Politicical system and Administrative areas

Political system

Mongolia is a parliamentary democracy, based on universal suffrage. In the early 1990s, Mongolia abolished the old political and social system and installed a democratic one. As a nation with a long tradition of statehood, Mongolia has been steadily working towards a free market economy. Mongolia has applied a model of the world’s developed countries with democratic legislatures, whilst considering its own specific features and traditions. The new Constitution of Mongolia came into effect on February 12, 1992 and amended 1999, 2001.

The State Great Khural (Parliament)

Mongolia is a parliamentary democracy, based on universal suffrage. In the early 1990s, Mongolia abolished the old political and social system and installed a democratic one. As a nation with a long tradition of statehood, Mongolia has been steadily working towards a free market economy. Mongolia has applied a model of the world’s developed countries with democratic legislatures, whilst considering its own specific features and traditions. The new Constitution of Mongolia came into effect on February 12, 1992 and amended 1999, 2001.


The State Great Khural

The 1992 Constitution declares, “The State Great Khural is the highest organ of state power, and legislative power shall be vested solely therein”. The State Great Khural has one chamber of 76 members and elected for four years. Of the 76 parliamentary members, 28 are elected proportionally by votes cast from political parties and the remaining 48 members are chosen by voting for individual candidates in electoral constituencies, who had been nominated by their parties or independently nominated. A party had to obtain five percent of the total national vote in order to secure a parliamentary seat.

The Speaker and Deputy Speaker are elected from among the parliament members by secret ballot. The main organizational form of the State Great Khural is the session. Regular sessions are convened every six months; sessions must last no less than 75 working days. Special sessions may be convened by over one-third of members of the State Great Khural, and/or on by the president and speaker.

The President


President Tsahia Elbegdorj

The Constitution declares that the President is head of state and embodiment of the unity of the people. The President is elected by national, equal, direct and secret ballot. The president is eligible for re-election once only. The President is also Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief and heads the National Security Council. An indigenous citizen, who has attained the age of forty five years and has permanently resided as a minimum for the last five years in Mongolia, shall be eligible for election to the post of President for a term of four years. The mandate of the President shall become effective with an oath taken by him/her and shall expire with an oath taken by the newly elected President.

The Government


Government

The Constitution says, “The government is the highest executive body of the state.” When the result of a general election is confirmed, the winner of most seats becomes the government, accountable to the State Great Khural, for four years. A government shall step down completely if the prime minister or half its members resign at the same time. The government carries out state laws and directs economic, social and cultural development, exercising broad powers determined by law. The government comprises the Prime Minister, deputy prime minister, cabinet secretariat head, and ministers.

Judiciary system


Judiciary system

The judiciary is one of the three main arms of Mongolian law. Only the courts wield judicial power. The judicial system consists of the Supreme Court, Aimag and Capital

Courts and Soum, Intersoum and District Courts. A special court may be established for criminal and civil cases and administrative affairs.

Courts

  • Trial or courts of first instance
  • Appellate courts
  • Supreme court

“The Supreme Court shall be the highest judicial organ,” says the 1992 Constitution.

The Supreme Court comprises the Chief Judge (Eronkhii Shuugch) and 12 judges. The President appoints the Chief Judge for six years. General Council of Courts has been established to ensure judicial independence, with exclusive power to select judges, headed by the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court. Supreme Court powers include the right to try certain criminal cases and legal disputes, and to hear appeals against lower court decisions.

The Supreme Court

Court examines human rights cases referred by the Constitutional Court or the Prosecutor General and provides official interpretation of all law except the Constitution. Under the law on administration passed in 2002, the Administrative Court first met in June 2004. A 15-member Disciplinary Committee of Court has national jurisdiction.

The president appoints the Head of the Disciplinary Committee of Court. Constitutional Court.

 The Constitutional Court exercises supreme supervision over the implementation of the Constitution. Ithands down decisions on violation of constitutional provisions and resolves constitutional disputes, guaranteeing strict observance of the Constitution. As the nation’s top judiciary body, it is subject to no party, coalition or political power, but only to the Constitution. All presidential, parliamentary and governmental action is subject to the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court has nine members, appointed by the State Great Khural for six years; three are nominated by the State Great Khural, three by the president and three by the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Court settles constitutional disputes on its own initiative, on the basis of petitions and citizen information, or as requested by the State Great Khural, the President, the Prime Minister, the Supreme Court or Prosecutor General.

Prosecutor’s Office

The Prosecutor’s Office is an independent judicial organization, ensuring implementation of the principles of uniform and fair application of the law nationwide on behalf of the state. The Constitution says, “The prosecutor shall exercise supervision over case investigation and execution of punishments, and shall participate in court proceedings on behalf of the state.” The Prosecutor’s Office works as an integrated, centrally-led organization, and is not formally subject to external influences.

Prosecutor’s Office comprises:

  • State Prosecutor General
  • Aimag and Capital Prosecutors
  • Soum, Intersoum and District Prosecutors

The president appoints the Prosecutor General and deputies for six years in consultation with the State Great Khural. The Investigative Office is under the State General Prosecutor’s Office.

Foreign Policy and International Relations

Mongolia has hundreds of years of proud statehood and foreign relations. Documented evidence shows that Mongolia’s relations with foreign countries began  in the 13th century. Chinggis Khaan’ s policy towards foreign countries was called the “Altan Argamj” (The Golden Tether). The policy was aimed at maintaining peace and developing friendly relations with neighboring countries, though the situation of that period was not let him to do so. 

The end of the Cold War, disintegration of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the socialist system gave rise to a brand new environment inside and outside this country. Mongolia’s move to democracy and a market economy called for a drastic shift in strategies, aims and priorities for foreign policy.

