Hon. Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat, Minister for Foreign Affairs and the leader of the Nepali delegation, participated in the General Debate of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today. The General Debate started on 20 September 2016 under the theme "The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world" and will conclude on 26 September 2016.
Remembering that it was exactly 60 years ago Nepal first spoke at the 11th session of the UNGA, the leader of Nepali delegation said that sixty years down the road, our commitment to the United Nations has “become even stronger” and the “principles of the UN Charter remain at the core of Nepal’s foreign policy”. Speaking on Nepal-UN relations, the Hon. Minister said that Nepal has “significantly contributed to the UN in fulfilling its responsibility of maintaining international peace and security” as much as the UN has contributed to Nepal’s development endeavors and lately to the peace process.
He also highlighted the recent internationally agreed development agendas and Nepal’s priorities, stressing on the need to effectively implement Istanbul Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries and the Vienna Programme of Action (VPOA) for the Landlocked Developing Countries in strong synergy and full coherence with the universal and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the world leaders last year. In this context, he shared with the General Assembly that Nepal has already began integrating these important development agendas into national mainstream plans and policies.
Referring to the issues of climate change, the Hon. Minister underscored that Nepal as a Himalayan country is facing challenges from the melting glaciers, flash floods, and outburst of glacial lakes. He shared that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change adopted last year reflected a rare commitment of international community to make a difference. And on migration and refugees, the Hon. Minister emphasized on the proper management of migration and on every refugee’s right to return to his/her homeland with safety and dignity.
Earlier this morning, the Hon. Minister attended the Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Least Developed Countries held in New York today. In his address, the Hon. Minister underlined that the resource gap posed the greatest challenge in the implementation of both the IPOA and the Agenda 2030 and that there was the need for enhanced and adequate international support measures. He underscored the urgency of adequate support to LDC plans for achieving the SDGs, timely implementation of the internationally agreed development agendas, and a longer-term sustainable development vision beyond 2030. The Meeting adopted a Ministerial Declaration.
On the sidelines of the UNGA, the Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs held a bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand today. During the meeting the two sides exchanged views on further enhancing bilateral and regional cooperation. The Hon. Minister commended the role and leadership of Thailand as Chair of the Group of 77 and China. The Thai Minister informed that the 2nd Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit will be held in October 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Also in the evening today, the Hon. Minister attended a dinner hosted in honour of the Nepalese delegation to the 71st Session of the UNGA by H.E. Mr. Durga Prasad Bhattarai, Ambassador/Permanent Representative, at his residence.
The statements delivered by the Hon. Minister can be viewed at https://www.un.int/nepal/statements_speeches