Today’s Greatest Global Challenge Is Climate Change

Our Constitution of 1814 is one of the world's oldest Constitutions still in force. Although the Constitution of Nepal is 200 years younger, we share many values.

May 19, 2024, 7:23 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL. 17, No. 20, May.24,2024 (Jestha-11. 2081) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

It is a great pleasure to welcome all of you to the celebration of the Norwegian Constitution Day, always celebrated on the 17th of May.

Our Constitution of 1814 is one of the world's oldest Constitutions still in force. Although the Constitution of Nepal is 200 years younger, we share many values. The emphasis on equality has formed modern Norway; the same ambition also forms modern Nepal.

We congratulate Nepal on your progress as a democracy. Norway will continue as a partner in advancing democracy and inclusion.

Freedom, Democracy, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law are values enshrined in our respective Constitutions – values that we strive to comply with. We should not complacently lean back. Each day we must actively promote and uphold these values.

We also congratulate Nepal on considerable improvements in living standards over the past decade.

The national poverty rate has decreased from 25percent in 2011 to 3.5 percent in 2023 when using the old poverty line.These numbers tell a story about many men, women and children having a better life today than a few years ago.

For Norwegians, the 17th of May is a day of joy. However, we cannot ignore the suffering elsewhere.

After Russia’s full-scale invasion, the Ukrainian people are bravely fighting for their independence and freedom. Every day we are also reminded about the ongoing tragedy and despair of innocent civilians in the Middle East. The privilege of living in a peaceful societyshould never be taken for granted.

Many Norwegians have strong ties to Nepal. People-to-people contacts are just as important, perhaps even more, than our formal diplomatic ties. Since the first Norwegians arrived in Nepal in the late 1950s, close friendships have been forged.

Today’s greatest global challenge is climate change. In the Himalayas, we witness climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss. The effects of this triple crisis are already evident. The glaciers are rapidly melting.

Ambition and climate action must be stepped up. Norway is fully aware of the need to increase climate finance and support to developing countries. We are doing our part and will continue to be a reliable partner.

Knowledge and research must be at the core of how we deal with climate change. Norway has for many years supported the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development – ICIMOD -because it is an organization for knowledge and regional cooperation.

Access to clean and affordable energy is a fundamental enabler for sustainable development. Norway and Nepal have been working together in renewable energy and hydropower for 60 years, and we will continue to do so.

As we will continue to be a dedicated partner in the education sector, and in good governance- the main sectors of our bilateral cooperation.

Finally, I would like to propose a toast for Norway – Nepali relations, and for a future prosperous and successful Nepal!

Torun Dramdal is the Ambassador of Norway to Nepal. Excerpts of her statement delivered at a ceremony held on Norwegian Constitution Day in Kathmandu

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