Climate change existential threat to humanity: Oli


Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli addressed, through a pre-recorded video, General Debate of the 75th Session of UN General Assembly, yesterday evening.

He said the impact of the current pandemic on lives, livelihoods, societies and economies had been colossal.

He also stated that protecting people from both disease and hunger was the main duty of governments and underlined the need to ensure affordable and universal access to COVID-19, vaccine once it was developed.

PM Oli underscored that the prospects of peace and sustainable development remained an unfulfilled aspiration in many parts of the world due to the challenges such as poverty, arms race, geo-political rivalries, terrorism, trade tensions, global inequality, and disasters.

He underlined disproportionate challenges facing least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries due to halt in tourism and remittance, and disruption in supply chains.

Expressing concerns that the hard-earned development gains were at risk, he stressed the need to make timely realisation of SDGs, the fulcrum of actions of governments, compass of their aspiration, and signpost of recovery efforts.

PM Oli riterated Nepal’s longstanding position on resolution of conflicts through peaceful means. The world needs more masks, not muskets, more protective equipment, not destructive weapons and more social spending to save lives, not military spending to destroy lives, said the prime minister. Referring to Nepal’s partnership in UN peace operations, he underscored the importance of safety, security and dignity of peacekeepers.

“Climate change is an existential threat to humanity and calls for robust climate action and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement,” said PM Oli.

Describing the link between mountains and oceans in maintaining the natural climate cycle, he highlighted the contributions of Nepal’s mountains and forests as environmental purifiers.

PM Oli stressed the need to reform WTO to ensure a renewed and revitalised global trading framework from which LDCs and LLDCs could benefit more. He reaffirmed Nepal’s total and unwavering commitment to promoting human rights at national and international levels, and requested UN Member States to support Nepal’s candidature for re-election to the Human Rights Council for the term 2021-23.

He stated that Nepal’s development vision was guided by national aspiration of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’.

He also shed light on recent achievements made by Nepal in infrastructure development, energy access, education, social protection and good governance. He said that enhancing its relations with neighbours and all other countries based on the principles of equality, mutual respect, and justice remained a top priority of Nepal.

He stated that the historic 75th anniversary of UN was a time to muster stronger political will for enhanced international cooperation and solidarity for a more equitable, just and safer world.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 27, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.