Excellency Durga Prasad Bhattarai, Ambassador/ Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations renewed Nepal’s unwavering support to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) agenda and extended Nepal’s strong solidarity in the cause of the third United Nations Conference on SIDS in Samoa on Wednesday.
Addressing the general debate of the Conference, he said that Nepal joins forces in seeking to effectively address the SIDS’ special vulnerability and challenges that have rendered the progress of their sustainable development efforts fragile and uneven. ‘Now is the time for honest and meaningful action by the international community to yield more positive results on the ground so that the SIDS’ small size, limited resources, isolation from markets, and the exposure to climate change cease to further inhibit their socio-economic development,’ he said.
Ambassador Bhattarai is leading the Nepalese delegation to the Conference, being held in Apia, Samoa, from 01 – 04 September 2014,
Presenting the current reality and the role of the Conference, he said, ‘The international community is clear on how climate change undermines the sustainable development aspirations of SIDS and also poses existential threat on many of them. The science is clear on how that could, and should, be handled. What is increasingly frustrating, though, is the lack of requisite collective political will without which little can be done in addressing the SIDS’ requirements, including their loss and damage and adaptation needs. In the absence of a comprehensive effort to address the challenges posed by climate change, the various programmes of action for SIDS at the national, regional and international levels lack the teeth they need. This Conference should be a game changer in this connection.’
Mr. Bhattarai also said that the sustainable development challenges faced by SIDS have been equally formidable for the least developed and land-locked mountain countries as well. Nepal, too, feels the sharp pinch of global warming. He further said that, in South Asia, the increasingly rapid melting of Himalayan glaciers and the resulting floods and landslides has been devastating to the fragile ecosystem, lives and livelihoods of the people and the hard-earned development infrastructure. ‘But the direct contribution of these occurrences to the rise in the sea-level thus endangering countries like the Maldives, cannot be overemphasized. As is increasingly becoming clear, the miseries of mountain nations and island states are intricately intertwined,’ he added.
Touching on the theme of the Conference ‘genuine partnership for sustainable development,’ Mr. Bhattarai said that, to deal with the climate change, our coalitions must be broad and the order of the day should be an all-round partnership- a partnership with the private sector, civil society organizations, information and communication technology leaders, and governments in all forms of networks and groupings. ‘It should be a sustainable partnership of causes and convictions, and of resolves and real action- all with people at the centre.’ he emphasized.
Ambassador Bhattarai highlighted the timeliness of the Conference in view of the forthcoming Climate Summit as well as the ongoing United Nations processes on sustainable development goals and post-2015 development agenda in New York, and expressed the confidence that the outcome of this Conference – the Samoa Pathway – will prove to be an excellent vehicle to carry forward the commitments made to the SIDS over the years, in the spirit of Barbados and Mauritius instruments in place.
He called on the international community to not spare any efforts in the days ahead to implement the Samoa Pathway, with its proper reflection in the outcome documents of the forthcoming high-level events, in full cooperation of all development partners of SIDS, and also assured that Nepal would do its part to make that happen.
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