Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mongolia Brief December 19, 2014 Part II

Ambassador of Mongolia to Vatican City State, V.Purevdorj
Presents Credentials to Sovereign of State, His Holiness
Pope Francis
December 19 ( On December 18, 2014, a non-resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Vatican City State, Mr. Vaanchig PUREVDORJ has presented a Letter of Credence to the Sovereign of State, His Holiness Pope Francis.

At the beginning of credential handing ceremony, newly accredited envoy conveyed a warm greeting of the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj to the head of state of Vatican City, who responded with profound greetings and flourishing development to the people of Mongolia.
In the scope of presenting the credentials, Ambassador V.Purevdorj was received by Cardinal Secretary of State, His Eminence Pietro Parolin, Substitute for General Affairs to the Secretary of State, Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu and Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Most Reverend Dominique Mamberti to discuss issues of bilateral relations and cooperation as well as collaboration possibilities in humanitarians.
During the meeting, the heads of Vatican City State pledged to advocate continuing research studies on identifying historical documents about Mongol Empire and related sources from Vatican Archive and Libraries as well as to support Mongolia’s maternal and child health service improvements by providing expenses for Mongolian physicians and staff to study in short-term trainings abroad.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary V.Purevdorj to Vatican City State has been representing Mongolia to the Swiss Confederation since July 2014 with residency in Geneva and to the Principality of Liechtenstein since September 2014.
Moreover, he serves as the Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the UN Office and other international organizations in Geneva since December 2013.
Mongolia and Vatican City State have established diplomatic relations on April 04, 1992.

Society of Mongolian Friends" NGO Meets
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 19 (MONTSAME) The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Russian Federation Mr Sh.Altangerel took part in an irregular conference of the "Society of Mongolian Friends" Russia’s NGO on Wednesday in Moscow of Russia.
There the Ambassador met many well-known people, for instance, two cosmonauts--V.V.Gorbatko, twice Hero of the Soviet Union and Hero Mongolia, and V.A.Zhanibekov, a Hero of the Soviet Union and Mongolia, and shared with them views and positions on the NGO’s actions.
As the gathered considered, the NGO’s actions for 2013-2014 have been fulfilled successfully. They also undertook some organizational steps, for example, authorities of the NGO were selected-- V.A.Babushkin as the president, V.I.Khalanov, L.G.Kushnir and Ye.A.Kuzmin--as his vice, and  I.R.Utyamyshev--as the secretary. Moreover, the conference approved a new post of honorary president of the NGO and selected for it Mr Gorbatko. The NGO’s steering committee has included 33 people such as A.S.Zheleznyakov, a Mongolist and chairman of the Institute of Mongol Studies at Russia’s Academy of Sciences. 

Minister to Raise Issue about Bogdkhaan’s Palace
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, December 19 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Education, Culture and Sciences L.Gantomor decided December 18 to notify the Cabinet about the land ownership of Bogdkhaan’s Palace Museum.
He made such a decision after having paid an unexpected visit to the museum where he met a security guard and five people from the management. The visit was for a discovery of truth, after a spread of rumors that the 21 Taras at the museum is in a danger to be lost and that the museum land got into hands of unknown individual.
After listening to the museum personnel, the Minister decided to submit this issue to the cabinet. 

Minister Meets Ambassador of China
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 19 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Energy D.Zorigt Friday received Mr Wang Xiaolong, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to Mongolia, by the latter’s request.
Mongolia and China have the historical cooperation in the energy sector, the Chinese side contributed to a development of this sector since erecting first hydro power station in 1932 in Kharkhorin. "Our cooperation has been expanding, for example, electricity is being imported from China to a concentrate plant of the Oyu Tolgoi mine, the largest energy companies of China have performed assembling works of an annex of the third power plant and Amgalan thermal power station," he said. "Our countries, each facing a big demand for bringing of the energy cooperation into a newer level, established a cooperation memorandum on May 26 of this year between the Ministry of Energy and the Energy Authority at China’s Committee for Development Reforms. In its frames, the sides have set up a consultative commission with participation of the Ministries and companies, its first meeting ran in October of 2014 in Beijing. It ensured agendas which have been discussed through a protocol," he went on.
Proposals from the Energy Ministry were reflected in a dialogue of the Speaker during his visit to China paid in October of 2014. The sides also considered as necessity to boost cooperation on specific issues, he said.
Present at the meeting were also S.Bayarbat, a department head of the Energy Ministry; G.Enkhtuvshin, senior expert of the external relations and cooperation section of the Ministry; and others.

