. Today, striking a deal with money has become so rare that few instances are being cited as the only examples of dreadful acts. This is of course an issue that involves certain lawyers, certain people. On the other hand, this is a form of resistance to the positive and good changes that are taking place in the result of reforms in the judiciary.

It would be an effort in vain for those nostalgic about old days when their will was above the law to try to reverse the justice revolution unfolding in the Mongolian society. Why? Because people have realized and felt that justice is as essential to humans as air to breathe, as water to drink. Today rule of law and justice have become the national wealth of Mongolia. There were times when the Mongolian state was squeezed in the fists of the corrupt officials. We are gradually getting freed of that squeeze. Our people have understood that those who seed injustice and pick its fruits will never lead Mongolia to anything good.

In ten days from now, the first part of the package of laws on judicial reform, approved by the Parliament shall come into effect. The examples I cited and news I shared with are only a few cases proving the positive changes of the past few years and months, before the law became effective. Implementation of the Law on Courts shall make people’s participation and control become real. A citizens’ representative shall become a part of the judicial team at the courts of first instance. In the past, a citizen was only an attender of a court session. Now he or she becomes a decision maker, with a vote in issuing the final verdict. Citizen’s participation, rights, control shall, in its full sense, be invited into a judicial practice.

A court decision, by law, shall become open to the public. Not only the decisions, but also the entire judiciary shall become an open, transparent central organization to serve the public and to protect human rights. You have probably seen it, two days ago, the implementation of the “Open Court” project which started with the court of appeal for administrative cases. Court shall not only judge the people, but shall also be an institute to deliver legal knowledge and education in Mongolia, a country ruled by law, and shall institute good standards and benchmarks of the social life.

Courts shall play a role of the reconciliator in civil cases. This relationship, which merely existed as a judicial term, shall be now practiced under a separate law and certain mechanisms. Such cases, which in the past would be decided at the courts of first instance, now shall be effected with the help of voluntary and professional team of reconciliators to help people establish peace and understanding. The number of accused and penalized in such cases will notably reduce. This will be a tangible, real effort of the Mongolian judiciary to straighten the back of the people.

The requirements and criteria for judges, prosecutors and attorneys shall be heightened. The sector shall be regularly supplied with new skilled personnel. Every 3-5 years, the performance of those who participate in the court procedure shall be reviewed and evaluated by the Professional Committee and the Association of Lawyers. Every judge shall submit a statement of influence. The phrase “please influence the court”, or the act of influencing the courts shall become a strange, odd, not healthy, illegal act. Those who try to influence the judiciary shall bear a legal punishment and held accountable in front of law. Special propositions concerning or associated with court decisions shall be made open. The mechanism to file a complaint, if deemed necessary by victims to judges and prosecutors and to resolve the case shall be made clearer.

The court administration and court proceeding shall be separated by law. Chief Justice and the Chairman of the General Council of Courts are two independent positions currently served by one person, and this will be changed. Judicial power shall become financially and politically independent, and the process of its evolution as a professional service ruled only by law shall become a reality. Judiciary budget shall be directly submitted for the Parliamentary approval.

I have shared with you only with few elements and features of just a fraction of the entire judicial legislation to come into effect in ten days.I shall stop here today as the drafts of a number of basic laws such as criminal, civil administrative laws, investigation, court proceeding, law enforcement, court decision enforcement, marshall service,protection of victims are being developed, then will be submitted and discussed at this and future sessions of the Parliament. Thus, Mongolia is consistently and persistently starting her path to become a country of rule of law. And this mission shall be achieved as the people of Mongolia want justice.

Distinguished Members of Parliament,

I have addressed some of our achievements and the ways to consolidate them. Now let’s talk about where we err and fail.

One. We forget about the people. This is our major mistake. We talk about many issues – mining, development, reforms. When shall we start talking about the people? There are many families which have long forgotten the smell of a beef soup. What shall we do for the people who fade in the streets to earn 10 tugrugs from a bowl of pinenuts? What shall we do with our sick and diseased children who spend long cold nights in the corridors of hospitals? What shall we do about our schoolchildren and schools where 70-80 children share the same classroom at a time? What about the toddlers and little children, with eyes filled with fear to be locked at home for they have no kindergartens to attend? How can we ease the pain, physical and mental, of a young woman who is about to deliver her baby, but can’t find a vacant bed in maternity homes?What about our elders who have no one to take care of them? Our visually impaired citizens who grope in the streets without guiding marks, and our physically challenged crippled by falling from the stairs.

