In relation to the 6th Meeting of the Youth Wing and the 7th Meeting of the Women’s Wing of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), an interview was conducted with Tselmuun Manlaijav, the Head of the Foreign Relations Department of the Mongolian People's Party. The discussion focused on the organization of these forthcoming conferences, scheduled to take place in Ulaanbaatar from the 4th to the 7th of August.
Before we discuss the details of the conference, please tell us more about how the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) has expanded its foreign relations and partnerships in recent years?
Foreign relations are a crucial part of MPP activities, receiving substantial attention from the party's leadership. Over the past years, the party has intensely expanded its foreign relations and partnerships, yielding tangible outcomes. A testament to this is the organization of the Youth and Women’s wing meetings of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) in Ulaanbaatar. Currently, the MPP maintains close relationships with more than 50 political parties across the world. Moreover, the party holds significant roles and actively participates within global political organizations.
For instance, the Prime Minister of Mongolia and Chairman of the MPP, Luvsannamsrain Oyun-Erdene, along with Member of Parliament Munkhtsetseg Tserenjamts, have been elected to the governing board of the Progressive Alliance. Last year, Member of Parliament Munkh-Orgil Tsend was elected as the Asia-Pacific Vice President of Socialist International, a coalition of center-left parties. Furthermore, MPP representatives hold decision-making roles within ICAPP and actively contribute to its initiatives.
Recently, a significant event demonstrated MPP’s focus on foreign relations. The leader of Germany's ruling Social Democratic Party visited Mongolia last June upon the invitation of the MPP Chairman. During the visit, the leaders of both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding. This event is particularly significant as it marks the first time the Social Democratic Party of Germany has entered into such an agreement with an Asian political party. In this context, it is reasonable to state that the MPP has positioned itself as a leading center-left party in Asia.
Could you elaborate on the activities and objectives of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP)?
ICAPP was founded in 2000 by the then Speaker of the Philippine Parliament. ICAPP was founded with the intent to bolster collaboration among Asian political parties with varying viewpoints, to enhance trust and mutual comprehension among nations, and to inspire cooperation. Since its establishment, it has been joined by over 350 political parties spanning more than 50 Asian nations. This inclusivity has led it to become the largest political party organization in Asia. Globally, ICAPP maintains relations with African, Latin American, and European parties. Therefore, meetings are co-organized with political parties and organizations from around the world. While ICAPP is fundamentally an amalgamation of Asian political parties, its broader objective lies in enhancing and nurturing cooperation throughout Asia through its member parties.
When did the MPP join ICAPP? Could you elaborate on the general standing and involvement of MPP within the organization?
The Mongolian People's Party joined ICAPP in 2004 as its first Mongolian member. It has actively participated in the organization's activities since then, and has been an elected member of its Standing committee since 2013. The ICAPP, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, is noted for bringing together political parties of all political ideologies.
Could you elaborate on the requirements and criteria necessary to secure the right to host an ICAPP Meeting in their country?
MPP secured the right to host the 6th Meeting of the ICAPP Youth Wing and 7th Meeting of the ICAPP Women’s Wing on August 4-7 during the previous edition of the Meetings. The Secretary General of the MPP Amarbayasgalan Dashzegve proposed to host the ICAPP meetings during Park Ro-byug, the Secretary General of the ICAPP’s visit to Mongolia. This proposal subsequently received approval from the ICAPP Standing Committee. Despite initial preparations to host the meeting, the event had to be postponed by two years due to the pandemic.
The ICAPP sets specific requirements and criteria that it evaluates when conferring the rights to host these meetings. For example, Mongolia has demonstrated impressive management of the pandemic in a short timeframe, and the MPP has made active strides towards promoting gender equality, by empowering more women to contribute to policy making, and decision making processes. The MPP has also shown dedication towards integrating youth voices into policymaking, thereby engaging them to shape socio-economic policies and strategies. Hence, the ICAPP recognized the efforts of the MPP towards addressing youth and women's issues and accordingly granted them the rights to host the Youth and Women’s Wing meetings. This decision serves as a recognition for the MPP's contributions at both the national and international levels.
What results are expected from hosting the two meetings in Mongolia?
The meetings are expected to have significant implications for Mongolian society and economy. Through the ICAPP Youth and Women's Wing Meetings, there is an opportunity to enhance women's political participation, ensure gender equality, as well as increase youth activism and engagement, through sharing experiences and extending collaborative efforts. In general, considerable results will be achieved through cooperation with the organization's subcommittees. For instance, by working with the organization's Tourism Subcommittee, there is a potential for support and assistance from other Asian countries to enter our country's tourism sector.
What kind of organization is ICAPP and how many subcommittees does it have?
The ICAPP has various subcommittees such as Youth, Women, Tourism, and Business. These subcommittees, in association with the political parties, are focusing on multifaceted aspects like how to develop Asian tourism, how to strengthen communication and collaboration with business owners. In short, it works towards enhancing and developing relations and collaboration between Asian countries.
What topics will the participants discuss at the Women's and Youth Meetings? How many political parties from how many countries are participating in the meetings?
This international conference, focusing on youth and women's issues, is currently confirmed to be attended by 28 political parties from 21 countries. For example, political parties from Asian countries such as Russia, China, North Korea, Turkey, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Malaysia, Iraq, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, as well as from Africa and Europe, will participate.
Participants of the two meetings will discuss topics like " Promoting Women’s Leadership to Achieve a Gender Responsive Post-Pandemic Recovery" and "Engaging Young People in Social and Political Dialogue for Post-Pandemic Socio-Economic Progress". It is also seen as an opportunity to learn from the experiences of political parties from other countries.
The Mongolian People's Party is a non-governmental organization, which operates in the fields of involving and supporting its members in the implementation of the mission and programs, promoting the party's concepts and activities, conducting research and analysis, and participating in public works that benefit the citizens.