The office of the President of Mongolia, Public Relations & Communications Division


President Elbegdorj Receives A Letter from Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

President Elbegdorj received a letter from Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General. Mr. Ban Ki-moon wrote: “Dear Excellency Mr. President, I was very interested to learn that you will be hosting a Cabinet meeting of the Mongolian Government in the sands of the Gobi Desert, one of the most expansive, arid regions on the Asian continent. I commend you for this innovative initiative to focus increased attention on the rapid desertification and degradation of land in your country and, more broadly, on the accelerating global impacts of climate change.

As you know, I was honoured to be a guest in your beautiful country in July 2009. In Hustai National Park, I saw first-hand the impacts of climate change and desertification on pastorialist families.

My visit to Mongolia left a deep impression and underscored for me the importance of efforts to reduce the threat of climate change and protect resources of the earth, including of course arable land. I hope that your Cabinet meeting in the Gobi Desert will do much the same for its participants.

This month, the United Nations launched the Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification, which will run until December 2020. Desertification is an issue of vital concern for the more than 1 billion people in some 100 countries whose livelihoods are threatened by its effects. Continued land degradation – whether from climate change, unsustainable agriculture or poor management of water resources – is a threat to food security and, on a broader scale, to global security.

Climate change is accelerating the pace of desertification. By addressing climate change, we can help slow or reverse desertification, increase agricultural productivity and alleviate poverty. Both national and regional efforts will be essential in this regard. I warmly welcome your efforts to draw attention to these issues within your own Cabinet, in the region as well as globally.

As we begin the Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification, I will continue to urge all Governments to intensify their efforts to nurture the land and protect the climate and ecosystems of our planet. I assure you that the United Nations will also continue to do all it can to help Mongolia and other vulnerable countries adapt to increasing droughts, desertification and weather extremes.

I wish you all the best for your Cabinet meeting in the Gobi and all future efforts to address these challenges.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.”