NCAV implemented "Futures without Violence" project successfully
05 September 2018
With the grant of Australia’s Direct Aid Fund, the National Centre Against Violence has improved the conditions and access of services at the shelter for victims of domestic violence.
The family is the fundamental basis for any society. Therefore, the word “family” defines the tone and wellbeing of every society. Experts and organisations working with social issues warn about the increasing rate of violence in Mongolia. According to the Ulaanbaatar Metropolitan Police Department, every day three women beaten by their spouses seek assistance from the police. A 2018 survey by the National Statistical Commission reports that only one in every four women who fell victim to violence sought help from the police. The statistics expose there could be more women and children that fall victim into hands of violence. Police organisations report that annually they receive fifteen thousand calls on domestic violence. The National Centre Against Violence (NCAV) provides assistance to an average of 3000 victims every year. The number continues to grow, reaching 6000 per year at one-stop services at the Trauma Hospital and the National Institute for Court Analysis. Overall, services seem to be barely matching demand. There is a shortfall in access of the government funded temporary shelters; victims can only stay at these shelters for three to seven days and then have to return home. International best practice is based on two-stage assistance; after staying at temporary shelter the victims move to a transit shelter where they are assisted to find a job and gain self- confidence and self-esteem. However, the latter does not exist in Mongolia.
The NCAV is a “nationally” recognised non-governmental organisation. NCAV staff say victims of domestic violence trust its professional services, but this has generated increasing demand. Since 1995 it has been providing assistance to women and children who are victims of domestic violence and assaults against women and children. It also conducts awareness-raising campaigns and actively participates in the drafting of relevant legislation and policy frameworks, as well as delivering social services and legal and psychological counselling to victims of domestic and sexual violence.
The NCAV implemented a no-violence future project in 2017-2018 with funding support from the Direct Aid Program (DAP), managed by the Australian Embassy. NCAV Director B. Suvd said, “According to international standards, children and women who fall victims to violence are accepted and provided with services at shelters in the same way as people who suffered from natural disasters. At first stage, we accommodate, feed and clothe the victims of violence at shelter. Then we deliver psychological and legal counselling and social services. Our centre’s project proposal succeeded in open competitive bidding for a 2017-2018 DAP grant publicly announced by the Australian Embassy. As a result of implementation of the project, the centre has managed to improve housing conditions and deliver comprehensive social and legal service to save and secure health and lives of 73 children and women and help them regain confidence to carry on an independent and secure life. Specifically, the project delivered comprehensive psychological counselling to 18 teenagers. The counselling helped these children to get out of deep stress and regain self-confidence. Victims of violence suffer deep and persistent shocking stress. The centre assists the victims to recover from the shock, fear and stress and feel relaxed and confident to socialise. With individual psychological counselling and services, victims get rid themselves of guilty feelings. Victims of domestic violence quite often tend to think they themselves are the cause of the violence and take blame on themselves. Domestic violence over a period of years shapes such unjust thinking in its victims. A total of thirty five women and thirty eight children benefited from the project. They received comprehensive social services, including reintegration of two teenaged school drop outs back into schooling, providing dietary and health care services for malnourished young children, providing permanent housing for five single and homeless mothers and involving children in education services. After protecting the victims at the shelter we have moved onto the second phase to help them gain confidence and independence. The project helped women victims to access vocational and skills training. As a result, eighteen women found a permanent job. During the project the centre organised weekly training on life and financial management skills and assisted women with access to employers to find a job”.
The NCAV has developed long-term stable work relations with administrative and social officers and police. The centre receives 5-10 victims every day for counselling services and at least one or two of these stay at the shelter. An NCAV staff member said, “We have no other choice but to receive a poorly clothed woman with baby on a cold winter day even there is no space”.
To sum up, with the grant support of Australia’s Direct Aid Program, the centre has improved living conditions and access of services at the shelter. Administrative work units, the khoroo governor, family doctor units, the police and social workers are supposed to provide primary services. However, these organisations do not have specialised facilities for interviewing victims and shelter and have budget shortfalls. That’s why victims of domestic violence come to the NCAV for assistance.
The Direct Aid Program has also supported other gender-based violence projects. One of these is Boys against Violence by the Strong Boys Club to empower boys to organise campaigns against violence and promote attitude and views among boys to have no tolerance towards violence. Another is Protecting Victims of Sexual Violence and Human Trafficking by the Mongolian Gender Equality Centre to enhance cooperation of health, police and social workers against gender-based violence. B.ODMAA
Visit to Mongolia to attend the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
1 July 2018
Joint media release:
- Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
- Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security, The Hon Angus Taylor MP
Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, will attend the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, from 3 and 6 July 2018.
Minister Fierravanti-Wells will lead a delegation of Australian officials, joining ministers and senior officials from around 45 Indo-Pacific countries to review implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, a global blueprint for reducing disaster risk.
“As the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction has noted, the Indo-Pacific is the world’s most disaster-prone region. It is estimated more than 66.7 million people were affected and 6,500 lost their lives in over 200 major disasters during 2017. This conference will strengthen our regional collaboration on disaster risk reduction,” Minister Fierravanti-Wells said.
Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor, who has responsibility for Commonwealth disaster assistance, said that Australia’s participation in AMCDRR reaffirms Australia’s support for the Sendai Framework.
“Over the next 15 years, the Sendai Framework aims to achieve a substantial reduction in disaster risk. This is about saving lives, averting economic loss, protecting the environment, and safeguarding the social and cultural heritage of communities and countries,” Minister Taylor said.
