Address by Rt. Hon. Mrs. Bidya Devi Bhandari, President of Nepal at a Roundtable on “Promoting Green and Sustainable Development to Implement the UN 2030 Agenda”
Your Excellency President Xi Jinping
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Your Excellency President for your visionary and insightful and remarks at the opening ceremony yesterday.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is for the people, for our planet and for prosperity.
This vision is for the kind of development which is transformative, inclusive and equitable. Indeed, sustainable development without inclusivity will be a mere illusion.
The realization of this ambitious vision is possible only through an enhanced level of co-operation among nations.
It is with this vision that Nepal has embodied the Sustainable Development Goals in its domestic policies, plans and programmes. We are in favor of strengthening the mandate of the United Nations for development.
This is a happy coincidence that the spirit of the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to achieve development and prosperity leaving no one behind, corresponds with Agenda 2030.
Belt and Road Initiative, today, is becoming a key driver for poverty alleviation, employment generation, infrastructure building and industrial transformation.
In view of widening financial gap, it will significantly help many countries to implement the Agenda 2030.
The clock of caution is ticking louder when it comes to climate change. Unsustainable patterns of production and consumption have accelerated environmental degradation. Unfortunately, countries like Nepal are bearing the brunt of climate change despite their negligible emissions. Women and underprivileged community have been its main victims. The only way forward is development of green economy. The time has come to review the development models which are detrimental from environmental perspectives. The research findings have indicated that our posterity will not only face uncertainty but their future will be jeopardized if we fail to maintain the ecological balance of the planet.
Sustainable development under this circumstance will only be an illusion if such a situation is not altered.
In this context, while balancing all the three components of sustainable development, the Belt and Road Initiative can serve as an important medium in transforming to clean-energy and low-carbon pathways of economy.
Similarly, cooperation in emerging industries like information technology can generate substantial growth.
To minimize the environmental risks, scientific researches and solutions based on them should be sought.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Nepal is a country of the high Himalayas. These high peaks serve as the heat sink during the summer and heat source in winter. Forming an integral part of the organically linked ecosystem, they are common heritage of humanity.
Also, there is tremendous potential in developing clean energy in Nepal through hydropower. It can greatly contribute to the green development of Nepal as well as its neighbours.
It is a matter of happiness that Nepal, which was connected to the southern route of the ancient Silk Road, is now linked with Belt and Road Initiative. We believe that this Initiative will support the process of economic transformation of landlocked Nepal by expanding its connectivity networks and integrating its economy into the global market.
In addition, we expect that Belt and Road Initiative will greatly contribute to eradicating poverty, deepening and expanding trade, revolutionizing industries, creating jobs and improving the living conditions of the people by increasing economic opportunities.
There is a Chinese maxim: “building roads is the first step towards prosperity”. We are now creating the necessary foundations to realize the long-term goal of development and prosperity. In this context, we have laid primary emphasis on the development of Trans-Himalayan Multidimensional Connectivity Network under Belt and Road Initiative.
The objective of “peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit,” which is the spirit of the ancient Silk Road, and embraced by Belt and Road Initiative, will help us realize the SDGs.
Thank you !