Dr. JAGADISH CHANDRA POKHAREL, vice-chairman of National Planning Commission, has been involved in the MDGs for a long time. Pokharel spoke to NEW SPOTLIGHT on various issues. Excerpts:
How do you view the Nepal’s Millennium Development Goals Progress Report?
Despite the conflict situation and political instability, we have achieved a lot of progress. That is a good sign. The achievements made in infant mortality, school enrolment and maternal mortality are extraordinary. Of course there are many challenges ahead, particularly enhancing employment opportunities, reducing inequality and social exclusion remain major challenges.
What does the report actually indicate?
The report shows that all of the country’s people reap the benefits of development including the hard to-reach poor and those living in remote and inaccessible areas. Of course, delivering service is very difficult.
What concerns you much about the situation?
The well-being of those who are hardest hit by discrimination, exclusion, poverty and unemployment is a major concern.
As climate change is affecting the entire environment, what steps will NPC need to take to address this?
Climate change is going to be a major issue. The Ministry of Environment has already prepared NAPA document and identified the areas for adoption. On part of National Planning Commission, the three years interim plan also stresses the need to implement various adaptation plans.
How is Nepal prepared to present its report at the forthcoming general assembly?
We need to be proud about our performance. I would like to thank all Nepal’s development partners in supporting us. That is going to be a great moment as Nepal has been in a position to achieve some of the goals out of eight.
It is said that the disparities are growing. How do you look at this?
Even the report revealed the growing disparities. Since we have made a major progress in reducing poverty, we will be able to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.