The visit also provides an opportunity for Minister Fierravanti-Wells to meet Australian businesses engaged in the Mongolian mining and resources sector and to highlight activities under Australia’s $11.6 million aid program in Mongolia, which includes support for community organisations and for Mongolian postgraduate students to study in Australia.
Further information on AMCDRR can be found on the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction website.
Ambassador Langtry speech at "Breaking the Silence for Equality" 2017 National Study on GBV
17 June 2018
MP Undraa, Member of the Standing Committee on Social Policy, Education, Culture and Science; Ms Ariunzaya, Chairperson of the National Statistics Office; Ms Naomi Kitahara, Representative of UNFPA Mongolia; Ms Gabriella Spirli, SDC Country Director; distinguished guests, media representatives, ladies and gentlemen.
We all have gathered here this morning to launch the 2017 National Study on Gender based Violence (GBV) in Mongolia. The study, which started in June 2016, was a true fact-finding journey by a team of nearly 100 Mongolian women to 21 aimags and 9 districts.
The team targeted 7300 women and produced the first comprehensive and reliable body of evidence and information on violence against women in Mongolia. As can be seen from the preliminary results and conclusions of the study, GBV and domestic violence (DV) are among the most pressing problems facing Mongolian society today. Indeed, not just in Mongolia, but in my own country and many others. That is because they have particular negative effects on women and children’s human rights, mental and physical health and social wellbeing. They hinder Mongolia’s journey to civil society and economic prosperity. So working to effectively and systematically address GBV and DV problems in Mongolia is a moral, economic and social imperative. And, we need evidence-based policy to achieve this. Specifically, there has been a grave need to learn more about the prevalence, causes and consequences of GBV and DV. It is pleasing that this study addresses this need comprehensively and factually.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is unequivocal: gender equality is essential to achieving prosperity and a sustainable, equitable future for all. We cannot achieve the 2030 Agenda without good statistics on the problems we face and the effectiveness of our actions. Australia is committed to strengthening the global evidence base on violence against women. As the Ambassador of Australia, I am very pleased that my country is successfully partnering in this program with UNFPA, WHO, the Swiss Agency for International Development and Mongolian civil society organisations. We are also proud to be partnering with the Mongolian Government in the program, because eliminating all forms of violence against women is a priority for Mongolia as well. The Australian Government has set a target requiring that at least 80 per cent of all aid investments, regardless of their primary objectives, must effectively address gender issues in their implementation. And last year, Australia established the Gender Equality Fund, which is worth A$55 million this financial year, to strengthen work on gender equality and women's empowerment in our aid program. The Gender Equality Fund supports international efforts on critical gender equality issues, including ending violence against women and girls and promoting women's leadership.
Some initiatives we have funded include:
The Joint UN Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence package, which is critical to providing services using a victim and survivor-centred approach, ensuring that international standards are met.
The UNFPA-supported one-stop service centres delivering holistic pyscho-social, legal, health, and protection services, all under one roof, to victims of domestic violence.
We commend Mongolia on its revised Law on Combating Domestic Violence, which was approved in December 2016. This and other relevant laws form a sound legal environment to combat GBV and DV in Mongolia.
And the results of this important study will provide the Government of Mongolia and other national and international stakeholders with reliable and timely data to prioritise next steps to achieve this. I am also confident that the study will energize the implementation of Mongolia’s National Program on the Control and Prevention of Domestic Violence. So I was particularly pleased to hear MP Undraa say in her opening remarks that the study will be given the careful attention it deserves in the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Policy, Education, Culture and Science. In closing, let me say that Australia is committed to supporting and partnering with Mongolia to end all forms of gender-based violence. All of us, and particularly our political leaders, need to take every opportunity to advocate for the rights of women, children and minorities. Let us all work together for a Mongolia that is free from GBV and DV.
Амжилт хүсьe. /Good Luck/
Gobi-Oyu Development Support Fund – United Nations Agencies partner for women and young people’s health in Umnugobi
27 April 2018
Dalanzadgad, Mongolia – The Gobi-Oyu Development Support Fund (DSF) CEO, Mr. S. Erdenebat, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative, Ms. Naomi Kitahara, today signed a contributions agreement to support women and young people’s health in Umnugobi aimag (province).
The health of women, adolescents and youth in Umnugobi are extremely concerning. In 2016, the maternal mortality ratio was estimated to be 212.9 deaths per 100,000 livebirths, which is significantly higher than the national average. Additionally, in recent years, the aimag has had to deal with a population influx due to large mining operation in the region, and has observed higher rates of traffic accidents and sexually transmitted diseases.
To address these challenges, the Oyu Tolgoi-financed Gobi-Oyu Development Support Fund has agreed to support the “Integrated Support Programme for Women and Young People’s Health in Umnugobi”, which is a joint UN Programme with UNFPA, WHO, UNICEF in partnership with the Government of Mongolia and the Government of Australia. The Integrated Programme is valued at US$5,000,800, with financial contributions in the amount of US$1.7 million from the OT-financed Gobi-Oyu Development Support Fund and US$3.3 million from UN agencies and partners.
The joint UN Programme aims to tackle these critical and emerging health and social issues in Umnugobi aimag such as sexual and reproductive health of women, adolescents and youth, youth empowerment, non-communicable diseases, health sector governance and leadership, and domestic and gender-based violence. The programme will contribute to the achievement of Mongolia’s Sustainable Development Vision 2030 as well as the Government of Umnugobi’s development plans.
