Statement by Hon. Dr. Min Bahadur Shrestha, Vice-Chairman of the National Planning Commission of Nepal and the Head of Nepali Delegation to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) under the auspices of the UN-ECOSOC
(New York, 18 July 2017)
As we embark on turning the transformative Sustainable Development Goals into reality, we must focus on actions to make a qualitative difference in the lives of our people.The theme that we are deliberating today ‘Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world’ rightly captures this need as well as the essence of SDGs.
I align my statement with those delivered on behalf of G-77 and China, LLDCs and LDCs.
In Nepal, the 2030 Agenda enjoys strong underpinning of the country’s Constitution itself. The rights-based Constitution provides an inclusive framework for sustainable development by guaranteeing rights to multiple development dimensions, such as health, education and clean environment.
The current development priority of Nepal is to build on the achievements of MDGs, and focus fully on realising SDGs. It demands that our constraints relating to capacity, institutions and resources are fully addressed.
It was with this in mind that Nepal undertook policy initiatives for mainstreaming and localizing SDGs into its national plans and programmes immediately after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. And, I was honoured to present Nepal’s Voluntary National Review at this Forum yesterday, mapping out our constraints, gaps and promises ahead.
Above all, Nepal’s development path is beset with structural challenges such as landlockedness as well as with vulnerabilities to climate change and natural disasters.
Undeterred, though, we have mustered all the strength and relentless efforts in the hope to fully achieve SDGs. Nonetheless, we are aware that our efforts would not be enough.
‘Leaving no one behind’ is the mantra we agreed on while adopting the SDGs. The 2030 Agenda calls for generous international partnerships to fill the technological and resource gaps. We should create enabling environments for LDCs and LLDCs to fully utilize their potentials as agreed in Istanbul Program of Action and Vienna Program of Action. In this regard, Nepal stresses that means of implementation commitments must match with the actions.
Equally important is to ensure equitable benefits from the international trading and financial systems.Development partners and stakeholders need to support and complement the national efforts of countries in special situation in the spirit of solidarity– the foundation of the 2030 Agenda.System-wide coherence needs to be maintained within the UN system for it to be ‘fit for purpose’ and to ‘deliver as one’ on the ground.
Clearly, the current level of global efforts and partnerships remains inadequate. While Nepal is committed to do its best by forging partnerships among public, private and cooperative sectors at home, it looks forward to increased cooperation from development partners in terms of ODA, meaningful partnerships as well as technology facilitation and transfer.
As the central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda, this Forum has an important responsibility to ensure that all our efforts are consistent and sustained. Its credibility will depend on its ability to provide constant political leadership for the agenda’s implementation and in ensuring that no one is left behind. Nepal stands ready to working with the international community towards that direction.
I thank you, Mr. President!