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NPC highlights key priorities of SDG implementation


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2023 Jul 18, 13:03, Kathmandu

Vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Dr Min Bahadur Shrestha has highlighted the impacts of multiple crises on Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Delivering a statement on behalf of the LDCs at the General Debate of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York, USA on July 17, he also underscored the key priorities for accelerating the implementation of the SDGs in the LDCs.

The NPC Vice-chair attended the Opening of the three-day High-level Ministerial Segment of the Forum earlier the same day, the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations in New York said in a press release.

Dr Shrestha on the occasion urged the global community to rally behind the Doha Programme of Action for LDCs to ensure its full and timely implementation and support LDCs to achieve structural transformation through innovation and technology transfer.

He emphasized the importance of multilateralism and the need for the reform of global financial architecture.

Vice-chair Shrestha also called the global community for the allocation of SDG Stimulus to support the implementation of SDGs as well as for mobilizing SDRs worth 100 billion dollars for the LDCs. "The LDCs must be the centre of the global focus: SDGs will succeed if LDCs succeed," he further emphasized.

Meanwhile, delivering the country statement in the event later, the NPC Vice-chair said cascading impacts of the unprecedented overlapping crises are affecting our countries severely and disproportionately.

"The COVID-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on the lives and livelihoods in 46 LDCs. Massive job losses, more than one full year of education loss and soaring inflation are some examples," he said, adding that the international conflict has further exacerbated the situation.

Dr Shrestha said, "It triggered shortages of fuel, food, and fertilizer. Poverty and hunger have escalated. Debt burdens grew heavier, liquidity dried up, and access to global capital markets worsened dramatically."

Stating that the achievement of the 2030 Agenda is facing serious jeopardy, he pointed out it is alarming that even the most fundamental goals on hunger and poverty have gone into reverse after decades of progress.

As he said, in 2020 alone, 32 million people in LDCs were pushed into extreme poverty. In 2023, more than 750 million people do not have enough to eat. Similarly, the prevalence of undernourishment in LDCs is 21.7 percent against 9.2 percent of the global average, he pointed out.

"The incidence of moderate to severe food insecurity is astonishingly high at 59.3 percent representing 652.3 million people. We must intensify our efforts to achieve the lost ground on the SDGs. We need a new global blueprint with renewed measures. We call for a global agreement on the allocation of US$500 billion SDG Stimulus for investment in sustainable development."

Calling on the world community to turn commitment into action in mobilizing the means of implementation, he said, "Our call is to achieve the target of 0.2 per cent of GNI as ODA to LDCs; to double the share of LDCs exports from its current level of 1.00 per cent; to double the share of aid for trade to LDCs; to support building our e-commerce ecosystem; to undertake comprehensive debt relief measures; to meet $100 billion goal of climate finance, double adaptation finance, replenish the Green Climate Fund, and operationalize the loss and damage fund this year at COP28; and to continually support the countries that graduated so that their development is not disrupted.

He stressed that ramped-up assistance is needed to double the manufacturing value added from its current level of $159, to achieve universal access to electricity from its current level of 44 per cent; and universal connectivity to internet from its current level of 36 per cent.

"We also call for the implementation of article 66.2 of the TRIPS agreement on technology transfer and support the meaningful operationalization of the UN Technology Bank for the LDCs," he said.

Expressing concern that out of the 650 billion SDR allocation, LDCs received less than 17 billion SDR, Dr Shrestha said the LDCs reiterate their call for at least 100 billion SDR for LDCs.

"International Financial Institutions’ business model needs a massive overhaul so that it supports LDCs in pressing times. The capital base of Multilateral Development Banks also needs to scale up," he reiterated.

Stating that the SDG Summit in 2023 offers an extraordinary opportunity to set out a concrete global strategy to rescue the SDGs, he said the SDGs need reinvigorated global cooperation that can deal with current challenges as well as new risks and threats down the line.

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National Planning Commission (NPC) dr min bahadur shrestha Least Developed Countries (LDCs) High-Level Political Forum multilateralism
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