Farewell Speech UNDP Resident Representative & UN Resident Coordinator a.i., Beate Trankmann
Outgoing Resident Coordinator a.i. bids farewell to the UN team and the people of Mongolia as she ends her term
HE Foreign Minister Tsogtbataar,
Honorary Members of Parliament
Representatives of Government
Esteemed guests, colleagues and friends,
Welcome to UN House and thank you all for joining us for tonight’s reception.
It is hard to express just how memorable the last four years in Mongolia have been to me, and how much I have enjoyed living and working in this beautiful country. So much so, that I believe Mongolia is one of the world’s best-kept secrets – with its wild nature and nomadic life, matched by its cosmopolitan capital, classical arts and culture. I had no idea how much this country has to offer before arriving here and I think with your permission one of my roles in the future is to be your self-nominated goodwill ambassador abroad….
Mongolia has also been one of the most professionally gratifying experiences of my career. Largely thanks to the trusted partnerships and open, constructive dialogue we have shared.
The UN has, truly, outstanding and privileged relationships in Mongolia. And those partnerships make it possible for us to support you in your journey towards inclusive, sustainable development for all.
I’m proud of what we have achieved together, in the last four years, and in particular, of the foundations we have laid for the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 – the global promise to end poverty, protect the planet and leave no one behind.
Together, with UN agencies, ADB and the Ministry of Finance, we introduced changes to the Government’s budgeting process, to link decisions over how precious public funds are allocated to their impact on the SDGs. This has led to greater primary health care funds in 2019, enhancing coverage for all citizens, especially those most vulnerable. And this approach is being expanded in the 2020 budget process, to the environment sector – so more investments go into protecting Mongolia’s natural resources. Thanks to Canadian funding, UNDP is also supporting Mongolia’s civil service reform. To build a 21st-century professional public service, based on merit that can deliver quality public services – from education, to water management – to all of Mongolia’s people. There are many more examples I could cite, including our work with the National Development Agency to better align sector plans with the SDGs but time is short, so I will leave it at this.
True change is always a work in progress. And so I am leaving with a heavy heart for all the things I could not complete in my time here. But while people come and go – our partnerships, and promises, endure.
As such, I am pleased to introduce my successor as United Nations Resident Coordinator, Tapan Mishra, who served as RC in the DPRK, as well as Razina Bilgrami, who has had a long career with UNDP in Asia Pacific and will temporarily take over for the next 6 weeks as UNDP Resident Representative ad interim until my UNDP successor arrives.
On behalf of the UN, I thank the Mongolian Government for your high degree of trust that has helped us build an outstanding partnership. I also thank the government for kindly awarding me the Mongolian Friendship medal. In addition, I thank our development partners for your collaboration and generous funding support to the UN. Further, I thank the private sector, for beginning to move beyond ‘business as usual’ with us. I also thank Mongolia’s thriving civil society and vast, free press, for helping us bring light to key social challenges. Additionally, I thank my teams in the UN office and in UNDP, without whom none of this work would be possible. Finally, I thank Mongolia’s people, whose incredible hospitality has made my time here so memorable.
In leaving, my fervent hope is that you keep going. Because continuity is critical. Despite progress, much still remains to be done to reach the SDGs – and we only have ten years left. Ten years, to prevent the worst effects of climate change – to which Mongolia is especially vulnerable. And, as I found in my time here, the years fly by, much faster than you think. Our time is finite. But if we use it wisely, then life on earth may be infinite. And so tomorrow’s greatest possible reward, is worth every effort today. The future of Mongolia rests with all of you. Thank you for giving me the honour and ability to work towards it with you.
To Mongolia, and its future. Thank you.