Mongolia and the European Union (EU) held their annual Joint Committee meeting on 17 June 2022 under the Mongolia-EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. It was the first physical meeting of the Committee since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was an opportunity for Mongolia and the EU to reaffirm their partnership based on shared values such as democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the respect of the principles of the UN Charter.
Grave concerns were expressed over the current developments in Ukraine. It was reiterated that conflicts have to be resolved by peaceful means and with respect for the United Nations Charter and international law, including the principles of sovereignty and respect for the independence and territorial integrity of states, and without the threat or use of force. It is imperative to immediately cease hostilities to avoid further civilian casualties, and to allow safe and unhindered access to humanitarian assistance for those in need. The EU reiterated its position clearly expressed in the UNGA resolutions of 2 March, 24 March and 7 April.
The EU remains fully committed to assist Mongolia in sustainably diversifying its economic and foreign trade structures, as well as to cooperate on improving the Mongolian business environment and maximise the efficiency of Mongolian trade policy tools. Mongolia and the EU agreed launching negotiations for an agreement on the protection of geographical indications. Mongolia and the EU agreed to strengthen their cooperation within the EU’s Global Gateway Strategy and see how best to create synergies with Mongolia’s mid-term and long-term development agenda.
They updated each other on latest developments concerning COVID-19 and discussed international efforts to make the global health architecture more resilient. Mongolia and the EU agreed that the pandemic has had a profound impact on citizens’ lives and livelihoods, health services, and the economy. They stressed the importance of continuing joint efforts to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, while also moving from an emergency to a more sustainable mode.
Mongolia and the EU agreed on the need to combat climate change and protect the environment, highlighting the importance of the UN Conference on Biodiversity (COP 15), and the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP 27) in Sharm El Sheik, as well as their joint support for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement. The EU congratulated Mongolia on being among the five priority countries with whom the EU is currently setting up a Forest Partnership. Mongolia and the EU share a common interest in promoting green sustainable development in Mongolia, which is a key objective under the new Multiannual Indicative Programme 2021-2027.
Mongolia and the EU will continue working together to protect and promote human rights.
Mongolia and the EU agreed to further promote people-to-people initiatives. In this regard, Mongolia and the EU acknowledged the possibilities that the Erasmus Plus programme and the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie actions both offer to Mongolian candidates.
The Mongolia-EU Joint Committee was preceded by the annual Human Rights Dialogue (16 June 2022), which discussed cooperation with UN Human Rights bodies, the ratification of the main International Human Rights Conventions and fundamental ILO conventions, the Universal Period Reviews, Mongolia’s draft legislations, including on NGOs as well as the role of Business in Human Rights.
Before that, Mongolia and the EU had held an informal Working Group meeting on Development Cooperation (2 March 2022), where they discussed development and investment priorities, as well as the Multiannual Indicative Programme for 2021-2027.
The Subcommittee on trade and investment was held on 10 March 2022. Mongolia and the EU informed each other on the socio-economic developments and identified potential areas of cooperation, the start of negotiations of an agreement on the protection of geographical indications, as well as opportunities in the field of renewable energy and geology.
Mongolia and the EU agreed to hold their next Joint Committee meeting in 2023 in Brussels.
Both sides look forward to the next Mongolia – EU Political Dialogue.
The Joint Committee was chaired by Mr. Ankhbayar Nyamdorj, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and EU delegation was led by Ms Paola Pampaloni, Deputy Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific at the European External Action Service (EEAS)