Addressing world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, the Prime Minister of Nepal urged greater international focus on the developing world to ensure they are able to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), remarking that it is these nations that will be the “battleground on which the 2030 Agenda will be won or lost.”
“Reaching furthest behind first is not a luxury. It is not a charity either. It is an international obligation, a duty and social responsibility,” KP Sharma Oli, the Prime Minister of Nepal, told leaders gathered at the Assembly’s annual debate.
“The impact will be fully realized only when external support measures respect national ownership and leadership, are aligned with national priorities, come through national system, while they help build productive capacity, job creation and develop human resources.”
In his address, Prime Minister Oli also highlighted the growing threat, particularly for mountain nations, such as his own, as well as for small islands from the impacts of climate change.
The “existential threat” of climate change in these countries, he added, necessitate a matching and robust response, including the full implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, “in good faith.”
Outlining the possibilities offered by the younger generation, the Nepali leader called for inculcating them with the civil and moral values so that they become a force for harmony and tolerance in society.
He also highlighted the avenues opened by advances in technology but cautioned that that digital dividends are unevenly distributed and that the digital divide is widening.
“The developing countries, especially least developed countries (LDCs), are struggling to cope,” he said, calling for easy access to affordable technology and free the barriers for their transfer.
“This will provide a level playing field to all countries to benefit and propel economic growth through new technologies.”
In conclusion, the Prime Minister of Nepal reiterated his country’s support for UN peace operations and urged greater representation of troop contributing nations in senior peacekeeping positions.
Full statement available here.