Friday, June 27, 2014

Mongolia Brief June 27, 2014 Part I

“Cherished Mongolian Horse” Exhibition Opened to Promote Culture and Tradition

June 27 ( In the scope of the 90th anniversary of establishing contemporary museum in Mongolia and the 93rd anniversary of celebration of the People’s revolution, Mongolian Military Museum in collaboration with the Museum of Dundgovi Aimag have opened a “Cherished Mongolian Horse” exhibition in Ulaanbaatar.

The exhibition held opening on June 18 and to run until July 04, features ancient Mongolian full set of military garments including helmet, saddles crafted by Khalkh Mongolians and other ethnic groups as well as used ones in 1930s by militants, and other horse accessories such as silver bridles, bridle-bit, currycomb, and old times stamps to mark horses.
Also, over 100 exhibits including sculptures, pictures, Morin Khuur, skin bag for holding Airag and other pieces related to culture of breeding Mongol horse are displayed at the Mongolian Military Museum, which is located near Monument to Georgy Zhukov.

Mongolia and Japan Held First Strategy Consultation Meeting in Tokyo

June 27 ( The Foreign Ministries of Mongolia and Japan held the first ever strategy consultation meeting in Tokyo on June 26, 2014. The Mongolian part was chaired by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs D.Gankhuyag and the other side by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Shinsuke Sugiyama.
During the meeting parties reviewed the present state of Mongolia-Japan strategic partnership relations and exchanged views on the further goals. The Japanese side emphasized that a statement delivered by the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj at the Parliament of Japan during his visit in 2010 had given a noticeable impetus to the stimulation of bilateral ties and thereafter the two sides agreed to develop strategic partnership relations.
Deputy Minister D.Gankhuyag highlighted the expansion of bilateral strategic partnership relations in all spheres including politics, security, economy, culture, education and people exchange as well as at regional and international levels.
Moreover, the sides agreed on effective implementation of mid-term program on strategic partnership and intensification of bilateral collaboration in the economic area. In this term, the Government of Mongolia is working on hosting a Mongolia-Japan Business Forum in cooperation with the Japan Business Federation and the Japan External Trade Organization in Tokyo in July 2014.
At the first strategy consultation meeting, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Japan S.Khurelbaatar, Director of Department of Asia and the Pacific at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, Ch.Bayarmunkh and Director of First China and Mongolia Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Atsushi Ueno were present.

Toyota Corporation Pledges to Award Winner of State Naadam Traditional Wrestling Competition with Toyota Car

June 27 ( It is about two weeks left to celebrate the nation’s biggest holiday nationwide, the State Naadam Festival 2014 commemorating the 93rd anniversary of the People’s Revolution.
Due to approaching festival, the State Naadam Festival Organizing Committee is completing the preparation works and officials said this year will be the last to organize an opening and closing ceremonies at the Central Stadium in Ulaanbaatar, because the Capital City Administration budgeted to construct new venue for these events at the Khui Doloon Khudag valley in Tuv Aimag, which is about 35 km from UB and all Three Games of Men (Eriin Gurvan Naadam) will be organized at one place.
In addition, newly operational Railbus will also serve to Khui Doloon Khudag at cost of 3,500 MNT from UB.
Moreover, the Organizing Committee Chairman Yo.Gerelchuluun added, “This year as customary, 512 wrestlers will compete in the traditional wrestling tournament in 9 rounds by eliminating system and Japanese Toyota Corporation sent a request to collaborate by awarding a winner of the tournament with a Toyota car. However, it is not announced yet which type of vehicle will be presented, but the ceremony of handing will be held on July 13, 2014 during one of the festivals of Uyachdyn Naadam (Horse Trainers Festival) at Khui Doloon Khudag or Deeltei Mongol Festival (Mongolians in Deel) at Chinggis Square. This date was selected because winners of the wrestling are awarded with state prizes on July 12”.

