Mongolia signed its United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) agreement for 2012–2016 on 17 March 2011. The ceremony was held in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The document was co-signed by H.E. Mr. Gombojav Zandanshatar, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Mongolia, Ms. Sezin Sinanoglu, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Mongolia, and 12 participating UN organizations. Mr Dazhu Yang, the Director of the Division of Asia and the Pacific, signed the UNDAF document on behalf of the IAEA. Mongolia’s UNDAF is the first in the Asia region to incorporate IAEA technical cooperation activities.
Mongolia’s new UNDAF addresses four strategic priority areas:
1) Sustainable economic development and poverty alleviation
2) Basic social services and social protection
3) Environment, climate change, and disaster risk reduction
4) Governance and human rights
The IAEA, through its technical cooperation programme, will contribute to the 3rd strategic priority, environment, climate change, and disaster risk reduction. This priority is linked to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 7, ensuring environmental sustainability.
Although Mongolia relies heavily on agriculture and livestock, the country’s extreme climate, with harsh winters and dry summers, poses a substantial obstacle to agricultural development. A bad winter can destroy food reserves, affecting crops, livestock and animal feedstuffs. Through the technical cooperation mechanism, the IAEA will work with Mongolia to improve crop yield quality, and to develop drought-resistant crops that will help Mongolia reduce vulnerabilities in the agriculture sector and increase its preparedness for disasters. In addition, the IAEA will contribute to research and exchange of knowledge on climate change risks and adaptation options. The aim is to develop capacity for sustainable natural resource management while taking into consideration Mongolia’s fragile environment and rapid economic growth.
UNDAFs are the planning framework for the development operations of the UN system at the country level. They outline the collective strategies of relevant agencies and organizations to assist in the achievement of national development priorities and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The IAEA has now signed 15 UNDAF agreements, and is participating in a further 44 on-going UNDAF processes. The IAEA takes part in the UNDAF process to ensure that the technical cooperation programme is aligned with the national development priorities reflected in these frameworks. Such partnership frameworks are essential for supporting the IAEA’s objective of advancing the peaceful uses of nuclear technology, and also support a greater overall impact of UN activities.
Find a copy of the UNDAF agreement on the official UN country web site of Mongolia http://www.un-mongolia.mn/web/news170311.html.