Statement by Leader of Nepali Delegation for the joint side event organized by Bangladesh, Nepal, and Lao PDR on the margins of the LDC-5 conference
05 March 2023 Doha, Qatar,
Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh
Honorable Deputy Prime Minister of Lao PDR
Excellences, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the UN Resident Coordinators, and UN-OHRLLS for their support to organize this side-event. The respective agencies and our officials from Nepal, Bangladesh and Lao PDR also deserve special thanks for their hard work to make this event a reality.
As LDCs are the poorest segments of the international community, they are the most vulnerable to internal and external shocks. They share a similar development challenge. And, Nepal, Bangladesh and Lao PDR are not the exception.
Our existing structural impediments restrict our development efforts.
The fallout of COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing geopolitical tension further aggravate our development efforts.
Despite the low-emitting countries, we bear the disproportionate brunt of climate change.
To change our plight into power, we need adequate support measures from international community during our graduation period and beyond.
As graduating cohorts, this event has helped us highlight the challenges we face for a smooth transition and irreversible graduation.
Now let me turn to my own country Nepal.
We are fully aware of the fact that the graduation not only brings opportunities but also challenges. Our export trade is going to be hit due to tariffs increase and loss of other preferences. Besides a drop in the ODA, we are also going to be deprived of LDC-specific funds and support programs from international financial institutions, WTO, climate finance mechanisms and others.
The impacts will be economy-wide – affecting employment, poverty, inequality, health, and education and which is already under severe stress resulting from the pandemic and associated global economic downturn. On top of that, our graduation process started before we met the income criteria.
Amid these challenges, we are determined to achieve our graduation aspiration.
For this, we are preparing a smooth transition strategy with detailed policy action on key areas. We have already established a high-level steering committee to oversee the graduation process. Our development policies reflect the six priority areas of the DPoA.
The overarching theme of LDC5 “From Potential to Prosperity” seems very close to Nepal’s national aspiration of building a “Prosperous Nepal, and Happy Nepali”.
I hope the call for stronger global solidarity and support in the Doha Program of Action, including to the graduating countries, will be sincerely implemented by our development partners.
In this connection, it is vitally important that our development and trade partners and civil society work in lockstep with our governments to make the graduation a success. LDC graduation is not an isolated development milestone. It cuts across sectors of trade, human development, poverty, disaster management and more, with effective institutionalization of our actions. Above all, a climate of greater political stability and commitment are foundation for graduation momentum.
Let me reiterate Nepal’s political commitment to making its graduation smooth, sustained, and irreversible. We should share our experiences to make our graduation a common success. We urge our development partners to support us in this historic development trajectory.
Let us support each other in our common journey towards a prosperous future for our people.
I thank you.