The essence, the very entity of a human society rests in sharing love and care. And also in focusing on the human when resolving any issue. It is right when an issue is approached by associating, originating it from people’s live, their happiness and unhappiness. When saying words, I do not intend to talk about social assistance. Of course, there is a special social group in need of care of the state. When pronouncing these words, I want to talk about rights. Rights of especially those people who are a minority in resolving an issue.

It is impossible for our children, or pensioners to come to this hall and participate in making decisions. The same is true about our physically challenged citizens, pregnant women, students, the boys and girls whose rights are violated. I am talking about caring for those who are a majority in the society but a minority in the hall where decisions are made; and about making sure that the opportunities for these people to enjoy their human rights, to have their problems resolved are open and accessible. Resolve the problems of the people, start with the people, then our action will be complete. Then, our country will become a humane society; then will Mongolia be recognized as a country with a state that cares, works for its people.

Here, I am talking about the rights of our women to safe motherhood. I am also talking about the people who although entitled to the rights, still cannot live a decent life. “You are a pensioner, therefore, you can’t get a mortgage loan”. Or, “…this is impossible as you have a too short employment record’… Will these bitter words betold over and over again to our elders, unemployed youth, and young families? There are solutions to the problems. Many countries have great experiences of successfully dealing with such problems, and such attitudes. We need a warm heart to understand the problems and neat policies.

The Ulaanbaatar municipality is starting a housing program for elders. And the time is fit for other cities and towns to launch the same initiative. This spring the Government should start youth and young families housing program. In my speech at a special session dedicated to the centennial anniversary of independence of Mongolia, from this rostrum I touched upon many issues and their solutions. Now I demand execution, implementation. I am concerned about the level investment into our health and education sectors. A special policy is needed for these sectors to attract investment. And through this sentence I move on to my second point.

Two. The Mongolian state does not support the wealth creators. We do not support those people who create, who produce and build. This is a serious mistake. Why is the rate of investment into our health and education sector so low? Obviously, these sectors are not attractive for investment. Speaking of which, Mongolia has lacked any clear, stable policy for investors and wealth producers. The very mining, infrastructure sectors to where we were inviting investment are destitute of investment and development. We lack a stable investment environment. Because we have to transport goods from afar, the customs and VAT taxes are adding weight to the burden of investors.

Was the world’s fastest economic growth rate so short-lived, destined to just one-year long life? Is that mining boom that was so marvelled by all, over already? In any case, one thing is clear. Numbers don’t lie. The economic growth of 18% as of the end of 2012 has plunged to below 10% in one year. Last year, compared with the previous year, saw 60% reduction in domestic and foreign private investment. Do not associate this with the election. Election is a democratic mechanism. It is a form of holding the officials accountable. This is one of the indicators of the basic human right to choose the government the people prefer.

People have different explanations to the above. And this is indeed the advantage of an open society. I associate this with irresponsible politics. An irresponsible move will cost the country too much to afford, of which I kept reminding. And remind here again. And indeed, our policy-makers do need discipline and be responsible. There are many among our politicians who never laid a brick in a construction, did not contribute a bare nail to the development of Mongolia. Yet, by their actions and by their words they destroy and do away the very foundation of the house in which the people have to live. They are bringing more miseries to the people whom they had been confessing in love and affection. People say, a new rich talks big. Those who became rich to enter politics, or became rich after having entered the politics need a good discipline, a proper conduct.

I would like to especially highlight one point. To dedicate one’s service to the motherland, and to exchange our motherland for high seat and profits are actually to totally different things. What a Mongolian citizen needs today in life? He/she needs a job; needs income. Then, what does Mongolia need? Mongolia needs development, prosperity and progress. Are the things you are talking about needed for yourself only, or are they needed for Mongolia? Think of it.

