Statement by Hon. Mr. Narayan Prakash Saud, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Government of Nepal at the 18th Ministerial Meeting of Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) on the sidelines of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), New York, 20 September 2023
Excellency, the Secretary General of ACD
At the outset, I extend my sincere appreciation to the Government of Bahrain for convening the 18th Meeting of ACD here in New York and for the kind invitation.
We welcome the theme of the Meeting “Post-Pandemic Sustainable Recovery,” which is timely and relevant.
COVID-19 has been an unprecedented challenge for all governments. The disruption in the supply chain of foods, fertilizers, fuel and other essential goods has hit all of us, and more particularly the poorest and vulnerable countries.
Multiple crises have rendered realization of the SDGs even more challenging.
However, if managed well, times of disruption can also become watershed for innovation and progress.
Our region holds a high potential for socio-economic development, technological advancement, and prosperity.
Many of us are landlocked countries and connectivity is naturally the top priority for smooth and cost-effective linkage to the world market, reduced transaction costs, improved export competitiveness, and increased FDI opportunities.
It is also at the core for promoting socio-cultural and people-to-people contacts in the region.
Trade, tourism, investment and innovation are some promising areas for bringing visible change in the lives of our people.
As a country situated in the Himalayan region, Nepal is bearing disproportionate burden of climate change. With a view to addressing impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, meeting the climate ambition, and accelerating the implementation of SDGs, Nepal has adopted Green, Resilient and Inclusive Development (GRID) strategy.
Nepal attaches high priority to regional processes, including the ACD.
We are happy to see the ACD process continuously evolving with adoption of core instruments like ACD Vision for Asia Cooperation 2030, and ACD Blueprint 2021-2030.
We stand ready to work together with all ACD member countries in realizing the objectives of ACD and in successful implementation of the adopted core instruments.
The six pillars of cooperation identified in ACD Blueprint 2021-2030 are in line with our development priorities.
Connectivity; Science, Technology and Innovation; Education and Human Resource Development; Interrelation of Food, Energy and Water Security; Culture and Tourism, and Promoting Approaches to Inclusive and Sustainable Development are all promising areas for bringing change in the lives of people in the region.
Nepal is happy to be one of the co-prime movers in the culture and tourism sector and we are working together with the prime mover and co-prime mover countries for identifying and implementing result-oriented activities.
As we prepare for the 3rd Summit to be held in Qatar in October this year, Nepal welcomes the Bahrain declaration that we have just adopted and looks forward to work jointly with the fellow Member States to achieve the goals of ACD.
I thank you all.