SDGs are in dire need of a rescue plan: PM Dahal

Published On: September 19, 2023 11:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 19: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that more investment in people, support for structural transformation, and achieving rapid and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic were necessary for achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Saying that massive scaling up of affordable finance to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) including through the SDG stimulus package is crucial, the PM stated that the commitment and support of the international community was significant for the adoption of the Doha Programme of Action, a 10-year plan 'to tap into the potential of the LDCs'.

Addressing the 2023 SDG Summit as the Chair of the Group of the LDCs at the UN Headquarters in New York on Monday, the PM said that halfway to the 2030 deadline, "we are seriously off-track in achieving the SDGs".

The PM said that materializing the SDGs is Nepal’s top development priority and the SDGs have been integrated into the national policies and plans. "We are committed to eradicating poverty and reducing inequality in line with the 2030 Agenda and the principle of leaving no one behind," the PM shared. 

He also reiterated Nepal's commitment to ensuring a smooth, sustainable, and irreversible graduation from the LDC category by 2026.

The PM said that the SDGs are in dire need of a rescue plan and mentioned the UN Secretary General’s SDG Report stating that more than half of the world is left behind, most from the LDCs.

According to the PM, the global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and geo-political tensions are further pushing our hard-earned progress into peril.  

PM Dahal stated that 12 of the 17 goals and at least 18 of the 169 targets refer explicitly to the LDCs, recognizing the importance of addressing their development challenges. "And yet, foreign direct investment flows to the LDCs saw a decline of about 30 per cent in 2022, as compared to 2021."

He also shared that investments in infrastructure, renewable energy, water and sanitation, food security, health and education suffered a significant blow.

The Prime Minister also shared that the average external debt of the LDCs rose from 41 per cent 54 per cent in the last one decade.

"However, we have not lost our faith, nor have we derailed our commitments. We have continued to make maximum effort to strengthen and mobilize our domestic resources and institutions," the PM told the international community in the 2023 SDG Summit.

He also called upon the global body to address the debt distress of the LDCs by 2025 and provide coordinated and appropriate debt solutions in a timely manner.

The PM said that finance is the fuel that drives the SDG progress and the achievement of the SDGs in the LDCs defines its success or failure. "We also urge the developed countries to scale up and fulfill their commitments to providing 0.7 percent of gross national products as official development assistance to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent to the LDCs," the PM appealed.

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