KATHMANDU (RSS): Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey has said Nepal is going to raise the climate change and population management issues in the 69th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Talking to RSS reporters Narayan Neupane and Surya Chandra Basnet on topics to be raised by the Nepali delegation to the UNGA and the Nepal-UN relations, Minister Pandey said the issue of climate change is to be raised as a primary concern because it has emerged as a major challenge to most countries of the world including Nepal.
“We have seen the adverse impact of climate change in this season itself; the rainfall pattern has changed and due to this people had to suffer uncalled for damage as a result of natural disasters such as flooding and landslide and this issue is not limited to Nepal alone, it is common the world over,” he explained.
Prime Minister Sushil Koirala is leading the Nepali delegation to the UNGA and is leaving for New York, USA on September 19. The PM is scheduled to address the General Assembly on September 26.
Foreign Minister Pandey further said that population management has also come up as a major issue owing to the fact that some countries are experiencing a rapid population growth while others are seeing a decline in population.
If this issue is not addressed in time then some of the countries would see a rapid decline in the population growth rate plunging to a very negative indicator transforming these countries literally into countries of the elderly people while on the other hand the rapid population growth in the least developed countries would pose another big problem of population management, hence the need of debating this issue in the UNGA, he added.
In the view of Minister Pandey, other pertinent issues that need to be discussed in the UNGA are achieving poverty reduction and sustainable development goals through the judicious use of available resources, linking up the issue of poverty alleviation to economic prosperity and the need of bringing about a change in the people’s conscience, improving the quality of education and health care.
He said addressing the adverse situation created due to the conflicts in many countries of the world and bringing political stability would also be raised prominently in the Assembly.
Stating that Nepal has been moving ahead addressing the challenges on the basis of the United Nations Charter ever since it joined the UN on 14 December 1955, the Minister for Foreign Affairs stressed that Nepal has been playing a strong role through the United Nations in establishing its identity and existence in the international community.
Nepal has become successful in attaining the MDG in the health sector among the health, education and agriculture sector development as investments are being made in these sectors through different UN agencies.
Asked how he assessed the more than six decades of Nepal-UN relations, Minister Pandey said, “Our relations with the UN has helped Nepal get familiarized with the world scenario and in the preparations of its national policies and plans in that backdrop and also to activate these policies to pursue them for its forward-looking change.
On the question of how he takes Nepal’s foreign policy in the changed political scenario, the Minister for Foreign Affairs stated that Nepal’s trust and faith towards the UN was strong and suggested the UN to guide the nation towards a better democracy.
Regarding his take on the implementation aspects of the UNGA decisions and commitments, he said the UN should be able to play a positive and active role based on the principle of equality, independence and mutual interest. He said the UN does not have the coercive authority to punish any member country except to request and prod that country for the enforcement of its commitments.
When asked what needed to be done to further make the UN’s role effective for mitigating the ongoing conflicts and violence in different places of the world, he said although efforts towards restoring peace have been made by deploying the UN peace keeping forces in the conflict areas, this alone was not a sustainable solution for conflict resolution.
“Priority should be given to education, health, poverty alleviation and improving the living conditions of the people in the countries wracked by violence and conflict as peace cannot always be maintained through the gun. Equally important is the respect for human rights and enforcement of the law,” he said.
He added that the developed countries should realize t that the world has become a global village, and the UN and its member countries should remember their responsibilities towards fellow human beings. They should realize no one should go hungry and everyone has the right to live a decent life.
Regarding the question of deploying Nepalese Army in the UN peacekeeping force, Minister Pandey said their training,orientation,facilities and allowance should be enhanced.
He also stressed the need of expanding the UN Security Council membership as a measure to ensure the representation of the developed, developing and the least developed countries and hence make it more inclusive. Nepal would highlight the need to end the disparity between the developed and the least developed countries.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs also lauded the UN’s contribution in resolving the conflict in Nepal.
Pointing out t that the Nepali people are eager for development,completing the constitution writing task in time and attaining political stability, the Minister for Foreign Affairs noted that the cooperation of the international community would be vital in attaining these goals.
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