Ulaanbaatar Hosts Energy Chapter Forum

Ulaanbaatar, June 27 (MONTSAME) Ulaanbaatar Energy Chapter Forum discussed Thursday issues regarding developing a renewable energy across Gobitec and Asian Super Grid in Northeast Asia.
Opening the event, co-organized by Energy Charter Secretariat and Mongolia’s Energy Ministry, the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj, Energy Minister M.Sonompil, and Energy Charter Secretary-General Urban Rusnak addressed the gathered including representatives of China, Russia, Japan and South Korea.
Amid the forum, panels were held under themes such as ‘Why and how to attract large scale investments in wind and solar projects in the Gobi desert?’, ‘Cross-border regional cooperation to develop Asian Super Grid’, ‘Role of international organizations in supporting Gobitec and Asian Super Grid initiatives’, at which participant discussed the Gobitec initiative targeted at boosting production of clean energy from renewable, the Asian Super Grid initiative aimed at connecting the countries in Northeast Asia and the international renewable energy community.
Closing remarks were made by Mr Tomas Kåberger, Executive Board Chair, Japan Renewable Energy Foundation and Mr Davaadorj, Secretary of State, Ministry of Energy of Mongolia. The event was ended with a gala dinner hosted by Energy Minister M.Sonompil.
The Gobitec project investigates the possibility of energy cooperation in Northeast Asia based on concentrated solar power plants in the desert areas of the Gobi desert, in Mongolia and, even more favorably, in China, as the desert, shared by Mongolia and China, is estimated to be the third largest potential source of solar energy in the world and also blessed with steady, strong wind speeds making it ideal for both technologies.

Parliament to Discuss Amendments to Telecommunication Law

Ulaanbaatar, June 27 (MONTSAME) A parliamentary session on Thursday evening approved a later discussion of amendments to the Telecommunication law.
The draft will be submitted to the Standing committee on economy to be prepared for the first discussion in parliament later.
After that, MPs were scheduled to discuss an issue regarding setting of ownership share of the Government in Tsagaan Suvarga copper deposit. However, a faction of the "Justice" coalition asked the Speaker to postpone the discussion, advising a review on the matter within the group. The same group had previously taken a five-day break to reschedule the discussion.
Accepting the request, the Speaker withdrew the issue from the meeting agenda. 

Mongolia Emergency Chief at International Forum

Ulaanbaatar, June 27 (MONTSAME) Chief of the Emergency Management Agency T.Dulamdorj is attending the sixth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction these days.
The Conference is taking place in Bangkok, Thailand to provide a unique opportunity for Asian Disaster Risk Reduction organizations and practitioners to shape the Hyogo Framework for Action 2.
A strong turn-out of government ministers and top disaster management officials ensures high-level political engagement in key discussions at the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction in Thailand which will end June 28.
More than 2,500 representatives from 42 countries are taking part in the three-day conference to agree the region’s priorities for the post-2015 global framework for disaster risk reduction.
The Conference features four High-Level Round Tables comprising Ministers in charge of disaster risk management and the Heads of Delegation from each country present. At one of these forums Ministerial Statements reflects on implementation of the current global framework for disaster risk reduction, the Hyogo Framework for Action, and highlight priorities for consideration at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, in March 2015.
The other three High-Level Round Tables focuses on enhancing resilience at local levels; resilient public investments; and public-private partnerships for disaster risk reduction. A series of technical sessions around the same themes are running at the Conference in support of the political dialogue.

Minister S.Oyun at High-Level Segment of UNEA

Ulaanbaatar, June 27 /MONTSAME/ Mongolia’s Minister of Environment and Green Development and the president of the United Nations Environment Assembly Ms S.Oyun took part in a high-level segment on Thursday at the first UNEA running in the UNEP Headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya.
Alongside her, the meeting was attended by Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of the Republic of Kenya; His Highness His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco; Mr Achim Steiner, the UNEP Executive Director; Mr John W. Ashe, President of the General Assembly; Ms Sahle-Work Zewde, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON); Mr Joan Clos i Matheu, the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, (UN-HABITAT); Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives of countries to the UNEP. They discussed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, including Sustainable Consumption and Production, and the Illegal Trade in Wildlife.
Ms Oyun delivered the opening remarks of the high-level segment, saying that the UNEA will determine a future of the UNEP as well as environmental goals of counties and will contribute to forming a condition to ensure a sustainable development. Then she introduced to the participants a governmental policy of Mongolia on environment and green development, and some measures.
"UNEA is a historic event for all of us. The world today faces an increasing number of challenges which require a firm resolve," Ms Oyun said.
The UNEA is the highest-level UN body ever convened on the environment. It enjoys universal membership of all 193 UN member states as well as other stakeholder groups. With this wide reach into the legislative, financial and development arenas, the new body presents a ground-breaking platform for leadership on global environmental policy. UNEA boasts over 1200 participants, 170 national delegations, 112 delegations headed at minister level and 40 events during the five-day event from 23 to 27 June 2014 at UNEP's Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Banks Grant Mortgages of 1.16 Million Togrog

Ulaanbaatar, June 27 (MONTSAME) Commercial banks of Mongolia have so far received re-financing requests for low interest mortgage loans totaling 850.6 billion togrog.
Since commencing the annual 8% mortgage program last June, the banks have received requests to refund already awarded housing loans of 850.6 billion togrog, which have been delivered under the Government program to stabilize the mortgage system of the nation. Refunding requests for the loans totaling 534.2 billion from 18 thousand 472 people have been approved by the commercial banks. 
During the same period, the commercial banks have received low interest mortgage loan applications totaling 1.1 trillion togrog. After a careful consideration over the new requests, the banks decided to grant mortgage of one trillion 49.8 billion togrog to 20 thousand 734 applicants. 

Central Bank Informs Preliminary Balance of Payment

Ulaanbaatar, June 27 (MONTSAME) The current account deficit stands at US$ 580.5 million which is decrease of 56 percent or US$ 728.2 million from the previous year, says the Central Bank of Mongolia.
This includes 98% decrease of international trade in goods’ deficit for the first five months of 2014, thus showing surplus of US$ 8.4 million. Meantime, the international trade in services’ deficit decreased by 12% to US$ 561.3 million, the deficit on income account dropped by 57% to US$ 101.9 million, and the surplus on current transfer increased by 42% to US$ 91.1 million.
Capital and financial accounts showed a deficit of US$ 2.6 million, decreasing100% or US$ 969.6 million from 2013. This is due to a 64% decline of foreign direct investment to Mongolia which equals to US$ 708.0 million. There was increase of US$ 611.3 million in other investment deficit.
Such increase in other investment were caused by a US$ 176.8 million increase of trade credit receivables, an increase of US$ 407.1 million in FX flow to domestic market, a decrease of US$ 108.4 million of currency and deposits, and US$ 111.3 million decline in disbursement of loans.

Health Ministries Discuss ‘Guest Professor’ Program

Ulaanbaatar, June 27 (MONTSAME) A so-called ‘Guest Professor’ program was discussed Thursday at the third Mongolia-Korea intergovernmental consultative meeting in Ulaanbaatar.
Under the leadership of the Health Deputy Ministers of the two countries -J.Amarsanaa and Choi Young-hyun, the gathered discussed the program that was launched in 2014, as part of the Seoul project. Since then, eight professors of South Korea have worked in Mongolian hospitals to train staffers there.
Within the Seoul project which kicked off two years ago, a total of 24 Mongolian doctors from five hospitals have been involved medical trainings in South Korea, noted Mr Amarsanaa.
Mr Choi expressed a confidence in great contribution of the meeting to the health care cooperation between Mongolia and South Korea.
At the meeting, the parties also discussed measures to take place within above-mentioned program.

Zuunmod Town to Host Asian School Cross Country Championship

Ulaanbaatar, June 27 (MONTSAME) The Mongolian Track and Field Association, together with Junior Sports Union are to organize Asian school cross country championship in Zuunmod town of Tov province this Saturday.
Young athletes from Mongolia, Russia, China, Macau, Hong Kong and Malaysia will compete in two age groups. Girls and boys of 14-15 will run a distance of 3.5km, while 16-17 aged will traverse a longer 4.6km distance.
As the host nation, Mongolia will be represented by five athletes in each event, while other countries will put four runners for each distance.

