Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal has highlighted the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the people, societies, and economies of the LDCs, including Nepal, and called for equitable, affordable, and universal access to vaccines.
Foreign Secretary Poudyal said that Least Developed Countries (LDCs) must build resilient economies with adequate physical infrastructure, advanced industrial and technological capacity, and expanded social safety-nets to win the war against the virus, eradicate poverty and ensure the well-being of people. He addressed those issues during the Annual Ministerial Meeting of the LDCs on the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
He also underlined the need to build productive capacity for the structural transformation of their economies. He called for an enhanced level of support from the international community in the areas of Official Development Assistance, Foreign Direct Investment, aid for trade, debt relief, climate financing, and technology transfer. While expressing concerns about the upfront cost and loss of support measures, he said graduation from the status of LDC category is our long-held aspiration and an important development milestone, and Nepal is committed to making it smooth, sustainable, and irreversible.
‘As we are preparing for LDC5 in Doha, we must focus on the unfinished business of the IPoA and chart out actions for sustainable and resilient recovery of the LDCs’, the Foreign Secretary stressed. He also emphasised the need for a shared purpose, global solidarity, and a strong and ambitious programme of action to avert the risk of another lost decade of development. Ministers from LDCs, development partners and high-level UN officials had participated in the meeting.
The meeting adopted a Ministerial Declaration as its outcome.