STATEMENT BY H.E.
MR. SANJBEGZ TUMUR-OCHIR,
SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF MONGOLIA,
AT THE WORLD SUMMIT ON INFORMATION SOCIETY
(Geneva, 12 December
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, virtually every country has
already designated the knowledge-based economic and social development as the
priority goal for progress. In many countries ICT is increasingly becoming
means of fundamental importance to provide government and business services to
its citizens. Hence, Mongolia believes that the main purpose of the World
Summit on Information Society lays not only in giving added impetus to
governments' efforts that have already gained an increasing momentum, but also
in drawing the attention of the international community to the widening digital
divide among regions and countries, supporting developing countries,
particularly their civil society and private sector. in using ICTs as an engine
of growth and development.
These new means of communication
and information are not confined to traditional boundaries. Therefore, the
major outcome of the Summit is that it facilitates the creation of a new
collective agreement that encompasses all stakeholders and directs their
comparative advantages towards the achievement of the goals set at the UN
Millennium Summit and in Johannesburg and Monterrey.
I wish to touch upon some core
issues embodied in the final documents this Summit adopts today. We believe
that it is of particular importance that this Summit once again upholds the
right of every individual to the freedom of opinion and expression and confirms
that this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to
seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless
In order to successfully create
the Information Society, special needs of the poor, particularly those living
in remote areas of the world, minorities and nomadic people should be taken
into account. We strongly support the position that ICTs are a powerful tool
that can be used to further development efforts, especially the goals to reduce
extreme poverty, provide basic education, improve healthcare, decrease gender
inequality and increase global partnership and cooperation.
The enormous potential that ICTs
create presents the most productive means of development for Landlocked
Developing Countries, Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States
and countries with economies in transition. However, affordable and widely
available access to ICT infrastructure and services remains a challenge facing
developing countries in building the Information Society. Therefore, capital
and human capacity building, as well as sources of financing for the provision
of assistance need to be addressed in a very constructive manner.
Mongolia has been establishing
the fundamentals of the Information Society for a quite some time. The national
development strategy envisages ICT as a priority goal and a leading factor for
the social and economic progress of the country. Within this framework,
measures are taken to improve the legal environment, increase the usage of ICT
in all sectors of the society and enhance human resources and institutional and
professional capacity in this area.
Laws on Communication and Postal
Services were adopted, respectively, in 2001 and 2003. A package of Information
Technology Laws is currently in drafting and will be soon tabled to the
Parliament. The Communications Regulatory Commission and the Universal Service
Fund for Rural ICT Projects were established to help liberalize the ICT sector
and ensure fair competition and local investment.
The National ICT Committee headed
by the Prime Minister leads the national ICT development process with the
active participation of both private sector and civil society. Mongolia adopted
in 2002 its "Medium Term Strategy for the Development of ICT". The
central communication network has been converted to digital technology through
foreign investment and ODA funding. Important projects on ICT Park and Training
Center were implemented successfully.
In developing ICT, Mongolia with
a sparsely populated large territory is encountering numerous difficulties,
quite specific in their nature. Providing the public, particularly youth and
children, with the computer knowledge, giving them skills to use ICT
productively in their daily lives is a paramount task. Establishment of
training facilities with required hardware and technology at the school level
for enhancing knowledge and capacity to use ICT equipment, to exchange
information and to apply modern systems and software continue to be a
The short term objective that we
pursue in Mongolia in the area of ICT is to expand broadband penetration both
in urban and rural areas based on the currently existing communication
infrastructure, to fully utilize the broadband network in order to increase
information usage and, subsequently, to reduce the digital gap between rural
and urban areas. We also seek to enhance the legal and technological
environment and capacity building in order to fully introduce electronic
delivery of the public services.
The Declaration of Principles and
the Plan of Action that we are going to adopt today highlight the ICT literacy
as a key principle for building global, inclusive Information Society.
Therefore, Mongolia puts forward a proposal from this solemn podium that the
United Nations General Assembly declare 2005-2014 as the UN Decade for
Universal ICT Literacy. As we all know, the achievement of such literacy would
benefit all stakeholders: governments, business community and civil society.
In this human-centered century
new extraordinary technological achievements are being introduced into the
educational sector such as distance learning, education based on Internet. It
is becoming a necessity to provide the population at large with computer
knowledge. Thus. our proposal aims at creating a globa1 information society
that will be successful only il universal ICT literacy is achieved.
Mongolia is ready to consult and
cooperate with the United Nations, UNESCO and other institutions and member
countries to materialize this initiative.
Allow me at the conclusion to
pledge once again that Mongolia will work together with all member countries
and other stakeholders to achieve the objectives set at this Summit.
Thank you for your attention.