Public outrage changes course

June 27 (UB Post) Shortly after the public fury that forced law makers to retract the newly proposed Land Law had just begun to fade, the talk by law makers of building Chinese-standard narrow gauge railroad from Tavan Tolgoi coal mine to the Chinese border has rebounded in public protest.
Social media and the press are in a frenzy, with anger clogging up Facebook groups and Twitter feeds such as the nationalist Dayar Mongol (DM) Facebook group.
“I hope the [Chinese standard] gauge bill is dropped today in Parliament. We see the members who are pressing their buttons while the public is clearly against it. Although they say that the masses are brainwashed, I want to say that we are different,” said one DM post with dozens of comments and likes.
Currently, all of Mongolia’s railway infrastructure is built with Soviet standard, broad gauge railways. The narrow gauge proposed by Parliamentarians is the international standard and used in China, which makes it convenient for transporting coal to China from Tavan Tolgoi mine.
While it was noted by experts that building a narrow gauge railway would save money and make coal shipments simpler than a broad gauge railway, other experts pointed out that the narrow gauge cannot be connected to Sainshand soum, where trillions of MNT worth of industrial projects are expected to unfold, as it uses broad gauge rails.
The amount of anger and frustration expressed by the public on social media has been attributed largely to nationalist political views and Sinophobia, anti-Chinese sentiment. It is also worth noting that the public has just experienced a huge wave of uproar at the Land Law, and that the wave has not yet subsided, which makes it seem as though the reaction towards the narrow gauge bill is disproportionate.
The Land Law, which was retracted by the Prime Minister last week, allegedly contained clauses that would make it possible for foreign citizens to purchase and own land, which was met with widespread anger from the public at large.
Individuals, organizations, media, outspoken nationalists and patriots rallied people on social media to stand against the law and urged their representatives to retract it from Parliament.
Some politicians reported that they received appeals and threats from voters through their social media outlets and by phone, demanding retraction of the bill.
Various media, including Mongol TV, reported that if passed, the law would allow foreign citizens and organizations who have been in Mongolia for over six months to own land for 60-100 years, which triggered mass concern over national security and deep-rooted Sinophobia among Mongolians.
Mongolia’s history and culture teaches reverence and the cherishing of one’s land, and with a relatively small population of three million, Mongolians believe that foreign ownership of land is a serious national security issue.
Before retracting the law due to overwhelming negative reactions from the public, in defense of the law it proposed, the Democratic Party faction in Parliament said that wrongful representation was made to the public about the law, and that no clauses allowing foreign ownership were included. They claimed that legal terms such as land use, acquisition and ownership were misused to give a misleading representation of the law.
It is safe to say that the retraction of the bill was caused by public uproar. The public has demonstrated its power, but it also needs to consider that building a railway to China is of critical importance. It will help boost production and exportation in Mongolia, which in turn will help out the economy. The public must not abandon reason because of preconceived notions, and consider the facts before condemning decisions that could be vital to Mongolia’s future.

Day of Advocates takes place

June 27 ( On the occasion of the Day of Mongolian Advocates, the Ministry of Justice is holding a “Day of Advocates-open day” event along with the National Legal Institute today on June 27, 2014 at the Square of Advocates near the National Legal Institute.
The event is organized with the aim to provide public with information on the justice sector reform and promote measures implemented in the framework of legislation, receiving civil opinions and complaints with participation of affiliated agencies from the Ministry of Justice.
During the event the Ministry of Justice will name the best advocates of the year during the opening ceremony of the “Legalinfo” program for phone launched by the National Legal Institute.
For the event, the General Authority for Border Protection, General Police Agency, the Court Decision Enforcement Office, the General Authority for State Registration, the General Archive Authority, the Citizenship and Migration General Authority, the General Takhar Department, National Legal Institute, Association of Mongolian Advocates, and the Legal Aid Center affiliated with the Ministry of Justice will give information about their activities to the public and receive public opinions and complaints.

Mongolia certified as measles-free country by WHO

June 27 ( Mongolia becomes the country of measles-free as it has been certified by WHO on June 26th. In Mongolia immunization the population with vaccine against measles (Ulaanburkhan in Mongolian) was practiced since 1973. As result of efforts focused on the cases of measles, Mongolia recognized as measles-free country by the World Health Organization. The World Health Organization presented a certificate to Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag by Dr Mark Jacobs, Director of the Division of Combating Communicable Diseases in the WHO Western Pacific Region that verifying the country could prevent from measles spread during a ceremony in Ulaanbaatar on June 26th.
According to a WHO report, Mongolia has experienced no lab-confirmed or epidemiologically linked cases since 2010, when last seven clinically confirmed cases of measles occurred.
During the ceremony presenting the certificate, Dr Dr Mark Jacobs said that Mongolia becomes one of the first countries in the western pacific region to be certificated as measles-free along with three other countries such as Australia, South Korea and Macao among 37 countries and added that preventing communicative disease spread is not depend on a country`s development level but it depends on result of immunization efforts  and specific system.
Link to article

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