IRI hosted Erdeniin Bat-Üül, mayor of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, for a discussion on how governance has changed over time in Mongolia, what lessons can be learned for the region and what the next steps are for strengthening democratic governance in Mongolia. The event was the seventh installment of IRI’s Democratic Governance Speaker Series, a public forum that brings together policymakers, practitioners and stakeholders to discuss and share experience in addressing contemporary challenges to governance.
The discussion, moderated by Alphonse La Porta, president of the Malaysia-America Foundation and former U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia, focused on Mongolia’s achievements in democratic governance.
Mayor Bat-Üül discussed the reforms he has pursued in Ulaanbaatar, such as efforts to reduce corruption, increase public participation in decision-making and reduce bureaucracy. He stressed that democratic governance is about more than providing services; it’s about hearing and understanding people’s aspirations.
Steve Saunders, president of the North America-Mongolia Business Council, spoke about Mongolians’ continued interest in global best practices and the benefits of additional capacity training for public officials in order to further improve governance. He praised Mongolia’s willingness to admit mistakes and learn from them.
Alicia Campi, president of the Mongolia Society and visiting fellow at the Edwin O. Reischauer Center at the School of Advanced International Studies, highlighted the accomplishments Mongolia has made since its transition to democracy, in particular noting Mongolia’s decision to establish both a free market economy and a democratic system of government simultaneously was very unusual for a post-Soviet state.
Around the world, IRI conducts democratic governance programs, working alongside political and government actors, citizens and civil society, to bring government closer to citizens, transforming government into a responsive, transparent and effective institution. IRI has worked in Mongolia for more than 20 years, conducting programs to support the development of democratic political parties, promote democratic governance and strengthen civil society.