The consequences and costs of the financial and economic difficulties of the country are borne by the people of Mongolia. The politician who was confessing so passionately in love to the people will, at greatest, earn an extra wrinkle on his face. We must read a lot, think hard. The Mongolian word for policy,“bodlogo”, derives from “bodoh”, a word of the same root and meaning with”think”. A statesman should not take his emotions and good intentions as a policy, mistakenly.Most of the misfortunes countries had to endure were caused by the good intentions of a politician or a group of them to make people happy.

A public official should be more worried about the destination of the country, and not his personal destination. I have met with many businessmen who were badly hurt and who lost a lot because of the decisions made by the state. Any business decision is valuable. It is measured by money. The loser is a Mongolian citizen. Especially in investment decisions. Every business decision is the embodiment of huge amount of time, efforts and hard work; for some, it is the embodiment of the meaning of life. And as of the sudden, the policies, the environment change. I never forget a businessman saying vexedly “what an ordeal we, businessmen, go through to create even the smallest portion of wealth”.

The state is squashing the wealth creators, investors, the private sector into a corner leaving no space for survival. Here the state needs not a whip, but a bridle. Politics remains the biggest risk for businesses, for citizens who are taking care of themselves with their own hard work. Development is the creature of free producers. A country’s development and populist politics are negatively correlated. It is not the time for a populist show. It is the time to work, to create wealth.

Although Mongolia’s economy was said to have grown fast, it largely remains an economy of raw material exports, and remains a low ranking economy. We remain dependent on the extractive industry. To move to a mid-ranking economy, we must adopt policies to produce and export value added products. For this, we have no choice but to support the producers and investors.

When we say “investors” do not think of only foreign ones. Both domestic and foreign investment need stable, clear policies of the Mongolian state. For this, Mongolians have to reach a common position and understanding among ourselves, at least at the decision making level. A progress is being observed lately in this direction. If some start a good effort, a good practice, others must continue, build on those good starts. When MPP was the majority in the previous Parliament, and its chairman was the Prime Minister, Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement was made and started. There are issues to discuss here, but this should not be the reason to push investment away. We have to derive lessons here. When making a decision, we should take into account many factors – social, economic, political, environmental, regional, security etc.

There are many bottlenecks for investments to be made in Mongolia. Many mountains and rivers must be climbed and crossed. Our elders compare the hardest things in life with the very virtue to be born a human being. The chance to be born a human being is as rare as for a grain of rice, a handful of which is thrown, stays for an instant longer than others on a tip of a needle, the elders say. The difficulties of raising funds are known to only those who do raise them. Let us admit that the air around the business environment in Mongolia is polluted. Let’s acknowledge our mistakes. Let’s learn lessons. Let’s correct the mistakes.

In fact, investors do not really ask for tax holidays and discounts. They only look out for policy and legal stability. Let’s draw conclusions on this. Let’s make our policies stable and clear. Let’s guarantee for how many years an investment made in the city or in the countryside will be stable. Be that mining, infrastructure, manufacturing, or health, education, high tech – let’s just tell investors which investments will be stable – for what kind of investment and for how long it will be stable. Let’s guarantee that the law will be stable and enforced, and let’s set a specially high rate for the threshold, or the level at which to change.

Let’s listen to small and medium size industries about problems they have. They need low interest and longer term loans. They need alleviation of the state pressures, VAT and some other taxes. SMEs that generate jobs, that employ women above 40 years of age, and physically challenged citizens must be supported. Let’s develop concrete, clear and stable policies tailored to their needs and conditions in the urban and rural areas. There are solutions here. Let’s all brainstorm to help the SMEs. Only then will Mongolia become an investor friendly, a business friendly country. Both big and small businesses with thrive.

I would like to specifically highlight a point here. Mongolia is not a single country in the world. But it is the only country in the world neighbouring with a country with the largest population, and a country with the largest territory. There are certain advantages in our geographic location. And there are specific restraints and limitations as well. Mongolia has always strived to develop and maintain all-around good friendly and mutually beneficial relations with them. As a member of the international community, Mongolia maintains relations with other countries and international organizations. And these relations do affect the life of our people, the development of our country. Do not compare Mongolia’s geographic position with that of other countries. By our geographic position, we can be compared with none. Only the sky is open upon us. This is an issue related to what I said about investment policy and supporting the wealth creators.

