KATHMANDU, Sept 27: Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal, Head of the Nepali delegation, addressed the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on 26th September, Monday.
In his address, the Foreign Secretary outlined the threats to global peace and prosperity arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions , inequalities, and climate crisis and stressed stronger solidarity and cooperation in the international system to overcome them, the New York-based Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations said in a press release.
Underscoring pandemic control as the top priority of the world, he called for vaccine equity and universal vaccination to save lives. The Foreign Secretary stated that Nepal had vaccinated more than 96 percent of the target population and thanked the neighbors, India and China, as well as development partners for supporting Nepal in the achievement of this milestone.
Foreign Secretary Paudyal said the interlinked global challenges seriously hampered the achievement of sustainable development goals, particularly for the countries in special situations like the LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDs. He mentioned that Nepal was on the path of graduation from the LDC category, in spite of the huge investment and capacity gaps for structural economic transformation and implementation of SDGs.
He called for enhanced levels of development assistance, foreign investment, debt relief, aid for trade, and technology transfer in support of Nepal's graduation process. He also stressed the need for immediate implementation of climate finance goals to address the climate crisis faced by developing countries and reiterated Nepal's commitment to achieving net zero emission by 2045, as expressed by the Prime Minister in CoP 26IN Glasgow. He also urged for reforms of international financial architecture for an equitable economic order.
Concern over rising military expenditure
In his statement, the Foreign Secretary reiterated Nepal's principled position on peace, security and disarmament. Expressing concerns over the rising military expenditure in the world, he called for general and complete disarmament. The Foreign Secretary underlined Nepal's opposition to threat or use of force against sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence of any nation. He condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and called for an early conclusion of a comprehensive convention against terrorism.
The Foreign Secretary reiterated Nepal's unwavering commitment to human rights. He mentioned that the Constitution of Nepal had guaranteed universally-recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms and had enshrined the principles of inclusion and participation. He also shared Nepal's commitment to conclude transitional justice by addressing the concerns of the victims, complying with the directive of the Supreme Court, and abiding by the spirit of the Comprehensive Peace Accord and the country's relevant international commitments.
Concerns expressed over the situation in Ukraine, Afghanistan and other countries
Paudyal expressed his concerns over the situation in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Libya, Syria, Yemen and the Middle East and urged all parties involved to ensure peace, security, and stability.
The Foreign Secretary shared Nepal's commitment to promoting peace, security, and stability. Referring to Nepal's contribution to the UN peace operations as the second largest troops and police contributing country, he expressed support for initiatives aimed at reforming UN peace operations. Condemning attacks against the peacekeepers, he underlined the importance of their safety, security, and dignity as well as the need for adequate training, resources, and modern technologies.
The General Debate of the 77th Session of UNGA is being held at UN Headquarters in New York from 20 to 26 September under the theme – A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges.