The 16th Plan Is pivotal In steering Nepal Towards A Prosperous Future

In today's dynamic world with climate change, geopolitical tensions, slow Economic growth, and global mobility, Nepal faces significant challenges. Despite its minimal contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, the country bears substantial impacts.

Jan. 31, 2024, 8:58 a.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL. 17, No. 13, February.09,2024 (Magh,26. 2080) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

First and foremost, my heartfelt congratulations to the National Planning Commission (NPC) for crafting an outstanding draft of the 16th Plan. The effort put into organizing extensive consultations at provincial levels and incorporating valuable feedback into the draft deserves commendation. Equally, the inclusive consultation with development partners and the support from the UN system, particularly UNDP, reflect a commitment to collaborative decision-making.

The 16th Plan's focus on job creation, enhanced productivity, health, Education, and sustainable resource management is a commendable Achievement. Addressing issues like equality, and social justice, and Strengthening the federal governance system promises to steer Nepal toward Prosperity.

In today's dynamic world with climate change, geopolitical tensions, slow Economic growth, and global mobility, Nepal faces significant challenges. Despite its minimal contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, the country bears substantial impacts. While applauding Nepal's leadership in setting ambitious NDC targets and timely adaptation policies, bold actions are still needed. Strengthening institutional and community capacities is paramount for accelerating adaptation and mitigation aborts.

The issue of foreign employment and remittances is also a pressing concern, with over 700,000 workers migrating in 2023 due to a lack of domestic job opportunities. Despite the increase in remittances, the country faces challenges such as trade deficits, insecure working conditions, low business productivity and widespread informality. The 16th Plan must address these issues and promote inclusive economic growth.

Urbanization, while accelerating, poses challenges in terms of housing, drinking water, waste management, and pollution in Nepal's cities. Simultaneously, rural areas face a shortage of workers, impacting local economies and food security. Vulnerable groups, including the poor, women, persons with disabilities, and marginalized populations, bear the brunt of these challenges.

I am confident that the 16th Plan will provide a conducive policy environment for addressing these issues, ensuring basic service delivery, and tackling development and humanitarian challenges. The plan's emphasis on equality and social justice is commendable, and I urge Nepal to set a clear roadmap for implementing the constitutional rights of women and marginalized groups, translating the constitutional vision into practical socio-economic development. As Development Partners have been relentlessly working to support Nepal in its journey through the Green Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID) partnership platform to meet Nepal’s development goals we hope this to be well reflected in the 16th Plan.

As Nepal approaches LDC Graduation in 2026, the 16th Plan needs to be forward-thinking. Its successful graduation can be a springboard to even greater achievements for its next development chapters. The success of Nepal in reaching the graduation threshold and steadily maintaining its commitment to the graduation despite the headwinds is a beacon of hope for us all and a stellar example of the operation needed to rescue the SDG and our collective common goods.

NPC with development Partners2.jpg

However, with many international support measures phasing or being impacted, post-graduation, careful preparation is essential to become competitive while meeting stringent measures on environmental and labor standards. This will need a referent skill set that this plan together with the smooth transition strategy and SDG acceleration plans would need to catalyze and lay the foundation for in the post-LDC phase.

As Nepal began developing the National Vision for SDG Acceleration, preparing for the SDG Summit in 2023, through its progress that surpassed the global average, Nepal has also begun writing the next chapter, with an SDG Focus chapter in the 16th plan. And I hope that the 16th Plan turns out to be instrumental in achieving the 2030 SDGs.

In conclusion, the 16th Plan is pivotal in steering Nepal towards a prosperous and sustainable future. It requires unwavering and collective action from all stakeholders and development partners. As a co-chair of the International Development Partners' Group, I assure our collective support in making Nepal's next chapter a reality.

Hanaa Singer Hamdy is the UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal. Excerpts of her remark at the 16th Plan and the LDC Graduation Smooth Transition Strategy Consultation Program

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