Nepal Foreign Minister Dr Narayan Khadka has condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and called for general and complete disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction in a time-bound and verifiable manner. In his first speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, Khadka highlighted the importance of promotion and protection of human rights.
Breaking silence by speaking on the recent development in Afghanistan, Nepal FM said, “Recent developments in Afghanistan are of common concerns to all of us. The people of Afghanistan deserve better. We call for unhindered humanitarian access and full resumption of public services, including health and education for all sections of Afghan society.”
Khadka urged all parties involved to ensure peace, security, and stability so that the Afghan people can live in dignity and enjoy their fundamental rights and freedom, adding “We also urge Afghanistan to engage with the international community on the basis of the principles of the UN Charter and norms of international law.”
Nepal’s Foreign Minister further said, “Nepal’s worldview is shaped by our adherence to the principle of ‘amity with all and enmity with none. Principles and purposes of the UN Charter, non-alignment, international law and norms of world peace form the basis of our foreign policy.”
Speaking on the challenges posed by COVID-19, he said, “The crisis has brought the world to a grinding halt, devastated the global economy, pushed an additional 150 million people into extreme poverty, and threatened to reverse hard-earned development gains.”
Khadka joined world leaders in expressing condolences to the people across the world, who have lost their loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calling for vaccines to be declared as public goods for the benefit of people’s lives, Khadka said, “Deepening vaccine inequality is leaving adverse socio-economic impacts in many low-income countries. Despite constraints and challenges to accessing COVID-19 vaccines, we have been able to vaccinate close to 20 per cent of our population.”
Appreciating the efforts made by the international community including the UN system to address the challenges posed by COVID-19 and underscores to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines for everyone, everywhere, Khadka said that as both an LDC (Least Developed Country) and LLDC (Landlocked Developing Country), Nepal’s structural challenges are unique.
“We see our plan to graduate from the LDC category by 2026 as an opportunity to bring structural transformation and make the long-held national aspiration of graduation smooth, sustainable, and irreversible,” the Nepal FM said in his address to UNGA.
Reiterating his country’s commitment to delivering climate-resilient development pathways by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050, he said, “Nepal is at the sharp end of climate change despite its negligible share in greenhouse gas emissions.”
In his speech on the final day of UNGA, Khadka underlined Nepal’s 63 years of constant contribution to the UN peace operations “to promote peace, security, and stability,” adding “As one of the largest troop-contributing countries, Nepal believes that such countries deserve more senior-level positions both at the UNHQ and in the field.”
Calling for joint action to turn the crisis into opportunity, despair into hope, and risk into resilience, Khadka said, “The time is now to build a stronger, interconnected, and inclusive multilateral system grounded in cooperation, solidarity and mutual trust.”