PERMANENT MISSION OF NEPAL TO THE UNITED NATIONS
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Intervention by Hon. Mrs. Sahana Pradhan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal at the thirty-first Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 and China
New York, 27 September 2007
1. Allow me to begin by commending the active leadership of Pakistan as the chair of the Group of 77 and China. I also welcome the election of Antigua and Barbuda to the chairmanship of the Group for the year 2008.
2. Our group is increasingly becoming relevant in the United Nations and all multilateral bodies. This relevance has been possible due to our collective pursuit and solidarity in the issues of the interest of the developing countries.
3. As developing countries, our interests are vital. We have to advance the development agenda. We need to make progress in the stalled negotiations in trade. We need to implement commitments made in various global compacts in Monterrey, Johannesburg, Doha and here at the UN.
4. We had set Millennium Development Goals pledging a better future and equitable society for all. As we are halfway through, we are realizing that many countries may not achieve the MDGs. Hence, we need to focus on midterm review to correct the lag between our pledges and implementation.
5. Nepal welcomes proposal for the system-wide coherence to strengthen the UN’s role in development. But this should no way dilute the regional and national focus on UN’s role in activities related to development, environment and humanitarian issues. We cannot also let external issues complicate our efforts to development. We must assert to retain the country ownership in all these issues.
6. We look forward to participating in the high-level dialogue on Financing for Development and the follow-up conference on the subject to be held in Doha in 2008. This opportunity should be utilized for reinforcing the commitment on global partnership for development. Industrialized countries should deliver on their promises of allocating 0.7 percent of their GNP to official development assistance for developing countries, and particularly 0.20 percent to the least developed countries.
7. The Group of 77 and China has a special responsibility towards safeguarding of the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island states, which are lagging behind in all areas. Our group should continue to play an active role in safeguarding the interest of these groups of countries.
8. Our Group should also keep the international community seriously engaged for fulfilling their commitments for enhanced debt relief measures, scaled-up official development assistance, unconditional technology transfer, and unhindered market access for goods and services from developing countries into the markets of industrialized countries.
9. Indeed, South-South cooperation is crucial in forging partnership among the developing countries. Through South-South cooperation, we can learn from our best practices and experiences, a relatively cheaper and easier way. We need to explore all avenues of South-South cooperation at the level of government, the business and civil society. We also can strengthen South-South cooperation through extension of regional trading opportunities. But this cannot replace the much-needed North-South cooperation.
10. The continued lack of progress in Doha Development Agenda in the WTO has seriously undermined the development dimension of trade. We need to reinforce our cooperation to press for an early resumption of the trade talks with a view to concluding the development round of trade negotiations in the interest of the developing countries.
11. Many developing countries, particularly the LDCs, require increased level of trade finance. They need to build trade-related infrastructure and technical capacities in order to participate in trade in a fair and beneficial manner. We should stress the need for an early operationalization of Aid-for-Trade initiative in this direction.
12. Nepal’s new democratic dispensation is committed to a political and social transformation, through the logical conclusion of the peace process. The elections to the constitutional assembly to be held on November 22 this year will help us achieve that goal. Then, we will embark upon a robust post-conflict reconstruction program. We hope our development partners will generously support us in this regard.
13. Before concluding, I would like to reaffirm Nepal’s full commitment to the spirit and principles of the Group of 77.
I thank you Mr. Chairman!