Good morning, Your Excellency Mongolian Honorary Consul in Milan – Mrs Gantuya, – Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Guests, and Speakers, Friends!
I am honored to speak to you today in this esteemed place on behalf of Aza Azjargal Ulzii, Head of the Regional Hub of the EBRD, who is our member of the association.Unfortunately, she was not able to attend this event due to her being unwell, but I am pleased to be able to speak to you in her place.

First of all, I would like to wish A Happy and Prosperous New Year of the Snake to you and your family! I understand that this is the year of conservation, a year of rebuilding and a year of changes. I therefore wish you well in this year of change:
Strong health, Success and Prosperity! Secondly, I would also like to wish you all A Happy International Women’s Day!
My name is Enke Enkhjargal Danzanbaljir. I am one of the co-founders and the President of the Association for the Development of Mongolian Women in Europe,and I am based in London. I am also Chief Representative of the Bank of Mongolia in London.

I would like to introduce now a brief overview about our association. The Association for the Development of Mongolian Women in Europe is a non governmental, non profit organisation, which was formed in 2011 with the support of highly skilled, educated, and professional Mongolian women working in Europe.It aims to protect the interests of Mongolian women living abroad, to increase their participation in social and political arenas, and to build successful networking between businesswomen in Mongolia, Europe and the United Kingdom.Our members, and those women who are interested in our activities, all come from different professional backgrounds, and they are already working or running their businesses in areas such as banking, law, media, public relations, as linguistic professionals, in creative design, music and art, and many more.

I am personally very proud of Mongolian women and Mongolian history.
We remember that Mrs. Sühbaataryn Yanjmaa was Head of State of Mongolia almost sixty years ago. Last year was a year of success for Mongolian women in politics because female representation increased, with an increase from 3 to 11 female members of Parliament as a result of last year’s election. Many strong businesswomen and professional Mongolian women are working and living overseas. Although they live abroad, far from our homeland, Mongolian women, the modern day queens, continue to contribute to our country’s development. I am inspired by these women’s initiative to devote their lives to Mongolia.

I would like present the “Outstanding Woman Award and Distinguished Contributor” Award to Gantuya, the Mongolian Honorary Consul in Milan on behalf of Mrs.Ouyankhorol, Member of Parliament and the All party Parliamentarian British Group in Mongolia, and President of the Social Democracy Mongolian Women’s Association. I am honoured to present this award. Let’s applaud and wish her all the best and more success in her leadership in social work and deeds.

Since November 2011,we have organized a number of events that have been enormously well supported not only by British but also international and multinational institutions.They are internationally well known organizations such as the UK House of Lords, LSE, EBRD, Bloomberg, Westminster Business Council,Clyde&Co, PWC, Rio Tinto and many more. Our activities would not be successful without the generous help and assistance of other non-governmental organizations and their leaders, like Mr. John Grogan of The Mongolian British Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Robin Marsh from the Universal Peace Corporation, Mrs.Marta from the Mongolian Cultural Centre in the UK, and Mr.Adshaajav,of the Social Democracy Mongolian Youth Union in the UK. Our Mongolian business communities have also sponsored our initiatives: we are proud of the donations and sponsorships of Monipolimet, Light Beton Company, and the Mongolian Universal Food Corporation.Thanks to sponsorships of Sarosh Zaiwalla, George Wraw and many more; our last event – “the Best Mongolian Women in Europe award 2012” – was completed with huge success.

One of our association’s activities is fundraising charity work. Last year’s Fundraising Event was organised under the slogan “Path to a Healthy Future” together with the world-leading mining company Rio Tinto, our biggest investor in Mongolia, to support the initiative to vaccinate young girls aged between 10–14 years against cervical cancer. Our goal was, firstly, to increase awareness of cancer issues in Mongolia and to attract business communities to help, and secondly, to decrease the number of women’s deaths in Mongolia. To achieve this noble goal, we organized a series of events such as seminars, business conferences, trade-investment opportunities, and a networking fair, and a charity auction. Through the auction, we promoted Mongolian traditional cashmere, wool products and artwork, for example we exhibited paintings by handicapped Mongolian woman artists. The donations have amounted to £ 10 000.
All of us Mongolian women very much appreciate His Royal Highness The Prince Of Wales’s personal donation of an Artist’s proof of one of his watercolours: ”The Southfront of Highgrove House” and the work of Ms. Yvonne Abba-Opoku,secretary to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable foundation. We also raised money and helped to organise fundraising for Paralympics Mongolian sportsmen and teenage mothers for their income generation.

Our last major initiative was to join the ‘Reducing Domestic Violence’ Coalition in support of Peace Day – this was held on the 21 September, and it has been proven as an opportunity for life-saving activities and action by individuals worldwide calling for and working towards a day of ceasefire and non-violence. This was the largest global reduction of violence ever recorded on one day – and the largest ever gathering of individuals in the name of peace. According to analysis conducted with the support of McKinsey & Company, an estimated 280 million people were aware of Peace Day 2012, with approximately 5.6 million behaving more peacefully as a result. The organizers want to double the number of those aware in 2013. By getting involved, by spreading the word, by taking action on Peace Day, our participation will have a domino effect that will resonate around the world.
The theme for Peace Day 2013 is “Who Will You Make Peace With?” The greatest violence humanity faces is domestic violence. At least 1 in 3 women are victims of domestic violence in their lifetimes (source UN Women). Raising awareness and engaging in concerted action on domestic violence saves lives; events that inform people about the facts and the consequences of domestic abuse can make a difference. By uniting on 21 September and generating a vast amount of activity on these issues,we will be making a significant contribution towards the creation of a more peaceful and sustainable world.

We are committed to building women’s leadership and to addressing women’s issues. The aim of our association is to empower Mongolian women at all levels of governmental, economic and social life; to promote the interests of Mongolian women and help them to succeed in business and in life. The “Mongolian Women in business” forum organized by ADMWE in May of last year was part of a series of events and it created opportunities for Mongolian businesswomen in Europe to meet both Mongolian and European Businesswomen at the same time and the same place, thus increasing their business links and allowing these successful women to benefit from each other due to their different fields of expertise in business in Mongolia, the UK and Europe.

This year,we are organising our second annual business forum in Milan, and our theme is Mongolian Women’s Entrepreneurial Ideas.
The objective of this event is to promote the empowering of Mongolian women in business leadership, to support networking between Mongolian women in Europe and Mongolia,enhance cooperation among Mongolian women and to assist in creating business opportunities for them through a productive networking community.The event includes keynote speeches,panel discussions on success stories and the critical issues faced by women in business, trade-investment opportunities and networking events. In addition,the event includes tours of the Stock Exchange in Milan and visits to Milan’s cultural and business centres.

Our next initiative is to help our rural women to generate more jobs and sustainable income.

I am looking forward to more cooperation and partnerships to empower women,enhance the recognition of women’s success in society and to facilitate women’s networking in Europe.

A Big thank you goes first to our host, the Milan Stock Exchange, which has provided to us this nice hall in which to organise our conference. Without the support and commitment of our friend Gantuya, the Mongolian Honorary Counsul, and Silvia Damiani, the successful business woman, this event could not have been organised.

I would like to give special thanks to Mrs.Antanella Amadei, Daniela Biagi and Luisella Bosetti from the LSE, Anna Clauser from Borsa Italiana and for the speeches of the distinguished guest speakers and Silvia Damiana.

Please allow me to open today’s conference and I hope you will enjoy the rest of the day.
Thank you very much for your attention and I am most grateful for your kind support in attending today’s event.

Thank you all again.

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