Foreing Minister Dr Narayan Khadka address the 76th UNGA. Photo: Nepal Mission to UN
NEW YORK: Foreign Minister Dr. Narayan Khadka has addressed the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly highlighting Nepal’s position on multilateralism & various issues of national interest.
The Minister joined the world leaders in expressing deepest condolences to the people across the world, who have lost their loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has silently and cruelly claimed over 4.5 million lives.
He 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 said.
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 & equitable access to vaccines for everyone, everywhere.
He highlighted “People’s lives should come first”.
Despite constraints & 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 & manifestations.
“Nepal firmly believes in the indispensability of multilateralism with the United Nations as its center.
We consider this the only way to build global understanding and cooperation, promote shared interests, and secure our common future,” he added.
He also called for general & complete disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction in a time-bound & verifiable manner.
Minister Khadka highlighted the importance of the promotion and protection of human rights.
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,” Minister Khadka said adding that 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 said.
Stating that Nepal is at the sharp end of climate change despite its negligible share in greenhouse gas emissions, Minister Khadka said, “On our part, we reiterate our commitment to delivering climate-resilient development pathways by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.”
For over 63 years, Nepal has consistently contributed to the UN peace operations to promote peace, security, & stability.
As one of the largest troop-contributing countries, Nepal believes that such countries deserve more senior-level positions both at the UNHQ & in the field, according to him.
“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, & irreversible,” he told the conference.
Minister Khadka also said that 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 highlighted.
“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, & capacity building,” Foreign Minister Khadka said.
He also called for the effective implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration and underline the need for a more robust international governance for the protection, safety, and welfare of migrant workers.
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, he said.
“Democracy and multilateralism have no alternative to overcome the stresses and strains of the day,” according to him.