KATHMANDU – Nepal has voiced that there is no alternative to democracy and multilateralism in overcoming the situation rife with tension and adversities created in the contemporary world due to the various problems as COVID-19 pandemic, terrorism, conflict and natural disasters.
Addressing the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly session, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Narayan Khadka reiterated Nepal’s unwavering belief on multilateralism and the United Nations which was at its centre. He said it would be possible to increase understanding and cooperation in the world, ensure the common future of the people of the world and promote shared interests only through multilateralism.
The theme of the UNGA this year is: “Building resilience through hope – to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations”.
“COVID-19 has silently and cruelly claimed over 4.5 million lives and Nepal joins world leaders in expressing deepest condolences to the people across the world, who have lost their loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Minister Khadka said that the crisis has brought the world to a grinding halt, devastated the global economy, pushed an additional 150 million people into extreme poverty, and threatened to reverse hard-earned development gains. Deepening vaccine inequality is leaving adverse socio-economic impacts in many low-income countries. Vaccines must be declared as public goods for the benefit of people’s lives. Reviving hope is critical in times of crisis.
He appreciated the efforts made by the international community including the UN system to address the challenges posed by COVID-19 and underscored to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines for everyone, everywhere. “People’s lives should come first. Despite constraintsand challenges to access COVID-19 vaccines, we have been able to vaccinate close to 20 percent of our population.”
The Minster condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. He also called for general and complete disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction in a time-bound and verifiable manner. Highlighting the importance of promotion and protection of human rights, he said the pandemic has strained our efforts to realize the SDGs. As we strive for resilient recovery and building back better and stronger, achieving SDGs should be our goal.
As both an LDC and LLDC, Nepal’s structural challenges are unique. We see our plan to graduate from the LDC category by 2026 as an opportunity to bring structural transformation and make the long-held national aspiration of graduation smooth, sustainable, and irreversible, the Minister reiterated.
“Nepal is at the sharp end of climate change despite its negligible share in greenhouse gas emissions. On our part, we reiterate our commitment to delivering climate-resilient development pathways by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.”
Referring to Nepal’s contribution to UN peacekeeping operations, Minister for Foreign Affairs Khadka said: “For over 63 years, Nepal has consistently contributed to the UN peace operations to promote peace, security and stability. As one of the largest troop contributing countries, Nepal believes that such countries deserve more senior level positions both at the UNHQ and in field.”
As both an LDC and LLDC, Nepal’s structural challenges are unique. We see our plan to graduate from the LDC category by 2026 as an opportunity to bring structural transformation and make the long-held national aspiration of graduation smooth, sustainable and irreversible. LDCs and LLDCs need reliable and sustainable financing, partnerships, and technology transfer to overcome their structural impediments to benefit from globalization. The ongoing crisis must not be a pretext for retracting from ODA commitments, he said.
WTO is not only about maintaining rules-based int. trading order, it must also be a platform to enable the developing countries to benefit from it with an enhanced level of international cooperation in the areas of aid for trade, technology transfer, and capacity building.
“We call for the Effective implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and underline the need for more robust international governance for the protection, safety, and welfare of the migrant workers.” He said, “Nepal’s worldview is shaped by our adherence to the principle of ‘amity with all and enmity with none’. Principles and purposes of the UN Charter, non-alignment, international law and norms of world peace form the basis of our foreign policy.
Democracy and multilateralism have no alternative to overcome the stresses and strains of the day. They are the best antidote to the risk of civil conflict in ethnically diverse societies. Nepal firmly believes in the indispensability of multilateralism with the United Nations as its centre. We consider this the only way to build global understanding and cooperation, promote shared interests, and secure our common future.
Time is now to turn the crisis into opportunity, despair into hope, and risk into resilience. The time is now to build a stronger, interconnected, and inclusive multilateral system grounded in cooperation, solidarity and mutual trust. We must rise to our responsibility to re-build for the sake of the people we serve and the planet we live in.”