Message from Head of Cooperation

Local news, 20.01.2023

First, please accept my warm wishes for the New Year. I hope you had a good start and that 2023 brings peace, light, and happiness to your personal and professional life.


Mrs. Stefanie Burri, Head of Cooperation in Mongolia
Mrs. Stefanie Burri, Head of Cooperation in Mongolia ©SDC

Unfortunately, it seems we will have to cope with ongoing issues. After two long years of tackling the global pandemic and the increasingly palpable impacts of climate change, we have been facing a new shock since early 2022. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought to the fore the consequences of conflict and rising living costs all over the world, including in my country, Switzerland. Mongolia is also going through an exceptionally cold winter this year. In particular, I keep thinking about the herders who will have to care for their animals in this harsh weather.

Last December, the Effective Development Co-operation Summit took place in Geneva, Switzerland, and a declaration was written. Please allow me to include some thoughts from that here, which I think are important for Switzerland and Mongolia. Today, the world is facing multiple crises with devastating consequences for people, prosperity, peace, and the planet. Therefore, it is so important to respond to global challenges and contribute to peace and prosperity wherever we have the influence and power to do so. Let’s lead our actions to build on respect for human rights, democracy, and national sovereignty.

What will be on our plate for “Insight” in 2023?

We will continue providing news from our office and information about projects four times a year. This year, we will also share selected stories from the agriculture sector, followed by governance and the economy, and we plan to round up the year with a look at culture. This first newsletter is dedicated to agriculture or, to be more precise, food security. Of course, we hope that this special menu suits your taste.

Insights about our staff at SDC

In 2023, we would also like to give you insights on our staff, my colleagues—the real “gold”. As I always say, money is important, but sustainability cannot be accomplished with money alone. For that, we need people, their intelligence, commitment, and their love for the country’s people. SDC in Mongolia would not be able to create anything meaningful without the team that embodies SDC here. With our partner organizations, we are moving step by step towards shaping a sustainable future.

I’m proud to say that SDC can count on highly professional colleagues. The team is motivated and committed to the cause and always delivers top performance. Above all, they also share the basic values of Switzerland, mainly guided by a human rights-based approach, which revolves around principles such as universality, equality, non-discrimination, participation, and accountability.

The prelude to this special series will open with the story of Ms. Baigalmaa Gongor, who has been a senior programme officer at SDC Mongolia for many years and a dear colleague and friend. I was the lucky woman who had the privilege of interviewing her. During a detailed exchange, she provided me glimpses of her experience. Some of you may know her well already. However, you’ll be amazed by her story.

Finally, all that remains today is my desire to share my dream with you, which is guiding me like a warm fire for 2023. Let's dream together, or better yet, let’s keep building a positive environment for sustainable development for peaceful societies worldwide. I wish you a good read, and– as always – we look forward to your feedback!

Best regards,

Stefanie Burri,
Head of Cooperation in Mongolia