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Statement by Mr. Lok Bahadur Poudel Chhetri, Minister Counselor, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations, at the Second Committee Main Session of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda Item: 19 -Sustainable Development

Monday, 14 October 2019
Mr. Lok Bahadur Poudel Chhetri

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to thank the President of the General Assembly for highlighting the importance of this Agenda item this morning, and commend the Secretary-General for the comprehensive reports produced under this important Agenda Item.

I first align my statement with those of the Groups of 77 and China, LDCs, and LLDCs delivered by the State of Palestine, Malawi and Paraguay respectively, and present a few points in my national capacity.

Mr. Chairman,

Mainstreaming the three pillars of sustainable development into our plans and policies at all levels, and into the UN system as well, is critical.

2030 Agenda is much more than the sum of its seventeen goals.

It embodies an ambitious and transformative agenda, a hope for sustainable and prosperous future of planet and people. And building on the experience of last four years, we must strive hard to deliver the promise we made in 2015.

Also, no amount of eloquence could compensate the lack of actions.

This year’s SDG Summit provided an important opportunity to take stock of where we stand now and what we should do to generate further momentum. Similarly, SG’s Climate Action Summit drove home a message of urgency to save the planet as well as future of humanity.

The menace of climate change is outpacing our response. Unfortunately, it is the poorest and most vulnerable who are hit hardest despite their negligible emissions.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation attaches high importance to sustainable mountain development that holistically takes into account all issues facing mountains and people living around, from poverty and food insecurity to disasters and climate change.

A country with many snowcapped mountains, Nepal lies at the hotspot of climate change. The climate-induced disasters have also added misery and resulted in the loss of numerous lives in our country.

Scientists have found that one-third of the glaciers will melt away by the end of this century even if we are going to meet the 1.5-degree scenario. If the current trend goes unabated, the loss of glaciers could amount up to two-thirds.

Such a situation will be detrimental to millions living in the mountains and more than a billion people living downstream. My delegation, therefore, continues to highlight the fact that there is organic linkage between the mountains and oceans.

Nepal stresses the need to effectively implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, in synergy with 2030 Agenda, with all stakeholders onboard.

Mr. Chairman,

As LDCs are grappled with several specific challenges, there is a dire need of ensuring means of implementation—with reliability, predictability and sustainability of resources.

The constraints are more severe in those LDCs that are either landlocked or island states.

Nepal underlines the importance of clean and renewable energy. In this regard, we are effortful to utilize our immense hydropower potentials for the collective benefit.

At times, disasters undo the development progress made over decades. We must move beyond the short-term reactive approach to more comprehensive and coherent approach of disaster risk reduction and building resilience. In this regard, the Sendai Framework needs to be effectively implemented, in synergy with the 2030 Agenda and with a focus on capacity building. 

Mr. Chairman,

Nepal’s priority now is on economic transformation and sustainable development. Implementation of the 2030 Agenda is our national priority and is integral to our graduation from the LDC status. We anticipate an enhanced, predictable and continued international support for a smooth transition and sustainable graduation.

To conclude, Mr. Chairman, I would like to stress that the ambitious SDGs cannot be achieved by mere incremental changes. What we need now is a profound transformation to realize the vision of ‘leaving no one behind’.

I thank you.