Nepal at 76th UNGA: No alternative to democracy and multilateralism to overcome global tensions, adversities

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Narayan Khadka addresses 76th United Nations General Assembly session.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Nepal has voiced that there is no alternative to democracy and multilateralism in overcoming the situation rife with tension and adversities created in the contemporary world due to various problems as the Covid-19 pandemic, terrorism, conflict and natural disasters.

Addressing the 76th United Nations General Assembly session, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Narayan Khadka reiterated Nepal’s unwavering belief in multilateralism and the United Nations which was at its center. He said it would be possible to increase understanding and cooperation in the world, ensure the common future of the people of the world and promote shared interests only through multilateralism.

“Covid-19 has silently and cruelly claimed over 4.5 million lives and Nepal joins world leaders in expressing deepest condolences to the people across the world, who have lost their loved ones due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

Minister Khadka said that the crisis has brought the world to a grinding halt, devastated the global economy, pushed an additional 150 million people into extreme poverty, and threatened to reverse hard-earned development gains.

Deepening vaccine inequality is leaving adverse socio-economic impacts in many low-income countries. Vaccines must be declared as public goods for the benefit of people’s lives. Reviving hope is critical in times of crisis.

He appreciated the efforts made by the international community including the UN system to address the challenges posed by Covid-19 and underscored to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines for everyone, everywhere.

“People’s lives should come first. Despite constraints and challenges to access Covid-19 vaccines, we have been able to vaccinate close to 20 percent of our population.”

The minister condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. He also called for general and complete disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction in a time-bound and verifiable manner.

Highlighting the importance of promotion and protection of human rights, he said the pandemic has strained our efforts to realize the SDGs. As we strive for resilient recovery and building back better and stronger, achieving SDGs should be our goal.

As both an LDC and LLDC, Nepal’s structural challenges are unique. We see our plan to graduate from the LDC category by 2026 as an opportunity to bring structural transformation and make the long-held national aspiration of graduation smooth, sustainable, and irreversible, the minister reiterated.

“Nepal is at the sharp end of climate change despite its negligible share in greenhouse gas emissions. On our part, we reiterate our commitment to delivering climate-resilient development pathways by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Referring to Nepal’s contribution to UN peacekeeping operations, Minister for Foreign Affairs Khadka said: “For over 63 years, Nepal has consistently contributed to the UN peace operations to promote peace, security and stability. As one of the largest troop-contributing countries, Nepal believes that such countries deserve more senior-level positions both at the UNHQ and in field.”

“We call for the Effective Implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and underline the need for more robust international governance for the protection, safety, and welfare of the migrant workers,” added.

He said, “Nepal’s worldview is shaped by our adherence to the principle of ‘amity with all and enmity with none’, principles and purposes of the UN Charter, non-alignment, international law and norms of world peace form the basis of our foreign policy.”