Three: It’s been long since we mended our state. The state has grown big. It’s fattening. This is a mistake we have to correct immediately. The government expenditures is increasing. Its weight in the GDP is growing year by year. All expenditures except the costs incurred by exchange rate fluctuations must be frozen. I instruct the government to abide by this principle when developing the fiscal framework statement this spring.

The best way to reduce the government interference into social life is transfer of rights. The rights that are concentrated in the state, in fact in the decision-makers, must be transferred to others, beginning with the feasible ones. There are many rights, and services to be set by law and to be transferred to the citizens, to professional trade and business organizations in stages. Let’s start this work immediately by adopting the law and making the list of functions to be transferred. Otherwise, the state will fall under the weight of its bureaucracy and the “fat” of the rights it commands. I am glad to see that the number of Members of Parliament with firm conviction that this issue must be resolved is increasing. And I do believe that this work of crafting and mending the state will progress successfully.

We should not forget that a citizen has his own government, the set of governing principles and values.Only in the case of the failure of this “government” should the general, public government come into play. The main duty of the state is the implementation of law and service to the people. And precisely because of this, a public servant is measured by his or her ability to obey the law, and the sincerity to make efforts to resolve the issues and problems the citizens face

There are some people who upon entering the public service start immediately “collecting” rights, a syndrome Mongolians often describe as [lit.translation:” A devil falls for pasta”] engaging in the least relevant effort. The intemperate power of ministers and officials to issue orders and decrees must be disciplined by law. The acts of unreasonably setting norms and standards violate human rights. If necessary, the rules and procedures must be changed. Submit through the Cabinet all the deemed necessary modifications to the law. Also, be reasoned with firing and hiring personnel. Unless the co-workers upon open discussion decided to replace the person, or unless the person decides to quit, if the personnel does carry out his duties and meets the requirements for the position, this disordered personnel change must be stopped. This concerns all – the central government, ministries and agencies and local governments. If indeed a reform is needed, the laws, rules must be changed. The officers and staff must be told to work under the law and rules. But remember, a reform means a change and replacement of what the people dislike, not the official.

I have a duty to remind. I have a right to speak for the people. I am here to tell you about the problems this country, my people face. Be there where you ought to be, do not obstruct others by popping up where you should not be. This is an attribute of an impaired state. Distinguished Members, what has happened to your mission to establish justice that you were so passionate about? That modest amount of investment that has just started entering the country is now running away. Those people who wanted to build and create are now disenchanted and frustrated. What happened to the promises you made to fight down theft, lies, corruption, to develop the country, to improve people’s livelihoods? People who I met asked me to ask these questions from you. Members of Parliament, do not wander around as if lost, adrift in your own country. Come to reality, come into life.

I know well what allures our politicians, and what they despise. Who else, if not me, will tell you this? True criticism, harsh tough words do a lot more good than false praise. I have spoken about what is being done, and what needs to be done further. I call you for uniting efforts for certain actions. Fighting corruption, helping those in need is my nature, my character. Corruption is like fungus. It must be scraped off regularly as it grows over and over again. Corruption is like a cancer. If not cut out, it contaminates other organs. Will you agree with steeling from your people to whom you took an oath to serve?

Funds enough to build ten kindergartens are found in the account of a distant relative of one corrupt. A case of a group robbing people’ funds, enough for a whole quarter of pensions, has been revealed. There are people who issued and sold tens of mineral licenses after banning the issuance. The meat stored to be sold in spring, is stolen and replaced with tens of vans of rotten and spoilt meat. Will the state pat the heads of such people? I always say, the state is a place to fight theft, fight the law-breakers.

Would you expect those whose theft is revealed be sitting calm? They cling like grim death. They are managing their money, their subordinates from confinement zones. They are administering and overseeing their dirty business from their hide-outs. They bully and pressurize law enforcers with all means. They intimidate the journalists who describe in media the anatomy of their plots. They are waiting for a chance, for the opportune moment. They are discussing, planning and plotting and have started acting to re-emerge. We cannot be calm. Only rule of law and justice will save Mongolia. Every morning we should wake up bearing this in mind. Like a mother who every morning changes the diaper of her baby, Mongolia should change, should clean herself from the spoilt and dirty officials.