During the signing ceremony, Ms Kitahara explained, “Through this Joint Programme, the Government of Umnugobi will position itself as a model aimag working towards the national government’s Sustainable Development Vision 2030 by creating a healthy and safe living environment for citizens, improving public awareness on health education, and much more”. She expressed her special appreciation to the Embassy of Australia, which initiated and facilitated the process of ensuring joint support to the health sector of the Umnugobi province of main stakeholders.
Six key outcomes for the joint programme are:
Increased coverage and improved quality of sexual and reproductive health services for women, adolescents and youth;
Reduced incidence of sexually transmitted infections and cervical cancer;
Increased detection and treatment of non-communicable diseases including cervical cancer and road traffic injuries;
Sub-national level governance strengthened and demand creation and outreach for health services conducted;
Adolescents and youth empowered and participate in youth policy and decision-making platforms; and
Gender based violence/domestic violence prevention and response strengthened.
The UN agencies and the Embassy of Australia will bring in international expertise and employ innovative technology to improve the lives and wellbeing of the citizens of Umnugobi.
Offering congratulatory words, the Australian Ambassador John Langtry said, “We are delighted to be able to take part in this ground-breaking collaboration between multiple UN Agencies, Australian Aid, Australian mining interests in Oyu Tolgoi, NGOs and Mongolian governments at the national, aimag and soum level to comprehensively address vital health needs across a whole province. We hope to be able to make particular contributions on best practice in remote area emergency medicine and sexual health and cervical cancer prevention, based on Australia’s experience in these areas that is very relevant to Umnugobi’s current situation and needs.”
During opening remarks, UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Beate Trankmann, praised the partners for coming together to support and implement the Joint Programme. She also emphasized the need to strive for further cooperation, saying, “We must not forget that enormous challenges still lay in front of us and it is our duty to commit, from this day forward, to collaboration and working as one”.
Sh. Baigalmaa, General Manager, Communities, at Oyu Tolgoi, said, “Today, we’re witnessing another outcome we have been striving for, a joint initiative that brings together numerous stakeholders to tackle some of our most pressing issues. Oyu Tolgoi is thrilled to be launching the Integrated Support Programme for Women and Young People’s Health in Umnugobi.”
“Oyu Tolgoi is pleased that there will be additional focus on the marginalized and vulnerable populations. We support the UN’s call to action to make efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and therefore join the effort to ensure we ‘Leave No One Behind’.”
Highlighting the strength of the partnership, Ms. Kitahara added, “Oyu Tolgoi’s commitment to its corporate social responsibility, through the Gobi-Oyu Development Support Fund, is a model for others to follow. We’re extremely grateful for Oyu Tolgoi’s continued commitment to supporting the development of communities in Mongolia.”
Panel Discussion on Promoting Inclusive Development: Reducing Poverty in Mongolia
5 December 2017
To be effective in reducing poverty, development must actively include and benefit people with disabilities. Disability inclusive development provides opportunities for people with disabilities to participate on an equal basis to others and realise their full potential. In celebration of the International Day of persons with Disabilities Australian Embassy and Mongolian-Australian Society (Mozzies) is organising a panel discussion on Promoting Inclusive Development: Reducing Poverty in Mongolia from 1800 to 2000 hours on Tuesday 5 December, in Best Western Premiere Tuushin Hotel, 5th floor Soyombo Hall. Attendees include Australian alumni, Mongolia- Australia Society (Mozzies), representatives from Disability People’s Organisations, Government, development partners and general public.
“Old Masters: Australia's Great Bark Artists” exhibition in Darkhan-Uul province
14 November 2017
This year marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Mongolia. As part of the anniversary celebration, Australian Embassy in Mongolia together with the National Museum of Australia and Darkhan-Uul province museum are presenting "Old Masters: Australia's Great Bark Artists" exhibition in Darkhan-Uul province between 20 November and 20 December 2017.
In order to promote aboriginal and traditional arts of Australia and Mongolia and to educate school children on two countries’ relations, history, customs and culture, an essay competition is being announced among Darkhan-Uul province high school students. Elementary school children can participate in a clay making competition.
More information on the competition can be found here (in Mongolian).
Old Masters: Australia’s Great Bark Artists features a selection of works from the richest collection of bark paintings in the world.
This collection, cared for by the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, is one of Australia’s great cultural treasures.
This international touring exhibition was presented in Ulaanbaatar for the first time in June 2017. Consequently, the Australian Embassy in Mongolia organises the touring exhibition in Darkhan-Uul (December 2017) and Orkhon provinces (January 2018).
Bark painting, as practised for millennia by Aboriginal artists of Arnhem Land, in Australia’s north, was only recognised late in the 20th century as belonging to the great tradition of world art. The works are literally made of the land, on bark stripped from trees and with ochres ground from the earth.
An article in the London Times in 1948 described Aboriginal painters of Australia’s Arnhem Land as ‘old masters’. Over the past decades these bark painters of Arnhem Land have attracted the attention of the art world and the public at large; and subsequent generations of bark painters continue to build on this artistic heritage, while also taking their art in new directions. The paintings represented in the exhibition reflect the three stylistic regions in Arnhem Land: western Arnhem Land, where figurative images predominate; eastern Arnhem Land, where the emphasis is on geometric and conventionalised imagery; and central Arnhem Land, where artists tend to combine both approaches. Within these three stylistic regions, Old Masters explores some of the major themes of bark painting, from the ancestral realm to expressions of identity and reflections on contemporary life.
