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Statement by Hon. Suresh Ale Magar, Member of Legislature-Parliament of Nepal, and member of the Nepalese delegation to the sixty-second session of the United Nations General Assembly at the plenary meeting on agenda Items 48: Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields; and 116: follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit.
New York, 26 November 2007
1. Nepal highly appreciates the importance the President of General Assembly has given to the effective implementation of the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits, including the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
2. In the early years of this decade, the international community made concrete commitments in various summits and conferences to advance socio-economic development in the world. In 2000, the Millennium Declaration gave us the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2001, the Brussels Program of Action was agreed for world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The World Summit on Sustainable Development held in 2002 produced the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation on sustainable development. Same year, the international community agreed on a Monterrey Consensus on Financing for Development. In 2003, a programme of action was developed in Almaty for the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs).
3. Significantly, these summits and conferences showed us the way forward in the form of agreed commitments, goals and programmes. These summits and conferences identified major principles, including the principles of global partnership and national ownership in socio-economic development.
4. As we are half way through, the report card in these commitments shows mixed progress. While some countries have partially made significant strides in achieving these goals, many others, particularly least developed countries, are still lagging behind in achieving them. Unless we accelerate our efforts now, the achievement of these goals in the targeted framework will be a distant reality. Therefore, we must build on the achievements made so far and strive for accelerating implementation in the days to come.
5. Nepal attaches great significance to the role of the United Nations system in implementation of the outcomes of the major summits and conferences in achieving socio-economic development. We support an increasing engagement of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in advancing the socio-economic agenda. We emphasize on the need of inter-agency coordination in the United Nations system for successful implementation of the development outcomes and support the system-wide coherence. We encourage the regional commissions as well as specialized agencies and funds and programmes of the United Nations to enhance their role in strengthening country programmes for development.
6. The Bretton Woods Institutions and the World Trade Organization can be expected to play more effective roles to implement the outcomes of the major summits and conferences on social, economic and related fields. There is a need to further deepening the role of these institutions and re-orienting their actions in advancing the socio-economic development in the world’s poorer countries. Particularly, their monitoring and follow up mechanism should be strengthened by improving indicators and developing result matrix in the implementation of the outcomes of major summits and conferences.
8. The year 2008 will be a defining moment for development agenda. We will be reviewing the progress made in the implementation of the MDGs and the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development. In addition, the General Assembly will be undertaking a mid-term review of the Almaty Programme of Action for the LLDCs. We will also be addressing the challenges of globalization for development at the twelfth conference of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development to be held in Accra. Nepal attaches vital importance to these events and stresses that these conferences provide renewed opportunity to further accelerating the implementation of our agreed goals and commitments in development.
10. Nepal is committed to integrate the internationally agreed development goals, commitments and programmes into its national policies and programmes and has already incorporated many of them in the national development plan. The Interim Plan focuses on commitments to people-centered development with a strong emphasis on good governance and poverty reduction. We hope that our development partners will provide an enhanced level of support to help us achieve our planned goals and targets.
11. Since the historic signing of a comprehensive peace accord between the government of Nepal and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in November 2006, the peace process in Nepal is making significant strides. We are striving to establish a “new Nepal” committed to fundamental values of democracy, social justice, and people’s progressive discourse. The decade-long conflict came to an end with tangible achievements such as empowerment of the masses and acceptance of a more inclusive and democratic framework for Nepal’s various marginalized groups such as women, indigenous peoples, Madhesis, Dalits and people in the backward areas. We are now entering the phase of re-structuring of the State through elections to the Constituent Assembly, in which the elected representatives of the people will write their own constitution. These developments are vital in creating atmosphere and paving way for better implementation of internationally agreed goals and commitments in socio-economic development.
13. In conclusion, the international community cannot afford to be a pathetic spectator while millions of people in this world continue to languish in crippling poverty and exclusion. It has a special responsibility to lift them out of that morass.
14. Making poverty history is possible and it is within human reach if we acted in concert. That solemn pledge cannot be achieved without a renewed international political will, significant scaling up of resources, sustained policies and programmes, and committed national leadership. Together we can make it happen. This is the lesson we have learned from these summits and conferences.
I thank you Mr. President!