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Page last updated at 05:40 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 06:40 UK

Ban discusses climate in Mongolia

By Michael Kohn
BBC News, Ulan Bator

UN chief Ban Ki-moon chats with Mamo Batchuluun (R), a herder
Ban Ki-Moon has met traditional Mongolian herders

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spent his second full day in Mongolia talking tough on climate change, meeting with Mongolia's leaders and the public.

Mr Ban emphasised how landlocked, developing countries like Mongolia are suffering the consequences of pollution created elsewhere in the world.

During his stay, Mr Ban has camped out in a yurt on the grassy steppes.

He has also observed and thanked Mongolian peacekeepers that have served overseas.

A military band struck up a lively tune when Mr Ban arrived at the Tavan Tolgoi training camp.

Blue-helmeted Mongolian peacekeepers stood at attention as Mr Ban reviewed the troops.

He then thanked the soldiers deployed under the UN flag to far-flung places like Sierra Leone and Afghanistan.

By visiting Tavan Tolgoi, Mr Ban hopes to throw the spotlight on Mongolia as a model for other developing countries.

Mongolia has fewer than three million people and a small economy, but it also has a functioning democracy with a robust civil society.

Mongolia's peacekeepers are helping to put the country on the international stage.

But as Mr Ban pointed out, Mongolia also remains vulnerable to climate change, with possible water shortages and desertification threatening the traditional nomadic lifestyle.

Mr Ban said he came here to listen to ordinary people faced with mounting climate problems, issues that he hopes to address in December at the UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen.



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