KATHMANDU, Jan 21: Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali addressed the 17th Ministerial Meeting of Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) held virtually on Thursday.
Delivering his statement, Minister Gyawali stressed the close cooperation among the member states and partnership with private business for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic to bring all aspects of lives, livelihoods, and economies to normalcy, including the tourism sector, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The foreign minister highlighted the urgent need for ensuring easy and affordable access to vaccines and other essential medical items to this end.
Stating that the top priority of the Government of Nepal is to protect the people’s lives from the disease and hunger, Gyawali said that Nepal has scrupulously been executing safety, health and sanitation protocols in all tourism related activities focusing on saving jobs and keeping the economy afloat.
He said that development and improvement of quality of infrastructures is a key to building all modes of connectivity in the ACD region, narrow the development gap, and achieve equitable and inclusive growth, especially for a landlocked country like Nepal.
He emphasized the need for enhancing cooperation and collaboration for the mitigation and adaptation of the adverse impacts of climate change and natural disasters.
Expressing Nepal's full confidence in the principles, values and goals of the ACD, Gyawali said that ACD should play a significant role in strengthening mutual trust, forging common understanding, and promoting cooperation and collaboration among the member states for peace, stability, shared development, and prosperity of the Asian nations.
The meeting was hosted by the Republic of Turkey, the current Chair of the ACD, under the theme “The New Normal and Safe and Healthy Tourism.”
The Nepali delegation led by the foreign minister included Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.