Australia shares disability inclusiveness policy and practices with Mongolia
10 November 2017
Ulaanbaatar. The Australian Government is committed to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in developing countries. To this end, DFAT’s disability strategy Development for All 2015-2020 is being implemented through the Australian aid program and diplomatic efforts. Australia supports the participation and leadership of people with disabilities in the aid program, consistent with the central principle of the disability rights movement ‘nothing about us without us.’ This means working towards including people with disability and disabled persons organisations in all development in a genuine manner.
In collaboration with Mongolian Disabled Persons Organisations, representatives from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs Disability Section and technical partners CBM Australia are conducting a Disability Inclusion workshop in Best Western Tuushin hotel, Ulaanbaatar on Friday 10 November. Participants will include recipients of Australia’s Direct Aid Program, a small grants program working with local communities on projects that reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development and organisations hosting Australian Volunteers for International Development. The rights based approach to disability-inclusive development, grounded in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and tools and approaches to achieving more inclusive programs will be explored. We will then hear directly about disability from Mongolian leaders of the disability movement, and have the opportunity to ask questions about disability in Mongolia.
Mongolia launches its first Geological Metadata System
18 August 2017
Ulaanbaatar. The Mineral Resource and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia (MRPAM) launched Mongolia’s first Geological Metadata Catalogue System (MonGeoCat) with financial and technical support from the Australian Government.
MonGeoCat provides easy and transparent public access to metadata on geological information and products stored and managed by the MRPAM. This system was developed by experts from Mongolia with technical support from Geoscience Australia. “Australia was able to attract high quality foreign and domestic investment in geological sector by making our geoscience data available to public. The system expanded opportunities for Australia to effectively leverage its mineral resources for our country’s economic growth. We are pleased that Australia was able to share its best practices with Mongolia” said Mr John Langtry, Australia’s Ambassador to Mongolia.
The Mongolian Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry and MRPAM’s mission is to establish Mongolia’s national geoscience database. “In alignment with our long-term goal, we are happy that the MonGeoCat system was developed with the support of the Australian Government funded Australia-Mongolia Extractives Program. This system is in-line with international good practice and will be available in the 4th quarter of 2017” said Mr Baatartsogt, Chairman of the MRPAM. Since 2015, the Government of Australia has been funding Australia-Mongolia Extractives Program with AUD4 million as a part of Australia Aid program.
Australia’s Consular Strategy 2017-2019
25 July 2017
Canberra. Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Julie Bishop MP, has launched the Australia Government’s Consular Strategy 2017-19, which will guide Australia’s consular priorities for the next three years and ensure our service maintains world’s best practice. Australians abroad and those are traveling to and from Mongolia and residing here are encouraged to take their time and make themselves familiar with the strategy. Go here to find out more about the release and the strategy.
Ambassador Paid a Courtesy Call on President
25 July 2017
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. President Kh.Battulga received Australian Ambassador John Langtry, today, July 25. At the beginning of the meeting, Ambassador Langtry congratulated the President on his election, and handed over a congratulatory letter from Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove.
As 2017 marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and Australia, sides highlighted how bilateral relations have been strengthening in education and mining sectors between the two countries. For instance, over 2000 Mongolians are studying in Australia as of 2017. The sides also exchanged views on ways to enforce bilateral business relations, realize double taxation agreement and flourish bilateral ties furthermore.
Source: MonTsaMe News Agency. Kh.Aminaa
Cricket Coach Arrives from Australia
21 July 2017
Ulaanbaatar. The first training session will be held by Mr Rob Moran, an Australian cricket coach, who arrived in Mongolia this week. The session is scheduled between 11AM and 1PM on Saturday 22 July on the Mongolian Friendship Cricket Ground, National Park of Ulaanbaatar.
Coach Moran is the most recent of many Australian volunteers who have come to Mongolia through Australian Volunteers for International Development program. He has been a passionate cricketer for 45 years and has been coaching for the past 25 years. The Mongolian Amateur Cricket Association (MACA) is the host organisation for Mr Moran, who aims to build capacity of the Association, develop cricket as a school sport in Mongolia as well as to train cricket coaches.
MACA has been playing a key role in developing cricket sport in Mongolia. In 2016, they successfully built the Mongolian Friendship Cricket Ground (the ground is located within a 10-min walk on the west bike track) in the National Park of Ulaanbaatar with support and donations from the Australian, British and Indian Embassies, local and international sponsors. Last month, the Association held its first international cricket match between an all-Mongolian team and Hong Kong ‘Craigengower” team.
Matthew Doyle performed at the Opening Exhibition "Old Masters: Australia's Great Bark Artists"
25 June 2017
Ulaanbaatar. Australian Embassy in Mongolia together with the National Museum of Australia presented "Old Masters: Australia's Great Bark Artists" exhibition for the first time in Mongolia. Australian didgeridoo player Matthew Doyle performed at the exhibition opening held in Blue Moon art gallery. The UB Ensemble dance and music group jointly performed at the event.
Please follow the links on Facebook and YouTube for the exhibition and performance video production and a photo album.
Australia's National Reconciliation Week
27 May - 3 June 2017
This year Reconciliation Week marks two significant milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey. It marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and the 25th anniversary of the Mabo High Court decision.