Mongolia abandoned a ‘satellite state’ foreign policy and has developed an independent, non-aligned, multi-pillar, open foreign policy concept, guided by its national interests. The 1992 Constitution stipulates, ‘Mongolia shall adhere to the universally recognized norms and principles of international law and pursue a peaceful foreign policy.’ Concepts of National Security and Foreign Policy were adopted by the parliament in 1994, with sustainable and long-term foreign policy tenets. With its new foreign policy, Mongolia has been gaining more and more friends and partners, advancing its position regionally and internationally.

Today, when international relations are undergoing qualitative changes with the world becoming increasingly globalized and interconnected with information, Mongolia and its geographical and geopolitical locations are increasingly gaining significance. Mongolians are today existing at the cross roads of three major civilizations. Mongolia is perhaps the only single country in the world which is located at the cross of three major civilizations–the Russian Orthodoxy, the Chinese Confucianism and Islam.

Presently, Mongolia has diplomatic relations with 150 countries, has about 200 multilateral treaties and conventions, and has joined over 50 international and intergovernmental organizations. Today, Mongolia has its embassies in 28 countries, more than 60 honorary consuls abroad.  

Another focus of the country’s multilateral diplomacy is to contribute to ensuring nuclear security and non proliferation. Thus in 1992 Mongolia declared itself a nuclear-weapon- free zone. This was connected with its geopolitical location as well as with the fact that during the cold war it hosted military bases of a nuclear-weapon state and, in its turn, risked being targeted by other nuclear-weapon states.

Mongolia’s main directions include prioritizing relations with China and Russia, diversifying the country’s relations through its ‘third neighbor’ policy, actively contributing to multilateral cooperation and strengthening its position in Asia, particularly in Northeast Asia.

Politically and economically Mongolia is a part of East Asia, particularly of Northeast Asia. The latter is a region where the remnants of the cold war and cold-war thinking persist. So, the country is attempting to become an honest facilitator in this region. There are two main reasons for that. First, Mongolia does not have unresolved territorial or border issues with its neighbors. It also maintains good relations with all the countries of the region, including with the two Koreas. Second, as a relatively small country, it does not have its own narrow political agenda.

Mongolia within the International Community. The foreign policy includes cooperation with the UN and its agencies, and with international financial and economic institutions such as the World Bank, IMF and ADB. Mongolia joined the UN in 1961, and in its over 40 years of membership, has transformed itself from a passive to an active player in UN organs. It is the author of over 70 resolutions on social and economic issues and co-sponsor of about 500 resolutions adopted by the UN and its organizations. Kofi Annan’s 2002, Ban Ki moon’s 2009 visits to Mongolia were a significant event, following the decision to step along the road of democratization. Mongolia shares the aspirations of UN member countries for reform to make the organization financially stable, able to cope with the challenges of the 21st century with efficient, dynamic action.

Mongolia’s economic success and democracy development gained growing confidence and allowed it to play a more pro-active role in international relations. Mongolia was the world’s first  UN-recognized single-state Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone, and this nuclear-free status has been endorsed by all nuclear states and the entire international community, helping strengthen regional peace and stability.

Mongolia convened the 5th International Conference of New or Restored Democracies in Ulaanbaatar, September 10-12, 2003, attended by 119 countries, 10 international organizations and 650 civil society representatives. The main themes were democracy, good governance and civil society.  At the closing session, subcommittees and the Forum of Parliamentarians reported, and the conference issued the 22-point Ulaanbaatar Declaration and plan of action.  The UN General Assembly resolved appreciation of the Ulaanbaatar conference and its international significance. 

At the initiative of Mongolia, the United Nations General Assembly, at its Plenary of 28 November 2012, unanimously adopted a resolution on Education for Democracy for the first time in its history. The resolution recognizes that education is a key to the strengthening of democratic institutions, the realization of human rights and the achievement of all international development goals, development of human potential, poverty alleviation and the fostering of greater understanding among peoples.

The country has chaired the Community of Democracies /CD/ for two years of tenure since July, 2011. While chairing the Community, Mongolia has worked out a program aimed at publicizing the education of democracy. The country is appraised at the international level as skillfully and effectively chairing the CD.

Mongolia carried out the reforms during the first year of its Presidency. For instance, a Governing Council with 25 members was set up and an Executive Committee was appointed. Also, the first Secretary General of the CD was appointed. These were the institutional reforms of the CD. Implementing any reform and change is a long-term process. Thus, the VII Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies was organized successfully in Ulaanbaatar on 27-29 April 2013. The Conference was the culmination of Mongolia’s successful Chairmanship of the CD.

Since joining the ASEM in 2006, Mongolia has been actively participating in ASEM activities and initiatives. After 18 months of intensive preparation, Mongolia hosted successfully the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting in Ulaanbaatar on July 15-16, 2016 with the attendance of 11 heads of state and 23 heads of government. Presidents of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Myanmar, Republic of Korea and Switzerland, and Vice Presidents of India and Indonesia came to Mongolia for the Summit. Another 23 countries, including Japan, China, Finland, Luxembourg, Russia and the Netherlands, attended the Summit on the head-of-government level; whereas the remaining countries’ delegates were mainly Foreign Ministers with 3 special envoys. On behalf of two international organizations with ASEM membership, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and Le Luong Minh, Secretary General of ASEAN participated in the Summit.

On July 15, a research document titled ‘Asia-Europe Connectivity Vision 2025: Challenges and Opportunities’, developed by the Government of Mongolia and ERIA was launched.

During the two-day event, Mongolia held 60 bilateral meetings; the total number of bilateral meetings by all other countries was more than 100. Overall, 5580 delegates came to Mongolia to attend 9 side events and the high-level meeting of ASEM from April to July. For the high-level meeting alone, some 2300 foreign delegates, high officials and media representatives stayed in Ulaanbaatar.

Some 8500-9000 Mongolians were actively contributing their efforts and hard work into making the organization run smoothly. For a total sum, it was estimated that some 20 thousand people were involved in ASEM events that continued since April. For the record, 670 foreign journalists officially registered themselves to cover the ASEM Summit in Mongolia whereas around 120 local journalists reported on the event. It was determined that the news of Mongolia’s ASEM reached approximately 1.5 billion people around the globe.

