Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – A delegation from IRI, led by former Congressman David Dreier and Ambassador Mark Green, president of IRI, will join Mongolians as their country celebrates 25 years of democracy.

On December 10, 1989, a group of 300 young Mongolians came together and announced the birth of the Mongolian Democratic Union (MDU), the first political force to challenge the Communist single-party system in the country.  The protest grew quickly and by March 1990 the Politburo had resigned setting the stage for the country’s first democratic elections in July.

To celebrate these historic events, Dreier and Green, along with Brad Smith, director of the Annenberg-Dreier Commission; Thomas Garrett, IRI’s vice president for programs; and Derek Luyten, director of IRI’s Asia programs, will attend the official celebrations hosted by the government of Mongolia, including the gala dinner hosted by President Ts.Elbegdorj.

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the House Democracy Partnership, which Dreier helped establish while in Congress, and Mongolia’s participation in the exchange program.  While in Mongolia, Dreier and Green will host Speaker Z.Enkhbold for a ceremony recognizing the anniversary and the work that has been accomplished to strengthen the State Great Hural. 

IRI and the Zorig Foundation will co-host a book launch for How Democracy Was Born in Mongolia, a work by S.Amarsanaa, Ts.Maidar and D.Khaliun, and co-published by the organizations.  The book features more than 70 photos of the early years of the democratic revolution from the years 1989 through 1992, many of them rarely seen in print. 

Dreier and Green will also join Mayor E. Bat-Uul, of Ulaanbaatar, and other city officials to announce the creation of the Transparent Ulaanbaatar Academy a municipal civil servant and citizen training academy on ethics and anti-corruption.  Since 2013, IRI has worked with the mayor to identify ways in which the municipality can increase transparency and accountability.  Last year, IRI and the mayor’s office co-sponsored the Transparent Ulaanbaatar Anti-Corruption Forum and IRI released its Vulnerabilities to Corruption Assessment Report, which details technical findings from a corruption assessment in Ulaanbaatar in June 2014. 

Throughout the past 25 years, the democratic revolution has transformed Mongolia from a closed society ruled by a repressive single-party Communist system into a free and open society that functions as a dynamic multi-party democracy.  Mongolia and its citizens have opened up to the international community, gaining access to travel freely around the world, opening their markets to foreign investment and expanding independent foreign policy and multilateral cooperation.

IRI is proud to have played a role in helping the Mongolian people achieve their goal of a more democratic, open and transparent country.

You can learn more about these historic events and IRI’s work in Mongolia through this interactive timeline.


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