Statement by Prime Minister of Nepal Rt. Hon. Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ as the Chair of the Group of LDCs at the 2023 SDG Summit
New York, 18-19 September 2023
Mr. Secretary General,
I thank you, Mr. President, for convening this SDG Summit.
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of the Least Developed Countries.
Halfway to the 2030 deadline, we are seriously off-track in achieving the SDGs.
The global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and geo-political tensions are further pushing our heard-earned progress into peril.
According to the UN Secretary General’s SDG Report, more than half of the world is left behind, most from LDCs.
The SDGs are in dire need of a rescue plan.
We all know, twelve of the seventeen goals and at least 18 of the 169 targets refer explicitly to LDCs, recognizing the importance of addressing their development challenges.
And yet, foreign direct investment flows to LDCs saw a decline of about 30% in 2022, as compared to 2021.
Investments in infrastructure, renewable energy, water and sanitation, food security, health and education suffered a significant blow.
The average external debt of LDCs rose from 41% in 2011 to 54% in 2022. The high cost of borrowing facing these countries has not only inhibited investments in SDGs but also raised the risk of debt crisis.
However, we have not lost our faith, nor have we derailed our commitments. We have continued to make maximum effort to strengthen and mobilize our domestic resources and institutions.
But, acting alone will not be enough.
Commitment and support of international community for adoption of the Doha Program of Action was significant. More investment in people, support for structural transformation, and achieving rapid and sustainable recovery from the COVID pandemic will be necessary for achieving the SDGs.
Massive scaling up of affordable finance to LDCs including through the SDG stimulus package is crucial.
Addressing the debt distress of LDCs by 2025 and providing coordinated and appropriate debt solutions in a timely manner must remain an urgent priority.
We also urge the developed countries to scale up and fulfil their commitments to providing 0.7 percent of GNP as ODA to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent to the LDCs.
This is critical as finance is the fuel that drives the SDG progress. And the achievement of SDGs in LDCs defines its success or failure.
Speaking in my national capacity, I would like to share with this august gathering that materializing SDGs is Nepal’s top development priority. The SDGs have been integrated into our national policies and plans.
We are committed to eradicating poverty and reducing inequality in line with the 2030 Agenda and the principle of leaving no one behind.
We remain committed to ensuring a smooth, sustainable, and irreversible graduation from the LDC category by 2026.
Our commitment to the Paris Agreement is steadfast, and so is our goal to reach net zero scenario by 2045.
We call for adequate support from our development partners to complement our national efforts.
To conclude, we must ensure that this Summit renews and revitalizes our SDG promise.
We must reinvigorate the sense of hope and optimism and accelerate action for achieving the 2030 Agenda.