LDC chair urges international support for least developed countries at SDG summit

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal emphasized the critical need for increased investment in human capital, support for structural changes, and the attainment of a swift and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During his address as the Chair of the Group of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) at the 2023 SDG Summit held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Prime Minister Dahal underscored the significance of substantial financial support to LDCs, including through the SDG stimulus package. He stressed that the commitment and assistance of the international community were pivotal for the successful implementation of the Doha Programme of Action—a ten-year strategy aimed at harnessing the potential of LDCs.

PM Dahal expressed concern that, midway to the 2030 deadline, significant challenges existed in achieving the SDGs. He reaffirmed Nepal’s dedication to integrating the SDGs into its national policies and plans, with a primary focus on poverty eradication and inequality reduction, aligned with the 2030 Agenda’s principle of leaving no one behind.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Dahal reiterated Nepal’s commitment to ensuring a smooth and irreversible transition from the LDC category by 2026. He noted that the SDGs required urgent attention and referred to the UN Secretary-General’s SDG Report, which highlighted that more than half of the world’s population, particularly in LDCs, faced significant development disparities.

PM Dahal identified global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and geopolitical tensions as factors endangering hard-earned progress. He pointed out that 12 of the 17 SDGs and at least 18 of the 169 targets were explicitly related to LDCs, underscoring the importance of addressing their unique development challenges. He also highlighted a 30 percent decline in foreign direct investment to LDCs in 2022 compared to the previous year, which adversely impacted essential sectors like infrastructure, renewable energy, water and sanitation, food security, health, and education.

The Prime Minister expressed concern about the rising average external debt in LDCs, which had increased from 41 percent to 54 percent over the past decade. Nonetheless, he reaffirmed Nepal’s unwavering commitment to mobilizing domestic resources and strengthening institutions.

PM Dahal urged the international community to address the debt distress faced by LDCs by 2025, providing timely and coordinated debt relief solutions. He emphasized the crucial role of finance in driving SDG progress and urged developed countries to fulfill their commitments by providing 0.7 percent of gross national products as official development assistance to developing countries and allocating 0.15 to 0.20 percent to LDCs.

Fiscal Nepal |
Tuesday September 19, 2023, 11:48:35 AM |

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