Nepal seeks unhindered access to the sea at UN

Kathmandu, October 2

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Prakash Man Singh has stressed on the effective and unhindered access to the sea for landlocked developing countries like Nepal.

While addressing the 70th session of the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York yesterday, he appealed the world community to ensure such access through effective implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action to make a difference in the lives of about 450 million people living in LLDCs.

The Vienna Programme of Action for LLDCs for the Decade 2014-2024, which was adopted in November last year, envisages effective and unhindered access to the sea for all LLDCs by their transit countries.

“The world needs to ensure LLDCs unhindered access to the sea for free movement of people and goods. We stress that the freedom of transit of LLDCs should not be constrained under any circumstance or pretext to disrupt the flow of goods and services,” he said. “The freedom of transit of LLDCs must be fully and unconditionally adhered to by all transit countries.”

His statement comes at a time when blockade and disruption at border checkpoints has created shortage of petroleum products and other necessities in the country. Nevertheless, he didn’t categorically highlight the crisis.

DPM Singh, who is leading the Nepali delegation to the annual UN General Assembly, has also made it clear that the new constitution promulgated in Nepal after about eight years’ rigorous democratic exercise has guaranteed and ambitiously broadened the rights of women, children, the elderly, differently abled  as well as the marginalized communities.

“The new constitution has opened new avenues of empowerment, progress and well being for all disadvantaged groups, including women, Tharus, Madhesis, indigenous people, Muslims and Dalits with a resolve to create an egalitarian society by ending all forms of discrimination,” read his statement.

Singh also made it clear that the constitution was endorsed by over 90 percent members  of the 601-member Constituent Assembly.

Saying that the statute is the culmination of Nepal’s home-driven peace process, which brings an end to the prolonged political transition, he underscored that the new constitution has institutionalized the federal democratic republican system in the country.

In the UNGA, he also appreciated the generous humanitarian support to Nepal by the neighbouring and friendly countries and other organisations in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in April.

“We consider the global outpouring of support and solidarity to be an astonishing feat as well as a significant clue to the vast scope and potential of spirit of the UN. Nepal looks to continued support and solidarity in the phase of rehabilitation and reconstruction,” he said.

Singh also sought a fair share in top UN peacekeeping jobs as Nepal has consistently been one of the leading troops contributing to peace processes in many countries.

He unequivocally condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and called for developing the world without weapons of mass destruction.

He called for consorted efforts to deal with the global climate threats and urged all to translate commitments into concrete actions based on the accepted principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, equity and respective capability.