On the 27 May 1967 more than 90% of Australians voted ‘yes’ in a referendum to reduce inequality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Before 1967, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples did not have the same rights as other Australians under our rule book - the Australian Constitution. State governments made laws for Indigenous people and First Australians were not counted in estimates of our population.
The vote changed the way laws were made for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It shifted power from state governments to the Commonwealth. And for the first time, First Australians were counted equally in official estimates of the Australian population. This meant the Commonwealth Government could make laws that benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
One of the most important outcomes of the Referendum was to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with a symbol of recognition.
Twenty-five years later, on 3 June 1992, the High Court of Australia determined that terra nullius (land that belongs to nobody) does not apply to Australia. This historical event is recognised as the Mabo High Court decision, named after long-time campaigner, Eddie Mabo.
Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo, with fellow plaintiffs, Father Dave Passi, Sam Passi, James Rice and Celuia Mapo Salee, believed the Torres Strait belonged to Torres Strait Islander peoples and challenged the legal principle of terra nullius.
This decision recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have rights to the land – rights that existed before the British arrived and can still exist today.
It also led to the Australian Parliament passing the Native Title Act in 1993.
During this National Reconciliation Week we commemorate the significance of these events in our nation’s history.
For more information about National Reconciliation Week celebrations around Australia, visit Reconciliation Australia.
Australia Day Celebration
3 February 2017
Ulaanbaatar. The Australian Embassy in Ulaanbaatar hosted an Australian National Day reception on Friday, 3 February 2017 to celebrate the birth of Australia and Australia’s partnership with Mongolia. “This year is particularly notable as it is the first occasion for me to hold the Australia Day reception as the first resident Ambassador in Mongolia. This year also marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Mongolia” said Ambassador Langtry.
Forty-five years ago, on 15 September 1972, Australia’s then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam established diplomatic relations with Mongolia. Since 1990 relations considerably strengthened with both countries’ sharing a liberal democracy and free market economy. Australia has been assisting Mongolia through an annual AUD10 million bilateral development program. Since 1993, about 500 Mongolians have studied in Australia under the Australia Awards Scholarship scheme. Australia has rich experience in utilising high quality foreign investment to develop mineral wealth and is sharing its expertise with Mongolia. Australia and Mongolia also partners to foster sustainable economic and social development in Mongolia’s technical education, agriculture, public health and best-practice governance in mining.
“Both of us are facing big challenges in restructuring and reforming our economies. Australia is pleased to see Mongolia rising to the task of restoring investor confidence in close cooperation with the IMF. In these turbulent times, it is all the more important for Australia and Mongolia to remember the liberal democratic ties that bind us, which remain the best foundation for the civil, political and economic freedoms that both our countries aspire to,” added Ambassador Langtry.
Human Rights Day
10 December 2016
Today on 10 December 2016, we commemorate Human Rights Day. It was on this day 68 years ago that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Australia’s commitment to human rights is enduring. We are a founding member of the United Nations and we have been an advocate for its purposes and principles ever since. Our commitment reflects our national values.
This year, Human Rights Day calls for everyone to stand up for someone’s rights today #standupforhumanrights. We must continue our commitment to ensuring that all people are entitled to respect, dignity and protection of their rights.
It is with this commitment that Australia is campaigning for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2018-2020 term. If elected, Australia will be a principled and pragmatic Council member, engaging constructively with Member States, playing a bridge-building role and working to find practical solutions that have lasting effects for the most vulnerable groups.
For more information see our page on Australia’s candidacy for the United Nations Human Rights Council 2018-2020.
Australia and Mongolia signed Development Assistance Memorandum of Understanding
25 November 2016
Ulaanbaatar. On Friday, 25 November, Mr Choijilsuren Battogtokh, MP and the Finance Minister and Mr John Langtry, Australia’s Ambassador to Mongolia signed a Memorandum of Understanding that defines the terms of cooperation between the two Governments in support of Mongolia's development needs.
The first development MOU was signed in 1993, and since then Mongolia has been receiving Australia’s Official Development Assistance to strengthen its democratic institutions and build capacity. “Mongolia has benefitted greatly from Australian aid programs in the past two decades. By renewing the Memorandum of Understanding, Mongolia-Australia’s relations are deepened. Following the opening of the Australian Embassy in Mongolia it is an important milestone for our two countries’ strategic partnership,” said Finance Minister Choijilsuren B.
Along with the MoU, three project arrangements were signed. These will be guiding documents to implement Australia’s scholarship, volunteer and extractives programs in Mongolia. “Australia is committed to support Mongolia. 2017 is the 45th anniversary of Australia-Mongolia diplomatic relations and it is therefore appropriate that we renew our partnership and shared objectives to achieve a more prosperous Mongolia. An important sector targeted is human resource development and the continuation of the Australia Awards scholarship scheme” said Ambassador Langtry.
Between 1993 and 2016, under Australia’s ODA, a number of programs were implemented. Those include a flagship Australia Awards Program, under which 440 Mongolians have studied in Australia, and extractives program, which Australia has been assisting Mongolia improve management of the mining sector. Under the Australian Volunteers for Development program over 300 Australian volunteers have contributed time and expertise to help Mongolian organisations, and Australia has assisted Mongolia to develop its agriculture, and protect its natural environment.
