Address by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal
Hon. Mr. Raghubir Mahaseth at the Joint Thematic event of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
Theme: “Diversifying the Financing Toolbox to Enhance Investment in Least Developed Countries”
Friday, 18 June 2021
Mr. President of the General Assembly
Mr. President of the ECOSOC
Excellencies, and Distinguished Delegates
I would like to congratulate the Presidents of the General Assembly as well as ECOSOC for organizing this joint thematic event on LDCs with a specific focus on the means of implementation.
As we prepare for the Fifth UN Conference on LDCs, I hope the event today will send a right message towards financing and investments in LDCs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the gap of resources that LDCs face.
While the countries with greater levels of resources are able to mobilize a lot of resources to contain the virus, stimulate the economy and vaccinate their population, LDCs have been struggling with this pandemic.
The already narrow revenue and tax base has been further strained. If left on their own to battle this pandemic, the unfortunate impacts are likely to extend from the LDCs to the entire world. To make progress, the war against the virus must be won collectively.
In a move to address the investment gaps, the 2030 Agenda and Addis Ababa Action Agenda imposed the target to adopt and implement Investment Promotion Regimes for LDCs.
Yet, in six years after the adoption of those Agendas, implementation is nowhere to be seen. How do we assure ourselves that the other goals and targets will not face a similar fate?
IPOA had aimed to enable half of the LDCs for graduating as an important motif. But this target has remained unmet by far.
How do we explain the failure to scale up collective action to match the collective ambition?
Therefore, our collective task in Doha is to correct this course.
The development partners need to live up to their financing commitments. The LDCs also need to be better prepared to grab the investment opportunities unleashed by the emerging trends.
As debt stress is increasing in many LDCs especially in the wake of COVID-19, DSSI is a welcome move. We must address these gaps
in the next program of action.
Reallocating SDRs and repurposing large share to LDCs is necessary for expanding the financing toolbox for the neediest countries.
Investment, including FDI, needs to increase to address the development needs of LDCs, including to improve productive capacity, infrastructure, energy, connectivity, and business.
Nepal is at the corner of LDC graduation.
For us, graduation is a milestone in the country’s goal of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’.
We are determined to make the best out of this fundamental period, by mobilizing financing from public as well as private sectors, and internal as well as external sources.
The support from the UN system and development partners will be crucial to realize sustainable graduation as well as to defeat the pandemic and build back a stronger nation.
For all LDCs, the Fifth UN Conference should a conference of hope grounded in adequate financing and means of implementation.
The success of the next program of action will be the ultimate test for the success of SDGs.
Nepal is ready to rise to the challenge.