On July 16, the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting concluded in Ulaanbaatar with the release of two main documents –The Ulaanbaatar Declaration and Chair’s Statement.

Alongside the Summit, Mongolia successfully received official visits by 1 President and 4 Prime Ministers. It was deemed that the mission of promoting Mongolia abroad was well accomplished with the arrival of media personnel, and with the successful hosting of a mini-Naadam event that took the delegates through the greatest and richest pieces of Mongolian age-old and exotic nomadic culture highlighting our unique traditions in a beautiful site surrounded by scenic green hills. All the expertise and vast experience definitely remains with Mongolians making them easier for holding similar events in this country.





In the distant past, Mongols were warlike people, with a nature born of conditions of the everyday life of nomadic people: a struggle for the best livestock pasture, family protection, leadership and armed struggle or war against other nationalities. The Mongols taught their children to ride from the age of three, and to use bows and arrows.  In the 4th to 2nd centuries BC, the Hunnu had a strong administrative structure and a powerful army of cavalry, with heavy armour for both horses and horsemen. A strong, improved military administrative system was instituted by Chinggis Khaan when he founded the Mongol Empire. The Mongols under Chinggis Khaan and their military tactics in left a significant mark in the history of military science in many countries.

Mongolia’s armed forces have become more compact and professional since compulsory military service was alleviated by alternative service. The Constitution says that the President is also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

The young army of the modern Mongolia was baptized on March 18, 1921,in a battle to liberate the frontier town of Maimaachin (now Altanbulag) from Chinese occupation. Since then, March 18 has been celebrated as Army Day.

By the early 1930s, the troops were organized as a regular army, with cavalry, artillery, air force and armoured brigades. The 1939 victory of the Mongolian and Soviet troops in the four-month battle against the Japanese in the Khalkhyn Gol region was a lesson for the aggressors on the eve of World War II. During this war, the Mongolian army (MPA) with Soviet army groups acted as a covering force in the east. Four divisions and MPA formations helped liberate north-east China and regions of Inner Mongolia from Japanese invaders.  

All of this has not only opened up a new chapter in the history of the Mongolian armed forces, but has contributed to Mongolia’s growing international reputation for its successful building of democracy since it started in 1990.

The issue of Mongolia’s participation in peacekeeping missions was first raised in 1999 when a Memorandum of Understanding was concluded with the UN. Later in 2002, a legal environment was created as the law on participation of Mongolian servicemen in peacekeeping operations and passed by the Parliament of Mongolia. It was the first time in 2002 when two military observers and the same number of observers were sent to Congo and Western Sahara respectively. Afterwards, the first-ever contingent of construction engineers and medical personnel comprising 172 members was dispatched to Iraq.

There are many examples of how Mongolian peacekeepers participate in peacekeeping missions in other different countries and save the lives of thousands demonstrating their capabilities. In particular, it was in 2004 when our very first military contingent participated in the UN mission in Iraq, S.Azzaya stopped a terrorist attack targeted at his military base. In the Republic of Chad, Mongolian peacekeepers suppressed a terrorist act which was planned by a terror group in a certain country. Our third contingent served in South Sudan in December 2013, provided first aid to a large number of women and children as well as servicemen who were injured in mine explosions which was recognized by the UN with appreciation.

In the 13-year period since 2002, a total of 13 400 Mongolian servicemen participated in peacekeeping missions in seven countries.. By now, more than 1180 peacekeepers are serving in hot spots of the world. This is quite a high figure for our country with a population of only three million. Mongolia stands in 30th place among UN troop contributing countries.

In the world, the reputation and rating of Mongolian soldiers is rising. It actually contributes to help younger generations be patriotic with adoration for Mongolian soldiers, ideology and pride.

Khaan Quest, multinational peace support operations exercise co-sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command are hosted annually by the Mongolian Armed Forces at the ‘Five Hills’ field near Ulaanbaatar. The main goal of the military exercises are to have servicemen of the Mongolian Armed Forces and other participant nations of the UN peacekeeping operation learn methods and techniques for peacekeeping, to back participation of nations in peacekeeping operations, and to develop military collaboration in participant countries. Khaan Quest was first organized by Mongolia and the USA in 2003 and expanded into a multinational peacekeeping exercise from 2006. Now, it has become one of main five events being organized for supporting peacekeeping and building capacity in Asia and the Pacific.

Mongolian youth is to have an opportunity to realize values of their motherland and independence, learn to handle weapons, have sound body and properly know the history of the country, and thus be patriots and soldiers of their Motherland. According to 2008 amendments made to the Law on public service, youth born after May 6, 1990 are not authorized to join in actual public service if they have not served in the army.

In accordance with Presidential Decree No 92, the Government adopted the ‘Student- soldier’ program in 2014. Citizens of Mongolia aged 18 and studying in a bachelor program of higher education can voluntarily join the program. These students will receive two credits and be able to learn the general army preparation program at the special army preparation center in just over two months to complete their military service.

Administrative areas

Mongolia is divided into 22 major administrative units: Ulaanbaatar and the 21 aimags.

The capital city of Ulaanbaatar

The beautiful and legendary Kharakhorum was created in the 13th century by the Great Mongolian Khaans to serve as the heart of their monolithic domain. This bustling, momentous capital was abandoned during the reign of Khublai Khaan.

With a long history of over 376 years, Ulaanbaatar is the ancient town of Mongolian nomads. Today, Ulaanbaatar city is not only the face of Mongolia, but it also represents the country in Governmental, industrial, cultural attitude and in the fields of service and art. Recently, it was included in the number of cities in the world with a population of more than one million residents. The foundation stone of Ulaanbaatar was first laid near Shireet Tsagaan Lake in the territory of present-day Burd Soum of Uvurkhangai Aimag in 1639.