DAP Signing Ceremony was held
17 November 2016
Ulaanbaatar. On Thursday 17 November 2016, Ambassador John Langtry awarded grants to ten organisations selected under the Direct Aid Program (DAP). Each project (see the list below) will contribute towards the development of Mongolia and be implemented in areas including youth development, women empowerment, environment, public health, poverty reduction, agriculture, and improving governance. The organizations will mainstream disability inclusiveness and gender across the grants to ensure the benefits of grants outreach equally to people with disability and men and women.
Since 2003, over 100 Mongolian NGOs and organisations have implemented a total of 114 projects. A total of 120 applications were received for the 2016-2017 DAP grants.
“DAP is a good opportunity for Mongolian organisations particularly civic and non-profits to address social and environmental issues. Demand for this competitive grant is getting higher as the number of organisations applying for has been increasing. I congratulate the organisations who won the grant for 2016-2017 and I am sure that they would do a great job. In the meantime, I thank all the organisations which participated and urge them to apply for the next round of DAP in June 2017,” said Ambassador John Langtry.
Tsenguun Tumurkhuyag, Program Manager for Mongol Ecology Centre said “We are happy to receive the Australian Government funding to implement our Junior Ranger Program. 200 students in 4-7th grades from Hatgal and Khankh secondary school will learn to protect Mongolia’s environment and learn natural history of Hovsgol area, its geological features, biological diversity, hydrologic cycle, forestry, soil composition and climate change impacts.”
DAP is a flexible small grants program funded from Australia’s aid budget. DAP funding is designed to advance developmental outcomes with projects primarily focused on practical and tangible results. This may include projects which support good governance, human rights and those with a strong advocacy component.
DAP Recipients of Mongolia: 2016-2017
15 November 2016
- Establishing a Classroom for Orientation in Surroundings at School #116 for Visually Impaired and Blind Children
Around 8,000 Mongolians are either blind or visually impaired. They are unemployed and poor. School #116 is the only school in Mongolia for the visually impaired and the blind. With DAP funding, School # 116 will establish a special classroom on Orientation and Surroundings with the aim to develop the skills of the students. Direct beneficiaries of the project will be 120 current students as well as their parents and future students.
- Expanding Paper Craft Production Using Waste Newspapers
In 2005, a group of Mongolians with mobility disability got together, to form the Mongolian National Association for Wheelchair Users (MNAWU). Today, the MNAWU serves over 700 members, a half of whom are women. The Women’s Department of the Mongolian National Association for Wheelchair Users wants to ensure equal participation in employment for women with a mobility disability and women whose child with disability. The project will establish a business cooperation overseeing a production and sales structure, and train 50 women to produce and sell souvenirs on a regular basis and increase their family income in a more sustainable way.
- Human Papilloma Virus in Mongolia
One of the most challenging public health issues facing women in Mongolia, irrespective of age, education and wealth, is cervical cancer. At least 300 new cases are diagnosed each year and 85% are at the late stage. Cervical cancer is the 2nd most common malignancy among women in Mongolia. Mongolia implemented a pilot project in 2012 and vaccinated 9,111 girls aged between 11 and 15. However, the program was unsuccessful in the face of anti-vaccination lobby groups.
We seek to share Australia’s experience inventing the vaccine and successfully vaccinating our vulnerable population.
The Cancer Council of Mongolia will conduct a study among 19 to 20 year old women in Selenge and Umnugobi provinces. Their research will evaluate particular types of HPV (16, 18 and 45) among 500 vaccinated and 500 unvaccinated young women. Moreover, other types of HPVs (31, 33, 35, 39, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 58) will be assessed. The findings will be important evidence to inform and design a nationwide vaccination program.
- Enhancing the Capacity of Mongolian Scouts to Support Youth
The Scout Association of Mongolia in collaboration with Scouts Australia will establish a national campground on its recently secured land, which is 85km north of UB. As a result, 6-25 years old Mongolians, volunteers and leaders will be able to benefit from this open-air activities shelter. Asian regional Scout Jamborees will be held in Mongolia in 2017.
- Engage Future Stewards of Conservation by Developing a Junior Ranger Program in Gateway Communities of Lake Hovsgol National Park
In 2014-2015, some 45,000 international and domestic travelers visited Lake Hovsgol, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mongolia. The tourism season is short and lasts for only two months; the majority of locals in Hankh and Hatgal soums try to benefit from the influx of tourists by engaging in a variety of tourism services, ranging from setting up ger camps to working as drivers and tour guides and selling crafts.
The Mongol Ecology Center was established in 2010 with a goal to transfer best practices to preserve environment and natural resources and cultural heritage of Mongolia. They proposed to implement a Junior Ranger Program in Hovsgol province. 200 students in 4-7th grades from Hatgal and Hankh secondary schools will learn to protect Mongolia’s environment and learn about the natural history of the Hovsgol area, its geological features, biological diversity, hydrologic cycle, forestry, soil composition and climate change impacts.
- Partners for Protection Network
According to the National Statistics Office, 764 crimes involving domestic violence were recorded in the first half of 2016, demonstrating an increase of 178 cases or 34% from the previous year. In a sparsely populated country of 3 million, over 90 victims have lost their lives between 2011 and 2015 due to domestic violence. Half of these victims had referrals to justice and public service providers, although protection services were not available. Systematic and technical problems exist in health care, police and judicial sectors. The National Centre against Violence (NCAV) has 22 years of experience and inclusive child protection and social works services have been provided to a total of 19,700 clients, including psychological counselling, legal assistance, advocacy and protection. Under DAP funding, the NCAV aims to enable a timely protection services framework for support of survivors through strengthening capacity building of and fostering supportive partnership and cooperation amongst government, multi-disciplinary officers and specialists who provide services to domestic violence victims.
