ULAANBAATAR CIVIC FORUM (UBCF) 29-30 Nov. 2014

November 29-30, 2014 – ADN recently supported the launching of the Ulaanbaatar Civic Forum (UBCF) held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia organized by the Center for Citizens’ Alliance (CCA) and the Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD). This forum attended by approximately 40 international activists and experts from various fields to discuss “Promoting Civic Participation in Accountable Governance and Sustainable Development in Northeast Asia.

Indicated specifically in the declaration issued below, the discussions bore fruit in furthering solidarity and cooperation to promote democracy and human rights in the region and beyond.

ULAANBAATAR CIVIC FORUM (UBCF) 

Promoting Civic Participation in Accountable Governance

and Sustainable Development in Northeast Asia

       Ulaanbaatar, 29-30 Nov. 2014 

Ulaanbaatar Declaration

 

  1. We over 40 participants mainly from civil society organizations in China, South Korea, Japan, the Netherlands as well as Mongolia, of the first Ulaanbaatar Civic Forum (hereafter UBCF) held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on 29 and 30 November 2014 under the theme of “Promoting Civic Participation in Accountable Governance and Sustainable Development in Northeast Asia,
  1. Being aware of major findings and lessons learnt from the sessions on the current draft of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Post-2015 development agenda from the perspectives of civil society, peace, labor, human rights, transparency and accountability, and gender,
  1. Being aware also of major findings and lessons learnt from the special session on the current situation of human rights and sustainable development in North Korea through the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry (CoI),
  1. Expressing our appreciation to the Center for Citizen’s Alliance (CCA) and Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) for their successful organization of the 1st UBCF in cooperation with the Asia Democracy Network (ADN),
  1. Expressing our appreciation to the Government of Mongolia, Community of Democracies (CD) and Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) for their support and contribution including financial assistance,
  1. Recognizing the contributions of the Government of Mongolia in promoting democracy, transparency and human rights especially through the Community of Democracies (CD) and Open Government Partnership (OGP),
  1. Recognizing also the role of the Government of Mongolia as a mediator for peace and conflict prevention as well as an advocate for democracy and human rights in Northeast Asia and beyond,
  1. Recognizing the Ulaanbaatar Civic Forum (UBCF) as a space and opportunity to address key international issues related to peace and security, anti-corruption and transparency, accountable governance and sustainable development in Northeast Asia and beyond,
  1. Recognizing the Ulaanbaatar Civic Forum (UBCF) as a strategic venue for inter-regional networking and cooperation among civil society organizations between East Asia and Central Asia,
  1. Recognizing the Post-2015 Development Agenda as an opportunity to recognize and strengthen the intrinsic linkage amongpeace, sustainable development, democracy, gender and human rights,
  1. Recognizing also the Post-2015 Development Agenda as an opportunity to mainstream human rights and gender as well as to integrate the human rights-based approach and conflict-sensitive approach to development,
  1. Recognizing the urgent need to pursue a truly transformative and inclusive development model in order to tackle effectively the persisting poverty, rising inequality and mismanagement of public assets in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda,
  1. Welcoming the inclusion of reducing inequality within and among countries as a stand-alone goal in the current SDGs,
  1. Welcoming the inclusion of women’s empowerment and gender equality as a stand-alone goal in the current SDGs and emphasizing the need to integrate women’s human rights articulated in the Beijing Platform of Action (BPoA) in 1995 and recommendations of UN human rights mechanisms including the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women and Conflict into the SDGs targets and indicators,
  1. Emphasizing the urgent need to recognize and implement the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders of 1998, indefending and enabling civil society, civic space and promoting an enabling environment as a necessary condition and prerequisite for the SDGs,
  1. Emphasizing the importance of participation of youth and women as main actors of sustainable development as well as democracy and human rights in the SDGs process,
  1. Recognizing the importance of localizing the SDGs and role of local governments in the SDGs process in terms of empowering local communities and civil society as well as the labor unions,
  1. Recognizing the importance of the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation as the normative guidelines for Official Development Assistance (ODA) andan importantmeans of implementingof the SDGs as part of financing for sustainable development.
  1. Emphasizing the importance of effective monitoring and accountability mechanismsin the SDGs framework, in particular, data gathering and monitoring through citizen participation as promoted by several international CSOs such as CIVICUS,
  1. Emphasizing further the need to ensure concrete reporting and review mechanisms regarding the implementation of SDGs such as the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR),
  1. Emphasizing the need to strengthen the safeguard or grievance procedures as part of accountability mechanisms of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and regional development banks and bilateral development agencies such as the World Bank, the AsianDevelopment Bank (ADB), Japan International Development Agency (JICA), Korea International Development Agency (KoICA) and the External Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of South Korea,
  1. Emphasizing the importance of corporate justice in addressing the role of the private sector and businesses in the SDG process and the need to use international standards and mechanisms such as the UN Global Compact,  the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Frameworkto Protect, Respect and Remedy,
  1. Taking note of the findings and recommendations of the UN Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on human rights in North Korea,
  1. Expressing our solidarity with the ongoing pro-democracy movements in the region, especially those in crisis,
  1. Expressing our concerns of serious human and labor rights violations, lack of transparency and accountability in extractive industries, and environmental degradation related to rapid urbanization and unsustainable mining in Mongolia;

 

Recommendations for action are hereby proposed to:

Community of Democracies (CD)

①    Urge the member states of the Community of Democracies (CD) and its secretariat in cooperation with like-minded governments, to double their efforts to protect civic space and providing enabling environment for CSOs and development effectiveness,

②    Urge the member states of the Community of Democracies (CD) to maintain and strengthen democracy and human rights concerns in the SDGs negotiations and implementation process,

③    Urge the member states of the Community of Democracies (CD) that provide international development cooperation (“donors”)to allocate more Official Development Assistance (ODA) in areas of democracy promotion in partner countries (“recipients”),

Governments of Mongolia and Asian Countries

④    Request the government of Mongolia to organize an Asia Pacific regional preparatory meeting (April 2015, Mongolia) for the 9th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies (22-24 July 2015, El Salvador) as a multi-stake holders process and event in partnership with civil society and other stake-holders,

⑤    Request Asian governments to recognize the role of CSOs asindependent actors for advocacy to promote public interest as well as delivering services to people in need as complementary to those of the government,

⑥    Request Asian governments to join, if they have not done so, multi-stakeholder initiatives such as Open Government Partnership (OGP), Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC), Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and implement them in partnership with CSOs,

Ulaanbaatar Civic Forum (UBCF)

⑦    Propose CSOs in Mongolia, in particular, CCA and CHRD to continue to organize the UBCF in 2015 or 2016 to address the implementation of SDGs as well as democracy promotion as an international multi-stakeholder forum in partnership with international civil society networks such as the Asia Democracy Network (ADN), Asia Development Alliance (ADA), CIVICUS, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflicts (GPPAC),

⑧    Request the UBCF to promote solidarity and cooperation among CSOs from East Asia and Central Asia,

⑨    Request the UBCF to continue to address human rights of North Korea from a comprehensive perspective taking into account universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights, democracy, development, gender and peace,

⑩    Request the UBCF to include the following issues,if and when applicable, in the future agenda of the UBCF:

i)         transparency and accountability,

ii)       civil society space or an enabling environment for CSO,

iii)     CSO accountability and organizational capacity-building,

iv)     youth and women’s leadership,

v)       human rights-based approach (HRBA), and

vi)     privatization and liberalization.

Contact Persons

UBCF_1 UBCF_2 UBCF_3

UBCF Declaration PDF

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