At that time, the most influential nobilities of Mongolia declared Khalkh’s Zanabazar, popularly known as the Lofty Saint the first religious leader of Mongolians, and established a nomadic town of “Urguu” for him which later became the country’s capital. In 1778, the capital of Mongolia was settled at the present location at the northern slopes of the Bogd Khan Mountain, the first ever natural reserve in the World and on the Queen Tuul River bank.

The First Great People’s Khural (1924) which adopted the first Constitution of the Modern Mongolia proclaimed Niislel Khuree as the capital of the country, and renamed it Ulaanbaatar. Ulaanbaatar is located in the central part of the country 1255-1350 meters above sea level. The average summer temperature in Ulaanbaatar is +30’C, winter is -20’C-40’C. The average amount of precipitation is 220mm. As the heart of the country, the Capital has a population of over one million and is divided into 9 districts and 132 khoroos (smallest administrative unit). This city is one of the major transport junctions of the country. The Trans-Mongolian Railway, linking Russia, Mongolia and China runs through Ulaanbaatar. Ulaanbaatar now cooperates with nearly 60 cities of more than 30 countries in the world.


Sukhbaatar Square

Mongolia’s recent economic growth has dramatically changed Ulaanbaatar. Since 2000, Ulaanbaatar’s population has nearly doubled and the built up area of the city has expanded by 40 percent. Yet, the city’s expansion has also made it among the least dense cities of its size (based on built-up land) in the region. This low-density spatial expansion has negatively affected traffic and congestion levels and air quality, increased exposure to hazards such as fire and flooding, and reduced equitable access to public services such as schools and clinics. All these factors limit the quality of urban life and the city’s economic potential.

In recent years, air pollution in Ulaanbaatar has become a serious matter for citizens’ health and the environment in wintertime. To solve this issue the Government has taken a series of measures, such as using low-smoke stoves, collecting air pollution fees from the motor vehicles and promoting electric cars. In addition, the Government is also cooperating with international organizations like the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Asian Development Bank, and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to name some, to find effective solutions to air pollution.  An initial way of reducing air pollution in Ulaanbaatar is the cutting coal consumption and boosting electricity use, which requires creating the reliable electricity resources. In this regard, projects for extending the 3rd and 4th thermo electric power plants and Amgalant power plant financed with Chinggis bond funds gave tangible outcomes. By 2016 spring, it is expected to launch construction of the Baganuur and Booroljuut electric power plants which will enable the country to increase the energy supply.

Provinces

Arkhangai aimag

Arkhangai Aimag was founded in 1931. There are 19 soums or administrative subdivisions in Arkhangai aimag. It lies on the northeastern slopes of the Khangai Mountains, 400 kms far distance southwest of Ulaanbaatar. Tsetserleg is geographically located in the Bulgan soum in the south of the aimag.


Taikhar Tshuluu

Tsetserleg is an ancient cultural and commercial centre. It was once the seat of a monastery, built by the First Khalkh Zaya Pandita, Luvsanperenlei (1642–1715). The main Guden temple was turned into a museum. The rivers Chuluut, Khanui, and Tamir have their origins in the valleys of the Khangai Mountains. Together with some smaller tributaries they all belong to the watershed of the Selenge. The Orkhon also traverses the eastern end of the aimag for a short stretch. The lake Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur is located in the west. The rock ended up farther to the east and is called Taikhar Tshuluu. The small lake Ugii Nuur is located in the eastern part of the aimag in the Soum of the same name.

 

  • Capital: Tsetserleg
  • Area: 55,300 sq km
  • Population: 84,078

Bayan-Ulgii

Bayan-Ulgii Aimag was established in 1940 with 13 soums. It has an attitude of 1710 meters. Most inhabitants of Bayan-Ulgii are Kazakhs (88.7%). Smaller parts of the population are composed of Uriankhai (7.2%), Durvud (1.5%), Khalkha, Tuva and Khoshuud. The culture of the Kazakh majority is strongly influenced by Islamic traditions. The mosque of Ulgii also houses the Islamic Center of Mongolia. It is placed at an unusual angle within the fabric of the city, because the building was oriented exactly towards Mecca.


Altai Tavan Bogd

The Nairamdal Peak (“friendship peak”) of the Tavan Bogd (“five saints”) massif marks the corner between the three neighbouring countries. The other peaks of the massif are named Khuiten, Naran, Ulgii and Burged. With 4374 m the Khuiten is the highest point of Mongolia. The Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, covering 6,362 km², is located south of the highest mountain of Mongolia.

It includes the lakes Khoton, Khurgan, and Dayan. The protected area offers a home for many species of alpine animal, such as the Argali sheep, Ibex, Red deer, Beech marten, Moose, Snow cock, and Golden eagle. The Khukh Serkhiin Nuruu Protected Area (659 km²) and the Siilkhemiin Nuruu National Park (1,428 km²) are of similar character.

  • Capital: Ölgii
  • Area: 45,800 sq km
  • Population: 85,232

 

Bayankhongor Aimag

It was established in 1941 with having 20 soums or administrative subdivisions, Bayankhongor city is at an elevation of 1859 m above sea level. and has a population of 26.252 (2006). The Bayankhongor aimag includes very diverse geographic areas. The north covers the southern slopes of the Khangai Mountains.

The wide valley south of that contains several salt lakes. Next comes a section of the Gobi-Altai mountain range. And the southern end down to the Chinese border is part of the Trans-Altai Gobi.

In the Khangai there are many hot mineral springs, with water temper


Shargaljuut Spa Resort

atures up o 50°C. The most popular ones are located near Shargaljuut, about 60 km north of the aimag capital. Most of the lakes are found in the central plane. This valley has no drain, so that the lakes contain salt water. The largest are the Orog nuur and the Buuntsagaan nuur. The tallest mountain of the aimag is the Ikh Bogd in the Gobi-Altai. Other than in the forested Khangai, the Altai range suffers from an arid desert climate. Similar to the adjacent Gobi it is only sparsely populated.