- Hope for the Future
Mongolia’s rural population of around 1.4 million is closely linked with semi-nomadic livestock herding and limited livelihood opportunities exist outside of this sector (UNDP, 2007). Livestock herding is becoming increasingly tenuous and risky due to a combination of small herd sizes, high overall livestock numbers resulting in overgrazing, loss of seasonal movement patterns, increased numbers of unskilled herders, and increased frequency of severe winters (dzud). Through its activity, Family Agricultural Resources Mongolia (FARM) will work with severely affected dzud area like Arvaikheer soum of Uvurkhangai Province. The activity will be implemented for one year with a goal to provide a sustainable livelihood of vegetable production that improves food security, gardening education and knowledge for 25 vulnerable women headed households in rural Mongolia.
- Providing Rights of Well-being and Playing Basketball with Local Youths
Herlen and Bayan-Adarga soums in Hentii province have high poverty rate and have no sport clubs or designate facilities for youth development. The Trainer of Basketball B (TOBB), a local NGO proposes to build a basketball open court and provide training clothing for 30 children (15 girls and 15 boys) from poor families in basketball. This will help the youth to become self-confident and lead a healthy life-style. Local governments of both soums, Och Manlai LLC and Durvun-Uliral Hentii LLC will also provide in-kind and financial support for the project.
- “Green Way” Waste and Recycling Education Centre
Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ulaanbaatar, the Rotary Club of Khangarid will address municipal waste management issues by offering training on waste management and recycling to teachers at the Mongolian National University of Education and students at the Secondary School #9. Keep South Australia Beautiful (KESAB), South Australia’s not-for-profit organisation that delivers world-class environmental sustainability education program, will provide an engaging and interactive platform to the project beneficiaries. Selected classrooms will be at both schools will be redesigned as “Waste and Recycling Centre/Hub.”
- Improving Public Services through “Check My Service” Mobile Application
Public services are an integral part of our lives. Governments throughout the world have been increasingly paying attention to improving the services for which they are responsible. The goal of “CheckMyService” is to create a mobile application that facilitates direct communication on service issues between citizens and the administration of Ulaanbaatar city. This application encourages citizens to report issues in their neighbourhood, share and discuss problems, and monitor the authorities’ reactions. According to the report of the Information Communications Technology Agency (2014) 45% of UB habitants were online every day and more than half of the UB population used internet at least once a week.
The Democracy Education Centre (DEMO) was established in 2002. In 2012, DEMO launched the Check My Service initiative and assessed the transparency and accountability of 84 public services by service recipients through a Community Score Card tool. Their past work was recognised with an Integrity Award by the Anti-Corruption Agency of Mongolia (2013) as well as selected as one of the best innovations in Asia and Pacific region by the Open Government Partnership in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
Melbourne Cup in Mongolia
1 November 2016
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. On Tuesday, 1 November 2016, Australian Embassy in Ulaanbaatar observes the Melbourne Cup for the first time in Mongolia. Melbourne Cup is Australia’s annual horse racing tournament that is equivalent of Mongolia’s Naadam.
Melbourne Cup is said as an event that stops the nation. It is as exciting and culturally important for Australians as Naadam is for Mongolians. The event is all about fashion, food and entertainment. As horse lovers and famous for its riding skills, many Mongolians have been to the Melbourne Cup.
“During my first meeting with Mr Sergelen Purev, the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Light Industries, we discussed about a number of topics including horse racing and Naadam. It was apparent that there is a need to introduce international standard of horse racing to Mongolia, addressing jockey’s safety, as well as bringing Mongolian horses, trainers and riders into international tournaments such as Melbourne Cup,” said Mr John Langtry, Australian Ambassador to Mongolia. “Organising horse racing at an international standard bolsters economic growth, promotes not only safety of the riders, spectators and the horses, but also tourism industry of the country. While keeping our glorious history and nomadic lifestyle, Mongolia can also successfully adopt international development and apply latest technological advances into the industry,” said Minister Sergelen Purev.
About Melbourne Cup
The Victoria Race Club has been organising what is known today “Melbourne Cup” since as early as 1840s. More than 100 thousand spectators arrive at the venue and over 3 million people watch the tournament on television. AUD6.2 million are offered to the top 10 horses, the winner receiving a trophy and $3.2 million and the tenth horse gets $125,000 and a trophy. Find out more at: https://www.flemington.com.au/
More Australian students to study in Mongolia
26 September 2016
Canberra. Thirty five Australian undergraduate students will study and undertake work placements in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in 2017 through the Australian Government’s flagship New Colombo Plan education program.
“Students from the University of Newcastle, the University of New England, the Australian National University and Edith Cowan University will study a broad range of subjects including health, society and culture” John Langtry, Australian Ambassador to Mongolia said.
“New Colombo Plan mobility students will return to Australia with new insights and understanding about Mongolia and new friendships that will last a lifetime,” the ambassador added.
New Colombo Plan 2017 mobility projects in Mongolia include:
- The Big Idea in Mongolia
- Modern Mongolia: Challenges to the Environment, Economy and Empire and
- Mongolia Study Tour for Community and Cultural Development
“These are exciting projects that demonstrate the many opportunities for Australian students to deepen their academic and life experiences through study and work placements in Mongolia,” Ambassador John Langtry said.