Mongolians need a unity. I do understand this very well. But our unity should base on justice. Such unity is long-lived and effective. Stability is important for Mongolia. We do have bitter lessons. After a bad government comes another bad, even worse government. The only losers from instability are the people. During my service as the President, not a single government resigned. If stability is important for a country, this I would call an achievement. We must secure both political and economic stability by concrete actions and law.

Four. I cannot but to indicate at another mistake. The wealth that is being created in the society is not shared; does not reach the public. Mongolia remains a country with few rich and many poor. About a century ago, there flourished a talk in the public for all to become rich. If the wealth is not shared with the poor-majority, we might lose the few riches too. To resolve this issue, we do not need to re-invent the wheel. We just need to open up opportunities for our people to participate in the value and wealth creation process. It is not possible for the wealth to be held by the same person, or same family forever. Any wealth possesses a property of being public, shared. This property needs to be formalized and translated into life.

The bulk of the economies classified as “high ranking” by the level of development are held in public hands. Some research agencies concluded that 95% of the total wealth of the world is created by public shareholding companies. In Mongolia the situation is opposite, this global trend is reversed here. In Mongolia, of all the wealth created, 95% is held by few families, and by few officials/I apologize – I should have said, “and by the government”/, so, and by the government. Here rests the prime cause of the state decisions with big “swings” and of our unstable policies.

Politicians are unique species. They follow the wind of public opinion. If the majority condemns the rich, they would follow the suit. If the foreigners are cursed, they would, even a single one, start throwing a stone at the sight of a foreigner. They might forget who gave money and attack those who did not. This is a predominant colour in our politics. If a private company owned by one person acquires 10 000 shareholders, the business interests of the company shall no longer be threatened by the caprice of one politician, the company shall be protected by 10 000 shareholders. If, by virtue, this number grows to 100 thousand, 1 million, most of the Mongolians shall secure the wealth that we all together create. Policymakers will have to follow this wind. Therefore, it is far more auspicious for the businessmen to sell their stock to people rather than bribing the politicians.

Let us expeditiously adopt the necessary securities and stock exchange laws. Mongolian or foreign, the wealth creators must cooperate with the Mongolian citizens. Such opportunities must be secured by law, by supporting policies. Once and if you work in Mongolia, work with the Mongolian citizens – earn together, create together. If you do, all the bottlenecks that are caused by the Mongolian state shall disappear. Your business will no longer be obstructed by a press conference called by a Member of Parliament, or by his speech and words, or by any ornate law. The shareholders of your companies will tame them, the officials, the state.

The wrong translation of the English word “public” as “state” causes problems as well. Let’s start using the word “public” in its true meaning of being “of all”. Its literal meaning “of public’s, of citizens’, of people, of many people” shall start serving its true authentic notion. A “public company” means a company that is held by public, by many people.

In Mongolia every payer of social insurance contributions can be a shareholder, a wealth creator. This means that the future pension of today’s employers and the current pensions shall be secured by the wealth the country creates. Pensions will be a factor of wealth creation. Today’s infants will grow up one day. They will work. And will be pensioners one day. In this way a pension fund turns into a wealth fund. The savings of all – the children, the elders – will multiply. A bad state leaves debts to its people. A good state leaves savings. Distinguished Members, for this to happen, we need a single move of your pointer finger, the very pointer finger with which people vote in the election.

If our citizens start participating in the wealth creation in the above manner, citizens’ control shall become real. The whole society shall become responsible. The citizens will decide which wealth creators to supports, and which – not. The policies will start to be made by people. And it will be the duty for the state to implement these policies. The miseries of the rich, of the “patriots”, of the officials, too much alienated from the people, will disappear. The name and honour of Mongolia will stop being discredited by anyone who likes. Let my name be dishonoured, but never let Mongolia’s name discredited. To the bone, every Mongolian will realize the value of these worlds. After all, we are the children of the people who’d choose to have their bones broken than their name run down. If you cannot contribute to Mongolia’s good name, you’d better do not partake in politics and policy making. There are plenty of trades in free Mongolia to mould your own good name.

Five: I decided to remind my people that it is our unforgivable mistake to continue to mistreat our natural environment. How would you interpret the acts of those who cut down and burn thousands of young, strong trees in blossom, which indeed remind healthy and strong youth? We cannot vindicate any act of contaminating and polluting water springs instead of protecting them.