Baidrag river in this aimag is a one of few rivers of the country included in the “Secret History of Mongols” in connection with Chinggis Khaan’s struggle to create the Unified Mongolian State.

  • Capital: Bayankhongor
  • Area: 116,000 sq km
  • Population: 75,690

Bulgan aimag

Bulgan  is located in northern Mongolia. Its capital is also named Bulgan. The aimag is surrounded by the aimags Khuvsgul in the northwest, Arkhangai in the southwest, Uvurkhangai in the south, Tuv in the southeast, and Selenge in the northeast. The small Orkhon Aimag forms an enclave at the border to Selenge.


Erdenet copper mine

The north of the aimag is characterized by alpine forests, gradually blending in the arid steppe plains of the central Mongolian highland. The main rivers are the Orkhon and the Selenge, both of which enter the aimag from Uvurkhangai. As a result, southern Bulgan is one of Mongolia's few arable regions.

The territory of Bulgan aimag is a transmission zone, where the green grasslands of the south meet the forested mountains of the north. The terrain of the aimag has huge resources of wild berries and medical herbs. Bulgan aimag is not only the biggest agricultural area of the country, where around 50,000 hectares of wheat and vegetables are grown, but also the richest bed of mineral deposits such as copper, gold and molybdenum. “Erdenet” copper mine, located on the territory of the aimag, is one of the ten biggest copper mines in the world, and copper concentrate export constitutes a considerable portion of the state budget. Having spectacular forest scenery and beautiful deep rivers and lakes, the aimag is the most popular destination for both local and foreign visitors.

The mausoleum of Khatanbaatar Magsarjav, a national hero who liberated the Mongolian town of Khovd from the Chinese in 1912, can be seen on a hill in the southwest of Bulgan city. There is another sight worthy museum in the center of town. Its most interesting part is a display on Mongolia's first man in space, J. Gurragchaa, who was born in Bulgan Aimag in 1947.

  • Capital: Bulgan
  • Area: 99,950 sq km
  • Population: 53,065

Darkhan-Uul Aimag

Darkhan-Uul Aimag established in 1994. The capital city Darkhan is the third-largest city in Mongolia and the capital of Darkhan-Uul Aimag (province). The Darkhan city was first founded on October 17. 1961, as a second industrial center to reduce the migration pressure on the capital Ulaanbaatar.


Darkhan city

To do so, the existing soum (district) of the same name was dissolved, and its territory managed by the city authorities. Ground was broken in 1961, and the city was built with extensive economic assistance from the former Soviet Union. As its name implies, the city was originally conceived to be a manufacturing site for Mongolia’s northern territory. The city remains a mostly industrial region and is the home of some 82% of the aimag’s population.

The city hosts the Museum of Darkhan-Uul. This museum, also called the Traditional Museum of Folk Art, contains a collection of archaeological findings, traditional clothing, religious artifacts, and stuffed animals.

The Darkhan-Uul aimag with its four soum was carved out of the Selenge aimag in 1994. Darkhan is the point where the side line to Erdenet forks off the main line of the Trans-Mongolian Railway.

  • Capital: Darkhan
  • Population: 90,648
  • Area: 3,270 sq km

Dornod Aimag



Menen steppe

The aimag was created during the administrative reorganization

of 1941 with the name of Kh. Choibalsan, one of the political leaders. It has 14 soums. The historic feature of the Dornod aimag is that it is famous as the legendary land of Khalkhin-gol battle in 1939. In 1963, the aimag was given the current name Dornod. Choibalsan is the fourthlargest city in Mongolia. It is situated at the Kherlen River, at an elevation of 747 m above sea. The location has been a post on a trading route for centuries. In the 19th century it grew into a city, and became the economic hub of eastern Mongolia in the twentieth century.

This is mostly steppe flat land and more 50 per cent of the country’s haylands lie in this aimag. Four rivers, including Kherlen, Onon, Ulz and Khalkh gol cross the aimag’s territory. The aimag is rich in such mineral resources as oil, brown coal, fluorspar, sodium salt, building materials and uranium.

Tamsag bulag region’s oil deposits has 1,5 billion barrels of oil. There some Mongolian and foreign companies are extracting oil. Eastern Mongolian Menen steppe stretching hundreds of kilometers is home to rich wildlife dominated by thousands of white-tailed gazelle.

  • Capital: Choibalsan
  • Population: 68,873
  • Area: 123,500 sq km

Dornogobi Aimag


Senjit Rock


The province was established in 1931 having with 14 soums. Sainshand town is 470 km far from Ulaanbaatar. It is located in the eastern Gobi desert steppe, on the Trans-Mongolian Railway. Out of 39 families, 134 types and 229 species of plants there are about 30 types of herbal plants in the aimag. It is rich in preys such as wolves, foxes, corsacs, badgers, steppe-cats, and marmots besides wild sheep, ibexes, lynxes, wild asses, and gazelles. 73 deposits and 440 occurrences of 38 types of minerals such as copper, fluorspar, coal, non-ferrous metal, limestone, gold and silver have been discovered.

There are many tourists who come to see picturesque places such as Senjit rock in Altanshiree soum, Toliin bulag in Khatanbulag soum, Burdene bulag in Erdene soum. There is a beautiful place called Tooroin tugul in Khatanbulag soum whereas Ikhkhet and Dalanjargalan soums are rich in decorative stones. Remains of Suikhentei petrified forest in Mandakh soum is famous for its abundant resource. Also Ergeliin zoo in Khatanbulag soum has ample paleontological finds of mammals that lived 30 million years ago.

