Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and the Head of Nepali delegation, addressed the 5th United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries in Doha today.
In his address, Deputy Prime Minister said that LDCs cannot wait another half a century just to leave the tag of LDC. He strongly called our development partners for the effective implementation of the Doha Program of Action in tandem with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Deputy Prime Minister underlined that together we can rebuild the economies of LDCs, overcome the climate crisis and save our planet from the brink of climate hell, and achieve SDGs in the spirit of leaving no one behind.
He expressed Nepal’s firm commitment to graduating from the LDC category even in the face of profound economic setbacks owing to the pandemic, earthquake, and climate change. As a responsible member and incoming Chair of the LDC Group, Nepal remains committed to upholding the Group’s collective interest in all possible manners, he said.
Deputy Prime Ministeralso shed light on Nepal’s political transformation and emphasized that federal democratic republic and socialism-oriented inclusive democracy have been institutionalized in the new constitution promulgated in 2015. Now, we are in the process of implementing the constitution which has shouldered upon us the historical task of economic development and prosperity with social justice as the main task of today, he added.
On climate change, he welcomed the decision to establish the Loss and Damage Fund in CoP27 and underscored the need for collective action to tackle this crisis. Meeting the $100 billion climate finance promise stands as a test case for sustainable climate finance for the future of LDCs, he emphasized. He also called for a comprehensive debt relief initiative and enhanced digital cooperation and technology transfer for LDCs.
In the afternoon, Deputy Prime Minister Shrestha Co-Chaired the High-level thematic round table 3: Structural transformation as a driver of prosperity in LDCs. In his remarks, he highlighted the importance of achieving structural transformation not only for LDC’s economic prosperity and well-being but also for their social development and environmental sustainability.
He also underscored major challenges of LDCs that prevent LDCs from accelerating progress toward structural transformation such as insufficient investment in the development of human capital, science and technology and innovative capacities as well as infrastructure deficits and emphasized scaling-up support to address these challenges. He said that as a graduating country, Nepal has no other alternatives than to increase investment for a robust structural transformation to make graduation sustained and irreversible.
In the evening, Hon. Dr. Min Bahadur Shrestha, Vice-Chairman of the National Planning Commission, delivered a statement at the side event on 'Facilitating structural transformation towards the achievement of the sustainable development goals in Asia-Pacific LDCs' organized by UNSCAP.
In his statement, Vice-Chairman highlighted the key policy initiatives that the Government of Nepal is taking for industrialization, infrastructure development-particularly hydropower and transportation, modernization of agriculture, digitization and innovation and tourism for the economic structural transformation of the country.
Presenting the development priorities set by the government and expressing Nepal’s determination, he called upon the international communities for collaboration and partnership in the course of Nepal's structural transformation to ensure sustainable and irreversible graduation and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
While delivering his remarks at the high-level Panel discussion on the LDC climate Fund, the Secretary of the National Planning Commission Mr. Kewal Prasad Bhandari expressed thoughts on how Nepal wouldimplementthe National Adaptation Plan as well asthe utilization and facilitation of the Global Environment Fund for LDCs.
At the sidelines of the Conference, Deputy Prime Minister had a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Malawi Nancy Tembo M.P. The discussion was focused on various matters of bilateral and multilateral affairs and exchanged views on further promoting cooperation between the two countries. They also exchanged views on how the interests of LDCs would be promoted and protected in an effective manner as Nepal is taking over the chair of the group from Malawi.
Deputy Prime Minister also met Tharaka Balasuriya, State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and discussed various matters of mutual interest including cooperation in the field of human resources, trade, investment, and tourism.
Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal had a meeting with Carlos D. Soretta, Undersecretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, and Ms. Marie Bourrel-Mckinnon, Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, and discussed the matter of mutual concerns.