The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) since its inception has served as a platform for Nepal to put forward the country's priorities and seek assistance and assessment in various fields. Nepal has just participated in the 78th session of the UNGA. Nepal’s participation in UN Sustainable Development Goal’s Summit-2023 and Climate Action Ambition Summit-2023 were given much importance as the nation chairs the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) group. How Nepal promotes and protects the interests of the LDCs and strategies for achieving 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was the issue of global interest.
At the annual international jamboree held in the UN Headquarters, New York, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' duly highlighted the issues of the LDCs as Nepal is graduating from LDC status by 2026. The Prime Minister showed his commitment to making the graduation smooth, sustainable and irreversible. In his address on the general debates at the UNGA on Thursday, the Prime Minister said, “Structural reform to the international financial architecture is long overdue. The voice of the countries in special situation, including LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS, must be heard. Their meaningful representation must be ensured.”
The Prime Minister underlined that enhanced level of international support in the form of development assistance, foreign direct investment, export promotion, SDR allocation and technical assistance is a must for Nepal. The combined impact of global economic recession, climate induced disasters and the lingering effect of COVID- 19 and ongoing Russia-Ukraine war have made it extremely challenging to achieve SDGs. PM Prachanda demanded for coordinated policies aimed at debt relief, debt restructuring, and debt swap be translated into reality. He demanded that the developed nations fulfill their commitments to providing 0.7 per cent of their GNP as the Official Development Assistance to developing and 0.15-0.20 per cent to the LDCs. “Spending on arms is on the rise, but resources for the realisation of the 2030 Agenda have become scarce. So, we must correct this course and focus on our common goals of peace prosperity and progress.”
Drawing the global attention towards the common burning issue, the Prime Minister seriously raised the climate related issues faced by third world countries like Nepal, saying that the Himalayas are the source of fresh water for over two billion people. Global warming has induced rapid receding of ice of our Himalayas. It has not only eroded the health of our mountains but also endangered the lives and livelihoods of millions of people living downstream. He emphatically underlined the need for the mechanism to compensate countries making a difference in making the planet lush with vegetation. Nepal shares low carbon emission and has vast forested areas that help preserve biodiversity.
LDCs like Nepal are least responsible for climate crisis but are suffering its impact thus it is imperative to compensate these countries. Our role for greening the planet with forests and ecologically rich green cover must be rewarded and compensated. The glaciers in the Himalayan and Hindu Kush Mountain Range have melted 65 per cent faster in the decades of 2010 compared to the previous decade, which clearly shows that climate change and global warming has already started showing its terrible effect. Action on climate is crucial for the attainment of SDGs as both issues are interrelated and overlap each other. Thus Prime Minister’s emphasis on climate issues represents urgency faced by Nepal and other countries of similar status.