  • Capital: Sainshand
  • Population: 57,930
  • Area: 109,000 sq km

Dundgobi Aimag

Dundgobi Aimag was founded in 1942. It has 15 soums. It is, approximately 245 kilometers (152 miles) south of Ulaanbaatar. The province’s main industry is animal husbandry and livestock products (such as wool). The Dundgobi province is also noted among Mongolians for its long song and airag (fermented horse milk). The climate of the Dundgobi province is largely semi-arid steppe. Temperatures in the summer may top 32 degrees Celsius, while winter temperatures may dip below -30 degrees Celsius. Yarkh uul is located on the territory of Gurvansaikhan sum. The remains of a human skeleton nearly 300,000 years old have been discovered. A large stone axe factory from the


Sum khukh burd

Palaeolithic era can also be found here.

The oasis of Sum khukh burd is situated on the territory of Adaatsag sum in Dundgobi aimag. There is a monastery, built by Mongolians on the island of Burd. It is said that Saint Khutugt of Gobi Danzanravjaa set his famous play “Saran Khukhuu” in this monastery. Swan, Duck and Partridge are common on the lake. In the south of lake Burd, a spring Uudiin Bulag is famous for its curative properties. Sum khukh burd has been a protected area since 1998.

  • Capital: Mandalgovi
  • Population: 38,543
  • Area: 74,600 sq km

Gobi-Altai Aimag

Gobi-Altai Aimag, established in 1940. It has 18 soums. Gobi-Altai is a home of famous Sutai Khairkhan Mountain, which borders with Khovd Aimag. Gobi-Altai is Mongolia’s second-largest aimag named after the Gobi Desert and the Mongol Altai


Sutai Khairkhan

Nuruu range The Sutai, Azh Bogd, Tayan, Edren, Burkhan buudai majestic peaks of the Mongol Altai mountains stretch from North to South through the territory of the aimag. The highest among them is Sutai peak clad in eternal snow at 13,865 feet (4,226 m) above sea level. Semi-deserts of Sharga, Dukhum, Zakhuu, Zarman, Biger, Alagnuur, Tsengkher, and Nomin lie between these mountains. Almost all species and soil have steppe features: Zakhui, Zarman, Nomin semi-deserts have beautiful oasises with saksaul, ulmus, populous diversifolia, bulrush and reed.

There are around twenty small and big salt lakes, such as Tonkhil, Ikhes, Alag, Shargiin Tsagaan, Biger. Wild camels, ibex and even snow leopards survive, often protected in the several national parks in the aimag It is hoped that an ambitious Kuwaiti-funded hydroelectric power project and dam on the Zavkhan Gol (near Taishir) will bring an economic upturn to the region.

  • Capital: Altai
  • Population: 53,223
  • Area: 141,400 sq km

Gobisumber Aimag

Gobisumber Aimag is located in the center of the country. It was founded in 1994 with 3


Shivee-Ovoo Coal Mine

soums or administrative subdivisions. Choir is the capital of Gobisumber Province, in the east-central part of the country. Choir was a military base during the Soviet period. Choir has been declared a free enterprise zone. Along with Darkhan and Erdenet, it is one of three autonomous cities in Mongolia.

Gobisumber Aimag has a Shivee-Ovoo deposit that has a reserve of 2.8 billion tons of coal. Choir locates along the Trans-Mongolian Railway, 250 km to the southeast of Ulaanbaatar. Choir lies in the Choir Depression, a lowland strip about 150 km long and 10 to 20 km wide, about 500 m lower than the surrounding upland. It lies at an altitude of 1269 m.

  • Capital: Choir
  • Population: 13,081
  • Area: 5,400 sq km

Khentii Aimag

One of the eastern provinces of Mongolia is Khentii Aimag that was established in 1930. The Aimag has 17 soums or administrative subdivisions. The Great Chinggis Khaan, creator and leader of the Mongol Empire is claimed to have been born and grown up in the Khentii aimag. The center of the aimag called Undurkhaan before. But,  the State Great Khural (Parliament) renamed the city Chinggis City on November 18, 2013.

Chinggis city is located 290 km east of Ulaanbaatar.  The city serves as the paved highway transportation hub, linking Ulaanbaatar and Choibalsan, center of Dornod aimag. Coal mining is important to the economy of the city and Chandgana Tal coal field is located 53 km East from Chinngis city. Chinngis is the second coldest city in Mongolia. It borders the Kherlen River and is located on a broad flat unprotected plain. In winter, when the river freezes over and the winds howl across the open steppe it can easily reach -40C (no wind chill factor). Chinggis city officially known as Kherlen sum

The northwest of the aimag is covered by the eastern part of the Khentii Mountains, towards the southeast the landscape changes into the eastern Mongolian steppe plains. The Balj-Onon National Park is located in the northeast of the aimag.

  • Capital: Chinggis city
  • Population: 63,335
  • Area: 83,300 sq km

Khovd Aimag

Khovd Aimag, founded in 1931. Khovd Aimag is approximately 1,580 km from Ulaanbaatar. Khovd aimag is one of the most diverse provinces in terms of its various ethnic groups. The province is called “melting pot” by Mongol; because its inhabitants are quite ethnically and linguistically mixed.

The Torguud ethnics in Bulgan sum, Zakhchin in Altai sum, Myangad in Myangad sum and Kazakhs in Khovd sum live peacefully and herd their livestock side by side, Khovd town was founded by Machju in 1718 on the bank of Khovd River. It consisted of two parts; the Old Town: Sangiin Kherem and the Modern Town of Khovd. Sangiin Kherem was square walls of five meters tail and two meters thick but there is very little wall left. Today’s Khovd city is the important economic and cultural centre in the west.

The Khar Us Nuur (Black Water Lake) is located approximately 25 km east of Khovd, and is the location of a Strictly Protected Area. Khovd is known throughout the region for its watermelon harvest in the late summer, as well as the high quality of its seasonal meat products. Khovd is home to more than ten ethnic groups and nationalities such as Uuld, Khalkh, Zakhchin, Torguud, Uriankhai, Myangad, Durvud, Bayad, Kazakh, Chantuu (Uzbek) and Uzemchin.

