Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl Galt’s Speech at the National University of Mongolia on U.S.-Mongolia Relations

AMBASSADOR GALT: Good afternoon everybody, it is really great to be here. I thank the Dean and colleagues for a very warm welcome to the National University of Mongolia on a beautiful spring day.

This is my first time to the National University of Mongolia, and so I thought would take a minute this afternoon, thanks to your invitation, to talk just very very briefly about U.S.-Mongolia relations, and a little bit about my goals as Ambassador.

But I am going to talk very briefly, because I want to leave most of the time for your questions. Want to leave the most of the time to hear from you and find out what you are interested in talking about.

So as you know Mongolia recently marked the 25th anniversary of its decision for democracy, and the United States was proud to join in the celebration of this momentous event.

As the only former communist country in Asia to have fully embraced democracy, Mongolia stands as an example to the region. Since the decision for democracy, Mongolia has played an important role in supporting and upholding our shared values of peace and security across the region through its global peacekeeping efforts and mentorship of other emerging democracies, such as Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Burma.

Mongolia has proven a capable exporter of both security and democracy, and the United States respects and values these efforts, and is privileged to partner with Mongolia.

It is in a long-term interest to the United States to commit to continue support Mongolia’s positive engagement in the region and beyond.

Our two countries are committed to a stable, peaceful system of international rules that protects the rights of the all countries, big and small.

Our partnership with Mongolia is stronger than ever. Our relationship is one of shared interests, shared values, including the promotion of democratic principles and it is characterized by enormous potential.

Our partnership encompasses political security and economic aspects, and there remain many opportunities for the United States and Mongolia to deepen our already strong cooperation.

So, as I said today, I would like to share with you a few of my goals for my tenure as United States Ambassador to Mongolia. Three of the most important are: Developing the next generation of democratic leaders, some of whom I suspect are in this room, strengthening people-to-people ties, and reinvigorating the U.S.-Mongolia economic relationship.

So, one of my top priorities is to encourage and foster the up an coming generation of young leaders who will soon take the reigns in promoting Mongolia’s democratic and economic development.

So, I recently initiated a new program to reach out to the next generation of young leaders to open a forum for an honest discourse; to listen to what young people are concerned about; to learn what your goals are; and understand what motivates you. It is one of the reasons I am excited to be here this afternoon, to learn from you.

And I hope that this new initiative will instill in the next generation of leaders a sustained commitment to a free democratic future for Mongolia.

I appreciate that in Mongolia it is possible to hold free and open conversations that are inclusive of stakeholders from all areas of society.

Strengthening and deepening people-to-people ties between Mongolia and United States with particular focus on up and coming generation of young leaders is another of my priorities.

This strengthening of ties, of course, involves outreach to and meaningful engagement with Mongolians, with all of Mongolia’s people, peoples and across all of this vast country.

It involves continued engagement with Mongolia’s increasingly active civil society, and the opening of dialogue with communities across the country.

This outreach and engagement is not limited to a few select people or groups, but includes all communities: urban, rural, male, female, old, young, able-bodied, and disabled — all of these groups have a role to play in Mongolia’s democratic processes and future prosperity.

I hope that this engagement will translate into more Mongolians studying in the United States, more travel and professional exchange opportunities, and more interaction between experts from our two countries.

I just met with your Dean, and he expressed great interest in continued exchanges with the United States. And that is certainly something that I will support.

We each gain from each other’s experiences.

I am also focused on bolstering economic growth in Mongolia by encouraging an increase in trade and investment as well as supporting the local entrepreneurial spirit.

I wish, first and foremost, to promote a more diversified economy in Mongolia and to generate increased commercial opportunities for U.S. companies, who can offer valuable knowhow expertise and technology.

There remains plenty of room to grow in our economic and commercial partnership. A key challenge to overcome is regaining the trust of foreign investors by demonstrating that Mongolia has a stable and predictable business environment.

I strongly support good governance, transparency, and responsible business conduct, because together we must create favorable conditions for mutually beneficial partnerships and investments that will lead to economic growth and poverty reduction across Mongolia.

I hope during my time as Ambassador to build on and further strengthen our already robust cooperation in areas of mutual interest, particularly in the three areas that I have just outlined.

So, with that I am going to stop talking.

Thank you again for your kind invitation and warm welcome.

And I would very much like to hear from you.

Would very much like to take any questions you would like to ask and hear what you are interested in talking about.

Thank you very much.