IFC Rep Offers Cooperation in Energy Sector
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, December 19 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Energy D.Zorigt received Friday the permanent representative of the International Financial Corporation (IFC) to Mongolia Tuyen D.Nguyen, at the latter’s request.
The Minister introduced himself saying that has been in the office for six days and that he had worked as member of the Standing Committee on Economy for six years where he had gained much experience in energy matters.
In response, Mr D.Nguyen mentioned that the IFC is a member organization of the World Bank and mainly focuses on private sector and said the IFC seeks an opportunity to invest in Mongolia in the areas of Wind Energy Development and Public and Private Partnership (PPP).
The IFC is willing to discuss the roles it can play in the PPP in Mongolia, particularly in considering private entities' participation in electricity and heat production, he said. Their Corporation is interested in cooperating in the small projects that are of high importance for Mongolia, "given our rich practices, for instance, it is possible to collaborate in a privatization of the power transmission network", he went on. Mr Nguyen also said the IFC has sold 25 percent of Laos’ power network on the Stock Exchange, "this can be practiced in Mongolia as well". "If the privatization of the energy-producing entities meets the interests of Mongolia, our corporation can invest in and support the commercialization of the stocks. I hope that the issues of the Fifth Thermal Plant will be settled and forwarded soon," he added.
He also expressed a readiness of the IFC to cooperate with Mongolia, although it does not have any direct involvement in these issues except for voicing when needed.  
Present at the meeting were a head of the Department of Finance and Investments of the Ministry of Energy S.Bayarbat, a head of the Department of Strategy and Policy Planning P.Tovuudorj, and a senior officer of the Division of Foreign Cooperation G.Enkhtuvshin.

"Process of Int’l Airport Project Successful"
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 19 (MONTSAME) One of the biggest construction of Mongolia and Japan--a project on erecting a new international airport in Khoshig Valley of Tov aimag--is being realized successfully.
It was said by the Minister of Road and Transportation N.Tomorkhuu on Friday at a meeting with Mr Takenori Shimizu, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Mongolia. They said the two countries are making great efforts to expand their cooperation in auto road, railway and civil air transportation spheres.
Mr Tomorkhuu said Japan significantly contributed to the development of the Mongolian infrastructure and underlined that the bilateral ties and cooperation have been widening in the road and transportation.
The sides also expressed a mutual willingness to focus on solving problems that may face the cooperation in these fields, and said their countries will continue their efforts to strengthen the collaboration. They also exchanged views on vital projects and programmes to be implemented in Mongolia’s economic and infrastructure sectors, and added they ready to start some concrete works.

City’s Best Kids to Be Named
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 19 (MONTSAME) By an order of the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city, the administration of the UB city and the Department for Children’s and Family Development will co-organize a ceremony of naming top children of the city on December 26.
As a first stage, foremost children will be selected from each district, profiles of these children will be sent to the above Department until December 22. After a final selection, the best ones will be named in five categories--athletics, talent, creativity, intellectuality, and leadership.
According to the selection’s criteria, the best kids must be exemplary and prominent among his/her peers, be leaders in social life and in self-governance organizations for children, or must have brilliant successes in national and international competitions. 

MPP will sue for defamation of party
December 19 ( The newly formed government announced the appointments of 17 deputy ministers in Wednesday's cabinet meeting. Some local media reported that the MPP's nominees donated at least 100 million MNT to the party.
Secretary General of the MPP J.Munkhbat held a press conference on Thursday, making a statement that the party would sue for defamation. MPP Secretary General J.Munkhbat commented that the board of the MPP selected nominees for deputy minister positions through a fair and democratic process. He stated that the MPP does not sell positions. The MPP will approach legal organizations to sue the media outlets that harmed the reputation of the party.
During the press conference, journalists commented the party members themselves claimed that that party nominated members who made significant donations. MPP Secretary General J.Munkhbat also stated that any of party members who were appointed deputy ministers had not committed illegal or unprofessional actions, and that the party placed more consideration on the experience and skills of its members during its time as an opposition party when it nominated them for deputy minister positions.
MPP nominations such as former Governor of Bayanzurkh District B.Batzorig, who has been investigated by the Anti-Corruption Authority, and retired member Kh.Badelkhan raised speculations about an unfair selection.

Outdoor ice rink opens at Chinggis Khan Square
December 19 ( A temporary outdoor ice rink has officially opened at Chinggis Khaan Square.
The 50х25 meter outdoor ice rink offers a changing room and lighting.
The outdoor ice rink will be available from 10:00 a.m. to midnight for the season.
Tickets start at 1,500 MNT per adult for one hour.  The rink can hold 50 to 100 skaters at once say ice park officials.

Proposal on Law on Tobacco Control was not approved
December 19 ( Friday's plenary session meeting of Parliament reviewed an amendment proposal to the Law on Tobacco Control but the proposal was not approved, as over 60 percent of MPs rejected it.
MP O.Baasankhuu submitted the amendment proposal to Parliament. The amendment would change the prohibited use and sale of tobacco in places less than 500 meters from schools and kindergartens to less than 250 meters.
The Law on Tobacco Control caused public outcry due to its harsh restriction of tobacco use and sales. Smokers complained that the law was too broad, as by law there is no allowance for smoking areas to be permitted.
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