  • Capital: Khovd
  • Population: 76,252
  • Area: 76,000 sq km

Khuvsgul Aimag

Khuvsgul Aimag is situated in the north of the country, and including its most northern point, Lake Khuvsgul. The province has 24 soums. The Aimag is quite mountainous. The south and southwest are dominated by the round-topped Tarvagatai, Bulnai and Erchim sub-ranges of the Khangai massif. The areas west and north of Lake Khuvsgul are formed by the rugged Khoridol Saridag, Ulaan Taiga, and Munkh Saridag mountains. The center and east are less mountainous, but still hilly. The largest forest areas of Mongolia are located around and to the north of the lake, extending the South-Siberian Taiga.

The aimag was founded in 1931. Khatgal was the administrative center until 1933, since when it has been Murun. The region is home to many ethnic minority groups: Darkhad, Khotgoid, Uriankhai, Buriad, and Tsaatan. Both the Darkhad and Tsaatan are famous for their practice of shamanism. Khuvsgul region is one of the special areas in the country.

It has second largest fresh water reservoir in Central Asia by volume, extremely clear water, spectacular alpine scenery which formed a enjoyable conditions to develop eco-tour. The hiking, horse riding, water tour, canoeing on the lake and sport-fishing tours are possible to develop in this aimag. A few last year foreign tourists are interesting the lifestyle, tradition of reindeer herders (tsaatan) who lives in the mountainous taiga and forest steppe to the north and west of aimag.

  • Capital: Mörön
  • Population: 114,331
  • Area: 101,000 sq km

Orkhon Aimag

Established in 1994, having 2 soums. Parts of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape

are situated in this province. This Aimag was cut out of Bulgan Aimag in 1994, to form a new entity together with its capital Erdenet, which had previously been administrated as a municipality.

Erdenet is the second-largest city in Mongolia and the capital of the aimag (province) of Orkhon. Located in the northern part of the country, it lies in a valley between the Selenge and Orhon rivers about 240 km northwest of Ulaanbaatar, the capital. The city was built in 1975 to exploit Asia’s largest deposit of copper ore and has the fourth largest copper mine in the world.

  • Capital: Erdenet
  • Population: 87,118
  • Area: 8,400 sq km

Sukhbaatar Aimag

Province was established in 1942 and it has 14 soums. This aimag is the native place of Damdinii Sukhbaatar, one of leaders of 1921 People’s Revolution. Sukhbaatar Aimags borders with China in the southeast. The province is well known for its Dariganga craftsmanship and is home to a large number of stone men, petroglyphs and historical monuments.

It has rich resources of tungsten, coal, brown coal, gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, iron, and spar. The magnificent Ganga nuur is about 13km south-east of Dariganga soum. Between the start of August and the end of October, the lake is home to thousands of migrating swans. Altan ovoo and Shiliin bogd mountains are former crater and sacred places for many Mongolians. The Tumurtiin-Ovoo zinc deposit, one of the biggest mines of our country is located 12 km from Baruun Urt, the capital of aimag. The deposit is reported to contain 7.7 million tons of ore and reserves are sufficient for 25 years at the planned production rate.

  • Capital: Baruun-Urt
  • Population: 51,091
  • Area: 82,200 sq km

Selenge aimag

Selenge  is located in the north of the country. The name is derived from the Selenge river. The capital is named after Sukhbaatar, leader of the 1921 People’s Revolution . It borders Bulgan, Orkhon, Khentii and Tuv aimag. Darkhan-Uul aimag is located in the middle of the aimag. Darkhan-Uul aimag is located as an enclave inside Selenge. Railroad and paved roads are fully developed; the heat and electricity supply are guaranteed. Mining and agriculture are the most developed business areas. The number of companies is now 2106. Spirt Bal Buram PLC, Khutol Tsement Shokhoi PLC, Bold Tumor Yeruu Gol Co.Ltd, a branch of Altan Taria PLC are companies which are active nationwide.

Ethnic groups in the aimag include Khaikh, Buryat, Dorvod, Oold and Russians. Buryats, Kazakhs, Russian and even Chinese live in wooden huts in villages.

There are Orkhon, Tuul, Kharaa, Yeruu, Burgaltai, Sharyn and many other small and big rivers flowing through Khentii mountains, and emptying into the Selenge, the largest river in Mongolia. The highest mountains are Delgerkhan and Songol with the altitude of 1,427-2,226 m. above sea level. 47 percent of the territory is pasture, 2 percent hay fields and sown fields cover 85 percent of the territory. 42 percent of the territory is covered with broad-leaved and coniferous forest. With pines prevailing, trees include poplars, larches, birches, Siberian cedars, willows, picea wins. Of berries one can find cowberries, brambles, hippobophae, billberries, black and red currants. Mushrooms grow in the forest. Ruddy, shellduck, duck, goose, pallas's sandgrouse inhabit basins of rivers. Elks, lynxes, foxes, bears, deer, marmots, boars, wolves can be encountered in the forests, steppes, mountains of Selenge aimag.

Selenge aimag produces 40-56 percent of grain of the country. In the aimag, there are timber, match, cement, chalk, spirit, wood plants, gold and coal mines and powerstations. In the south-east, the open-pit coal mine at Sharyn Gol produces about two million tons of coal each year to provide electricity for the Erdenet mine in Bulgan aimag. Just 24km to the East of Sukhbaatar is Altanbulag, a small, peaceful border town in the sum of the same name. Just on the other side of the border is the Russian city of Kyakhta.. The Mongolian government allocated 500 hectares at Altanbulag as a Free Trade Zone for the development of trade with Russia.

Both Kyakhta and Altanbulag are of some historical importance to Mongolians. In 1915 representatives from Russia, China and Mongolia met in Kyakhta to sign a treaty granting Mongolia limited autonomy. This was later revoked when China invaded again in 1919. At a meeting in Kyakhta in March 1921, the Mongolian People's Party was formed by Mongolian revolutionaries in exile.

