NEW YORK, Sept 28: Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Gyawali has called for strong regional economic cooperation through the SAARC, BIMSTEC and Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) among other regional platforms during his address to the 74th United Nations General Assembly being held in New York.
Without making reference to prevailing enmity between the two arch-rivals India and Pakistan, Minister Gyawali viewed that strong regional cooperation will contribute to global efforts for peace security and economic development.
“Nepal believes that regional processes complement global efforts for peace, security and economic development. We strive to enhance regional economic cooperation under SAARC, BIMSTEC and ACD. As the current chair, we are effortful to revitalize the stalled SAARC process,” said Gyawali.
Nepal has been stressing the need to reactivating the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) despite souring relations between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issue.
Foreign Minister Gyawali informed the UNGA that Nepal is fully committed to conclude the remaining task of transitional justice. “We are fully committed to concluding the transitional justice process in line with the Comprehensive Peace Accord, directive of the Supreme Court, relevant international commitments, concerns of the victims and the ground realities,” he said.
Gyawali was of the view that Nepal’s democratic transformation presents a uniquely successful, nationally led and owned peace process will be useful to those countries in conflict.
Highlighting the government’s initiatives for bringing foreign investment in the country Gyawali said Nepal has created an investment friendly atmosphere with substantive policy and legal reforms as well as one window service for foreign investment in the country.
“Building on the historic political transformation, the Government of Nepal is now focused on economic agenda to sustain political gains under an overarching national aspiration of 'Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali',” he added.
Gyawali underlined the need of multilateralism to achieve the SDG goals for all countries. “Nepal pins a great hope on the centrality of the United Nations for galvanizing multilateral efforts to address the cross-cutting and global challenges, such as; poverty reduction and achieving SDGs,” he said.
Drawing the attention of climate change to the mountainous countries like Nepal, Gyawali said that the poorest and most vulnerable countries are hitting hard due to the impacts of climate change. “Despite their negligible emissions, they face the consequences which are disproportionate, unjust and undue,” he added. “Home to Sagarmatha, also known as the Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, Nepal lies at the hotspot of climate change," he said.
He also said that the Himalayas, as the barometer of climate change, are witnessing the melting of glaciers and drying up of the fresh water in a faster pace. He informed the international community about the government's preparations to convene Sagarmatha Dialogue, a flagship international conference of the Oli-led government, in April next year under the theme of climate change. “This will be the first episode of the Sagarmatha Dialogue established by Nepal to deliberate on critical issues of contemporary importance,” he said.