The surrounding environment can live on without humans. The history proves it. However, can we, the humans, survive without this environment? Without air to breathe, water to drink, land to step on? I think, Ulaanbaatar smog must not be forgotten even during the summer. Water in the Gobi, and steppe is emerging as one of the most complex and serious challenges to our development. The current of the Tuul river flowing through capital Ulaabaatar cutat several sites. The spring of portable water consumed by most of our citizens is contaminated by microbes.

I say again, associate the country’s development with the people. Addressing of water pollution in the capital city raised all issues that are related to development. There are no officials, no ministries, no sectors that are no related to water issues. When re-addressing this issue at the Cabinet session, I did not intend to talk about regulating the right or left hand side driving wheel of a car, or commenting on website posts. I tried to bring up the problems we encounter in our development process.

People state the truth. Also, all decision made with people’s participation prove to be right. Let the environmental inspector of the soum be appointed by the soum itself. Let the soum and aimag public organizations choose their officers from their areas, from there where people reside and work. Let the selection and employment criteria be set jointly by the professional organization and the local employer. Let the responsibilities be accounted on site, in the area. Those people who live in the area are most knowledgeable about the specifics of their jobs, of their local area. This is an instance at which an environmental issue becomes an issue of citizens’ direct participation.

Before Mongolians stand up for their children, they stand up for their land. Since ancient times, Mongolians have deeply valued the environment to live and work. A man is ought to care about the environment to live. The essence of “transferring the power, the right to people” is hidden here. The policy to protect the environment shall become effective if people start participating in the policy making and implementation processes. Transferring this policy from the discretion of an official to the discretion of citizens shall introduce a brand new, more creative and constructive approach in the performance of entire environmental sector.

Mongolia is not destitute of trees, nor it is a country with a small territory. Perhaps, this is a country which failed to effectively define its policies. We have water, but have water problems, we have coal, but have electricity shortage, a rich country but with miseries of a poor one. We have talked about this a lot. Eventually, a right policy, perhaps, means living in harmony with the surrounding environment and improving it. When formulating a policy, we must take into consideration 6 social components – environment, the public, economic and financial system, political system, culture and traditions, and external security. And of these 6, perhaps, the primary one to consider is environment. That is why I am saying that the issues surrounding our capital city have emerged as rural development, infrastructure, health, waste management, security and urban planning issues.

What future do our people want? We all want a peaceful and comfortable life. The path to this dream needs to be green, needs to be nature-friendly. This path must be a path of learning from the past, and a path leading our current and future generations for prosperity and wellbeing. Mongol life has been a civilization adjusted to the natural environment. At times we find good, valuables things in our old chests. Mongolians do have a path we have followed, and a choice made. We may not step away from this choice.

Mongolia does need to spend funds for nature-friendly development, technologies and initiatives. Every effort and initiative to invite more rain to Mongolia, to build artificial lakes and rivers, to plant trees and seed crops and food must be welcomed and supported. We must spend enough funds for environmental reclamation. Green education, green campaigns, green envoys, green businesses, green policies must be embraced and supported.

What does Mongolia have in plenty is renewable and underground thermal resources. Mongolia is a country of resources enough to supply clean, renewable energy not only to our own country, but also to the entire Asian region. Sun and wind are found in Mongolia boundlessly. The Salkhit wind farm to be commissioned soon is a good start. Our households, especially the herders know very well the use and benefits of renewable energy.

Today at the time of unprecedented changes in the mood of the nature around the globe, Mongolia should not linger behind the vitally important initiatives of the international community. These are environmental initiatives. Many countries, their leaders, international organizations do applaud and value Mongolia’s contributions – our actions, initiatives and participation in global pressing environmental issues such as climate change, desertification, water and food issues. Mongolia can be one of the legitimate leaders driving the global environmental course.

Dear citizens, Members of Parliament,

I have briefly touched upon some of our achievements, also mistakes and failures, lessons, solutions. The good achievements of Mongolia are all collective, shared. Any success and achievement is the creature of millions of people. Though the mistakes and failures are usually associated with few people, certain officials, many people lose from these mistakes. The whole society bears the costs. “As a blot on the landscape, majority suffers from minority erring”, very true words.