The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific by supporting Australian undergraduate students to study and undertake internships in the region.
For more information on the New Colombo Plan, visit www.dfat.gov.au/new-colombo-plan or follow @NewColomboPlan.
Meet the Mongolians of the Australia Global alumni Network
16 September 2016
Ulaanbaatar. Over one hundred Mongolians representing the Parliament of Mongolia, government agencies, public and private sector gather on 16 September 2016. What unifies them is that they are Australians by Education.
Since 1993, over 400 Mongolians studied in Australia under the Australia Awards Scholarship. Currently, a thousand more Mongolians study in Australia by funding their own education. After the U.S.A, Australia is the second largest English-speaking destination for Mongolian students. On the occasion of the fifth Australia Future Unlimited Education Exhibition (AFUEE), which takes place in Shangri La hotel on 17 September 2016, the Australian Embassy in Mongolia opens up the opportunity to join the “Australia Global Alumni” network not only for Mongolians who studied in Australia with Australian government scholarship but also for Mongolians who privately funded their studies.
“The first and foremost benefit joining is the global networking and continuous learning,” said MP Enkhbold Nyamaa, President of Mozzies, the Mongolian Association of Australian Alumni. Zoljargal Nyamjav, an AAS graduate said “Through this network, I can connect with former classmates who studied resource economics with me in the Australian National University and find out what they are doing in Chile or Nigeria.”
Education is Australia’s second largest export after mining, contributing AUD18 billion to the country’s GDP per year. In the past 60 years, 2.5 million international students have studied in Australia.
The Australia Global Alumni Network booth will be open at the fifth AFUEE. Those who are interested in studying in Australia will have access to the expanding community of global Australian alumni including Mongolians upon their return.
Those who are interested in joining the Australia Global Alumni Network should register at https://globalalumni.gov.au/ or join “Australia Global Alumni” at LinkedIn.
Ambassador hosted a reception for Australian and Mongolian doctors
15 August 2016
Ulaanbaatar. On Monday 15 August 2016, Ambassador John Langtry hosted a reception for an Australian specialist medical team from Interplast and their Mongolian counterparts including the directors and doctors of the Mongolian Society of Anaesthetists and Burns Department, National Trauma and Orthopaedic Research Centre.
Guests included the Mongolian Health Minister, Mrs Tsogtsetseg Ayush, the Executive Director of the National Cancer Council, Mrs Tsetsegsaikhan Batmunkh, the Regional Director of Communicable Diseases, Western Pacific Region, WHO, Mr Marc Jacobs, British Ambassador Catherine Arnold and Canadian Ambassador Ed Jager.
Health Minister A.Tsogtsetseg highlighted the importance of sharing knowledge and training Mongolian doctors in burns management and plastic and reconstructive surgery. She thanked the Australian doctors for their dedication and hard work. Ambassador John Langtry said “Australia and Mongolia can learn from each other not only in delivering emergency and trauma medical services but also reaching out to patients with burns and offering health services in remote areas.”
Alongside the Australian team, Mongolian doctors at the National Trauma and Orthopaedic Research Hospital and Khuvsgul United Hospital will perform surgery on Mongolians who suffer from burns and learn the latest methods in plastic and reconstructive surgery, anaesthetics and burns treatment.
The Interplast team of doctors will visit the Khuvsgul United Hospital in Murun from Wednesday 17 to Saturday 20 August 2016 and the Burns Department of the National Trauma and Orthopaedic Outreach Centre in Ulaanbaatar from Monday 22 to Thursday 25 August 2016.
In addition to the support provided by Interplast, the Australian Embassy currently supports the National Cancer Council in their efforts to fight cancer, in particular in their efforts to study the impact of HPV vaccinations in Mongolia, the Mongolian National Centre for Communicable Diseases in their efforts to diagnose and treat STIs and HIV/AIDS, the LGBT Centre to develop a health strategy focussed on the particular needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and intersexed community, the Mongolian National Rehabilitation Centre to assist primary care givers for people with a disability, the Universal Progress/Independent Living Centre, to empower people with disabilities and improve their standard of living and the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind to improve services for the vision impaired.
Australian Ambassador handed over his credentials to the President of Mongolia
22 December 2015
Ulaanbaatar. Australia's first resident Ambassador to Mongolia, Mr John Langtry presented credentials to His Excellency Mr Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia on 22 December 2015. The Ambassador's Introductory remarks are as follows:
It is a great honour to be appointed as Australia’s first resident Ambassador to Mongolia. I look forward to building upon the strong relationship between Mongolia and Australia. We share democratic values. We both want our economies to prosper. We both value education highly. We both have shared interests in a rules-based regional order.
I look forward to working with, the over 50, Australian organisations and business already partnering with Mongolian business and welcoming the participation of many more. I am pleased that over 400 Mongolian scholarship students have graduated from Australian universities and have brought their skills and experiences (and a love for new sports and culture) back home. I look forward to meeting many of these graduates and hearing about their experiences in Australia.
2016 will be a busy year for our Embassy team. We will open a new permanent chancery later in the year. We will do everything we can to support the ASEM meeting of world leaders to Ulaanbaatar. We will continue to work hard on investment relations.
I thank the Government of Mongolia for all its work in assisting us to establish the Australian Embassy here before the end of 2015. I look forward to developing close relations with the Government, to getting to know Australia’s many friends in Mongolia, and to learning more about the history and culture of this wonderful country.
Australia's Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Mongolia