Remarks by Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba
at the Third Edition of the Kantipur Conclave in Kathmandu
Hotel Hyatt, 10 Sep 2022
“Beyond Expectations Beyond Boundaries”
Words to Read: 767
Chairman of Kantipur Media Group Kailash Sirohiya Ji,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Namaste and Good Morning!
I am pleased to join you all here in this third edition of the ‘Kantipur Conclave’. Thank you very much for inviting me.
Kantipur Media Group is a steadfast supporter of the democratic values that we all fought for. It has been a staunch defender of people’s rights to know and a fearless critic of the Government.
As the Prime Minister who has often been on the receiving end of your critics, I would like to say that while you may not have always been correct, you have been a key partner in the democratic process of this country.
I take this opportunity to commend you for all your contributions and wish you all success in the days ahead.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The world today faces unprecedented challenges. Geopolitical tensions, rising inequalities, economic distress, and climate crisis, among others, continue to pose threats to global peace and prosperity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the structural vulnerabilities of all countries-big and small, developed and developing. Nepal is not an exception to this.
The current cascading crises— mostly not of our own making —have been hindering our efforts to climb the development ladder.
However, we are aware of our challenges.
Our topmost priority is to ensure a resilient recovery from the pandemic. This means accelerated action in economic recovery, expansion of social protection system, and investment in people.
I am pleased to inform you that, as of today, 94 percent of the target population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with 97 percent receiving at least one dose.
The Government is committed to double its efforts to ensure sustainable recovery and remain better prepared for future crises of this nature.
Secondly, the surge in demand of consumer goods, increased inflation, and pressure on foreign exchange reserves were some formidable challenges for us. The crisis in Ukraine added further woes to the worry.
But, we have been able to tackle these problems with sensible monetary and fiscal policies. Things have started to turn around in the last few months. With increasing flow of remittances and tourist arrivals, and decreasing petroleum price, we expect economic situation to improve in the days ahead.
Having said this, it will be equally crucial to continue investing in sectors vital to reduce poverty, create jobs, and ensure food security and quality education.
We need to do more to modernize infrastructure and transportation network and take concerted efforts to reduce trade deficit.
Thirdly, Nepal is one of the hotspots of climate crisis. Our people have been bearing the disproportionate brunt of climate change, with increased frequency of landslides, floods and wildfires. According to one estimate, our average annual material loss due to flood alone is USD 140 million.
To combat climate change and ensure that local vulnerabilities are properly addressed, we have implemented local adaptation plans.
We have a national commitment to reach a net zero emission scenario by 2045. I shared this with the international community in the COP26 held in Glasgow last year.
However, climate change is a global problem. And, its equation is simple. If we want to address climate crisis, we need to go to its source. The commitment to climate financing must be fulfilled for adaptation and mitigation.
Now, please allow me to touch upon two more important issues.
One, we are a youthful nation, with the median age of 25.3 years.
Over the years, we have made tremendous achievements in terms of participation of women, youth, and different disadvantaged groups in politics and other spheres of national life.
Their representatives have been elected in free and fair manner in the recent local elections. This has not only ensured their rightful share in decision making, but also injected dynamism in our democracy.
Two, the country is now all set for the elections to the provincial assemblies and federal parliament in November.
I believe they are more than just periodic elections. They are a testament to our ability to ensure peaceful transfer of power, which ultimately strengthens the rule of law and enhances people’s faith in the democratic process.
To conclude, Ladies and Gentlemen, the theme of this year’s ‘Kantipur Conclave’—beyond expectations, beyond boundaries’ —resonates very well with what we need to do to fulfill people’s aspirations. We must realize our potentials, move beyond our boundaries, and work collectively to reshape our future. The role of all partners including the media sector will be very much critical in this regard.
I wish this edition of ‘Kantipur Conclave’ all success!