  • Capital: Sukhbaatar
  • Population: 94,804
  • Area: 411,526 sq km

Tuv Aimag

Tuv Aimag is founded in 1931 having with 27 soums. The Aimag includes the western part of the Khentii Mountains, the mountains around the capital, as well as rolling steppe in the south and west. The most interesting body of water is the Tuul River, which crosses Ulaanbaatar and later joins the Orkhon. Manzushir Khiid is located near Zuunmod in the Bogd Khan Uul national park. It was founded in 1733 and used to be the home of 20 temples and 300 monks. The province has the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park that was founded in 1993. It covers a part of the Khentii Mountains. It is most well known for its spectacular rock formations, including a rock that looks like a giant turtle from the right perspective. The landscape has an alpine character, with larch and pine forests, sparkling mountain rivers, and very diverse flora and fauna.

In Khustain Nuruu National Park, about 120 km south west of Ulan Bator, the original wild horses, Takhi of Mongolia (Przewalski horses) have been released to the wild again in a process first begun in 1993. Because it is considered sacred, the mountain Bogd Khan Uul south of Ulaanbaatar has been a protected area since 1778.

  • Capital: Zuunmod
  • Population: 83,838
  • Area: 77,300 sq km

Umnugobi Aimag

Established in 1931 and having 15 soums. The province is rich in mineral deposits, including gold and copper. Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi with huge resources of copper and coal are here. Umnugobi includes several well known tourist areas, including the Flaming Cliffs, Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park and Khongoryn Els -the Singing Sand Dunes. Dalanzadgad is the capital of Umnugobi Aimag.

Bayan Zag is located near the centre of Bulgan sum, and archaeological finds of the Paleolithic Era where found here. Bayan zag is internationally famous for dinosaur remains including; complete dinosaur skeletons, eggs and hatchlings, from the Cretaceous period. Dinosaurs discovered here include Protoceratops, Oviraptor and heavy armoured Pinacosaurus. Dinosaur eggs with a diameter of 10-15cm have been found here, in Mongolia for the first time in the world. The great mineral deposits in this aimag such as “”Tavan tolgoi” cocking goal and “Oyu tolgoi” copper and gold point the bright future for the economic development of the country.

  • Capital:Dalanzadgad
  • Population: 60,855
  • Area: 165,300 sq km

Uvurkhangai aimag

Uvurkhangai aimag is located in the central part of Mongolia. The Khangai mountain stretches in the North-West, and the Altai mountain towers in the south-west. The steppe lies in the middle of the territory.The Gobi desert is located in the South.
The annual average temperature is around 34° F (1° C), and the average precipitation is about 5 inches (135 mm.). The soil in the south of the area is semi-desert grey and steppe pale areas, in the north part of the area it is mountain type brown and black. 2 percent of the area is covered with poplar, birch, pine, larch forests. There are beautiful oasises with shrubs, cargana, haloxyan, and almond growing everywhere. Wildlife includes wild sheep, ibex, wild horse, wild camel, gazelle, fox, antelope, snow-leopard, lynx, and birds such as swan, pelican, snow-cock, black grouse, wood grouse.

In the province there are majestic mountains like Khyatruun, and plain steppes like Noyokhon Dalai, Arvai, Khar nuden, clear-water rivers such as Ongi, Taath, Orkhon and lakes of Khuis, Tsagaan, Sangiin dalai. The 24 m high waterfall of the Orkhon river (Red Fall), is the major tourist attraction. Amazing places in the province include Khuis eight lakes, Tamchi Yol khad, Yamaatiin Tsant, Khorgoi Khurem, of big and small springs the most famous one is Khujirt, a popular resort.

Uvurkhangai is a well-khown tourist destination. Uvurkhangai is a homeland of the ancient Mongolian civilization. There are many ancient monuments, one of them being the Maanit monument with Turk inscription. This monument was erected in 731, CE. Also there are ruins of Kharkhot of Uighur capital city, and ruins of Kharakhorum, former capital of the Mongolian Empire, and Erdene Zuu, the 16th century Buddhist temple. Animal husbandry is the key economic sector. Coal mining, construction materials and wood processing plants are major industrial activities.

  • Capital: Arvaikheer
  • Population: 100,444
  • Area: 62,895 sq km

Uvs Aimag

It was established in 1931 and currently it has 19 soums or administrative subdivisions. Uvs means “salty water” in a language of Turkic origin. The province is named after the biggest lake in Mongolia the Uvs Nuur. Altaic people live in the province throughout history. Even today there are Tuvans and Kazakhs living in the area. Ulaangom is located at the southwest end of the lake Uvs Nuur and on the slopes of the Kharkhiraa mountains, close to the Russian border. Ulaangom marks one of the lowest points in the country, lying about 939 m above sea level.

Ulaangom is one of the coldest places in Mongolia. Temperatures can reach −45° C in the winter and +40° C or more in the summer. Parts of the steppe in this province are protected as the World Heritage Site Uvs Nuur Basin. In the north the province borders the Russian Federation for 640km, in the east 340 km of border lies between Uvs and Zavkhan province. In the south and west it borders with Khovd and Bayan-ulgii provinces for 200km each. The province occupies 4.45% of the national territory, which is equivalent of 69,585 sq. km. 60% of total area of the province belongs to the mountainous climatic zone, and 40% to the Gobi semi-desert.

  • Capital: Ulaangom
  • Population: 72,906
  • Area: 69,600 sq km

Zavkhan Aimag

Founded in 1931 having 24 soums. The province has rich resources of gold, copper, diamond, fluorite, and building raw materials. Due to harsh continental climate, the province, namely Tosontsengel soum is to be the coldest point of Mongolia with the lowest winter temperature of 53 degrees of Celsius below zero. Khan Khukhii-Khyargas Nuur National Park, Otgontenger Uul Strictly Protected Area, Tarvagatain Nuruu National Park are the most popular destinations for tourists.

  • Capital: Uliastai
  • Population: 64,924
  • Area: 82,400 sq km

Otgontenger mountain is sacred place for the Mongolians