Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has inaugurated the Ministerial meeting of Asia-Pacific LDCs on Graduation and Post 2015 Development Agenda. Participated by ministers from LDCs of Asia Pacific, donor representatives, civil society members and UN representatives, the three day (December 16-18) ministerial meeting will discuss, among others, the way to make concert program to graduation.
"Nepal is currently engaged in the process of finalizing a democratic constitution. In line with the IPOA, the government of Nepal also decided, in May 2013 to graduate from LDC status into the developing countries by 2022. Our goal to graduate is a milestone that we intend to reach in our relentless pursuit of development agenda for the wellbeing of our people," said Prime Minister Koirala addressing the program. "As we formulate a graduation strategy, we expect even stronger and focused support from development partners and international community in post graduation phase for its stability."
Addressing the program, Finance minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat said that there need to have commitments on the parts of LDC to graduate. "LDCs country like Nepal needs a huge investment in the infrastructure sectors. Just investing in social sector, high growth is impossible," said Dr. Mahat. "Nepal government is emphasizing the need for more investment in infrastructure sector."
Vice-chairman of National Planning Commission Professor Dr. Govind Raj Pokhrel said there are ample reasons to believe that Nepal can graduate by 2022. Given the present agreement on two major hydropower project with foreign companies worth over 10 billion dollar, Nepal is moving to meet the target of meeting 100 billion dollar investment," said Professor Dr. Pokharel. "We have expectations as well as will to meet the target."
Organized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Planning Commission, the Fourth LDC Conference set an ambitious target of enabling half of the number of LDCs to meet the criteria for graduation by 2020. Despite making enormous efforts, only four LDCs have been able to graduate in the past four decades.
"Nepal has been making good progress in various sectors. Given the past achievements of Nepal, I am confidence that Nepal can meet the target to graduate from LDC by 2022," said foreign minister Dr. Mahedra Pandey.
Gyan Chandra Acharya, under-secretary-general high representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, "with an increased number of LDCs in the Asia-Pacific Region expressing their aspirations and commitments to graduate from the least developed status, the demand for a deeper dialogue on ways and means to reach this goal has grown tremendously. LDCs in the region will identify key drivers of graduation, the right steps in the graduation journey and design comprehensive and coherent support framework."
"Indeed, LDCs in the region recognize that graduation is achieved by design and not by chance. Not surprisingly, the long-term vision, which provides the direction, consistency and focus required for effective development process-carries graduation aspirations," said Acharya.
As most of LDCs are off track in meeting MDGs, post-2015 Development Agenda is of utmost significance to LDCs. As Nepali Prime Minister Koirala said this meeting will significantly contribute towards highlighting the strong linkage between the graduation goal of LDCs and the post-2015 development agenda.
UN Assistant secretary-general and UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director General Bureau for Asia and the Pacific Haoliang Xu also spoke at the program. Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative FAO Regional Office for Asian and the Pacific Hiroyuki Konuma also addressed program.
International coordinator of LDC Watch Dr.Arjun Karki said LDCs needs support from ODA countries to graduate. He stressed the need to involve civil society organization in this process.