The Asia Foundation Marks 30 Years in Mongolia
November 15, 2023 — The Asia Foundation Mongolia celebrated its 30th anniversary at a reception with Mongolian government representatives, donors, private sector, civil society, and staff. The occasion served as an opportunity to thank partners for their support and collaboration and reflect on the range of comprehensive programming addressing Mongolia’s needs in areas including good governance, gender equality, climate change, and education and literacy. The Asia Foundation was one of the first international nonprofit organizations to contribute to the country’s development journey; beginning in 1990 with its Mongolia programming, followed by the 1993 opening of the country office.
Since establishing the office, the Foundation has become a driving force in shaping crucial policies for the country’s development, starting with pivotal early technical assistance for the passing of the 1992 Constitution and 2004 Law on Combatting Domestic Violence. Recent impactful initiatives include empowering over 14,800 women entrepreneurs through the comprehensive support of the Women’s Business Center and strategically addressing public service gaps in collaboration with the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar through the Urban Governance Project.
In his opening speech at the reception, H.E. Zandanshatar Gombojav, speaker of the State Great Hural (Parliament) of Mongolia, congratulated the Foundation and remarked, “I would like to wish success to The Asia Foundation team for its significant effort in strengthening parliamentary democracy in Mongolia. I am confident that our cooperation based on mutual trust and collaboration will continue in the future.”
During his keynote address, Mark Koenig, country representative for Mongolia, thanked the attendees for their partnership, noting, “We could not be more proud to celebrate our 30-year anniversary in Mongolia and reflect on the incredible accomplishments of our partners during this dynamic period of Mongolia’s development. Gathering so many stakeholders, friends, and colleagues here today is both an opportunity to celebrate this work already done but also to inspire us as an organization to continue to find ways to effectively contribute to Mongolia’s development.”
Deputy chief of mission of the United States Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Matthew Ference, acknowledged the Foundation’s commitment to Mongolia’s development, saying, “The Asia Foundation should be proud of their 30 years of advocacy in Mongolia. They have so many successes to celebrate and have earned the trust and respect of many people and organizations in the country, including the Embassy of the United States. Tireless commitment like theirs is just what we all need to make our nations stronger by educating citizens, promoting equality, and supporting inclusive economic growth that benefits all of us.”
Zolzaya Batkhuyag, co-founder and advisor of Women For Change NGO and Asia Foundation Development Fellow alumna, reflected on the Foundation’s history of close partnership with Mongolian civil society organizations, noting, “The Asia Foundation has been a cornerstone of transformational growth in the development of civil society organizations, standing as a steadfast and unwavering partner to CSOs in the dynamic landscape of Mongolia.”
Dave Preston, first secretary of the Australian Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, extended his congratulations saying, “The Australian Embassy was proud to partner with the Foundation in supporting their essential work during and post the Covid-19 pandemic, through increasing the resilience of Mongolian women entrepreneurs. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and The Asia Foundation have shared a strong partnership throughout the Indo-Pacific region for many years. We look forward to continuing this long-standing partnership with the Foundation here in Mongolia over the coming years.”
The event concluded with the presentation of a certificate of appreciation to the Down Syndrome Association Mongolia in recognition of their community support in Ulaanbaatar. The Asia Foundation Mongolia is providing a donation to continue supporting the Association’s work with Mongolian youths.
The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives and expanding opportunities across Asia and the Pacific. Informed by decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region is focused on good governance, women’s empowerment and gender equality, inclusive economic growth, environment and climate action, and regional and international relations.
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