Do not think an issue is resolved. A decision is a matter of time. Solutions tend to grow more and more complex. A person who seeks to protect public interests, always tries to find the best solution. There are no such perfect solutions. At times, an effort with a good intention ends up badly. In Mongolia there are no sectors without problems. As well, there are no easy solutions. Besides, there are always Mongolia’s specifics, special features and conditions. We should never forget that behind any solution, there are seeds of other issues. The fate of the people depends on how successfully this multitude of issues and handled.

Today I spoke about citizens’ participation. This is not a promise of happiness given to a citizen. This is simply an issue of opening up an opportunity for the citizens to exercise their rights. It’s giving the drive of the people’s life, fate into their own hands. Neither democracy, nor freedom aim at giving happiness to the people. But only in the democratic and free environment all rights are distributed fairly and justly. With human rights, comes responsibility. Responsibility in its tern forms the social moral, ethics. Social immunity rests in its moral. In freedom rests a man’s ability to realize himself. Therefore, a society which bases upon human rights and creating opportunities is destined to dwell long. Because the creator of that society is a man, a citizen himself. In a society where citizens enjoy rights, a populist government simply cannot reign. Mongolia will develop if everyone enjoys rights, exercises duties and performs responsibly.

We see that a wealth created and distributed without citizen participation turns into a theft. A childwho took money from parents and buys a loaf of bread, returns the change to his parents. However, if the money was stolen – no change, no bread. Mother and child buying bread together is a responsible solution. Through citizen participation and solution in this way responsibility, control and justice become a shared value, shared wealth.

You probably notice that life follows money. Why grassroot and microdistrict khurals became interesting? Real money, division of fund is dealt with at these meetings. They discuss what to do with that money. First of all, people start resolving the pressing problems. They stopped coming to the government house, to the upper instances for money. They now realize what to tell the official:”I do not need anything, just give me an opportunity to exercise my rights”. People start realizing that no one would do laundry for us Simply, a citizen needs to enjoy his rights. With the right come duties, responsibilities, moral. We must explain this to our citizens in a right form, not intimidatingly. Once people start exercising their rights, they will see to not losing it.

The same is true about the country. No one will resolve our problems for us. No one would alleviate our burden for us. Therefore, let one of every three Mongolian citizens participate in resolving our issues. Let’s grow strong enough for any one of us to carry the burden for other two – an elder, a child, a physically challenged, anyone, for that matter. If needed, of three Mongol citizens, let’s one of them stand up, defend the other two. I see such a country with such potentials behind citizen participation.

Soon we will be three million. Thousands of families and households who are managing their lives well are the basis for our development and progress. Every taxpayer is a patriot. Mongolian businessmen, herders, free producers and manufacturers are the creators of our wellbeing and Mongolia’s prosperity. All those who share with others with what they can carve out are noble. Through such people of noble deeds and mission, and the wealth creators, the human history only advances. Therefore, I am deeply confident in the bright future and prosperity of my country.

I have addressed some tough words to political officials and public servants. Wishing good, I reminded of bad. Mongolian state is a state with history, with honor. It is a great fortune to serve such a state. Mongolian state is a state of dignity. A Mongolian public servant must be distinguished by his or her ability to implement, obey, enforce the law, and by dedication to the service to the people. By their ethics, actions, and good acts they must be role models. They must be the people who profoundly understand the state order and human virtues and values. Mongolian public servants must be the carriers and planters of good culture. This will make our state strong; will make Mongolia strong.

More and more people in the world will know Mongoliansas the people of good culture. A citizen of Mongolia is valued by his/her justice and openness, sense of rights, self-sufficiency, and an able quick learner. Mongolian peacekeepers, who for many months have been working in a foreign land to alleviate others miseries, are the true heroes of peacetime. They say“ I am very proud to be born a Mongolian. What a beautiful country I was born”. Words of those who travelled far and seen hardships carry no exaggerations. And me either, I am proud to be born in this beautiful country, I am proud for my people. Let’s further extent this pride, let us consolidate and solidify it.

May Freedom and My Motherland Dwell Intact.
May my Mongolia dwell eternally.
Thank you.




2013. 04 .05.