Minister of Foreign Affairs Narayan Khadka has said the road to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in a timely manner is challenging for countries, including least developed countries in special situations due to natural disasters such as climate change, rising commodity and fuel prices, and trade protectionism, among others.

Delivering a pre-recorded video message to the 78th Session of the United National Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific today, he said the negative impact of the pandemic, ongoing global crises, and dearth of financing for development had further exacerbated the situation.

At the same time, Minister Khadka appreciated the work of the UNESCAP during more than seven decades of its establishment and expressed confidence that the commemorative event that coincided with its 75th anniversary would rekindle new aspirations and provide a new direction for regional development and shared prosperity among its members. He also acknowledged its contribution to the fields of infrastructure, human development and environment.

Minister Khadka stressed the need to take initiatives to enhance global commitment, build solidarity and take urgent actions in a bid to fulfil the obligations towards posterity. He called on member countries lay emphasis on accelerated and deliberate actions to promote sustainability.

"The global community should work in tandem to protect people and the planet from the pandemics and disasters, promote trade and investment, enhance digital capacity, and raise resources to realise development goals," he said.

Stating that new challenges had emerged for graduation of Nepal from the LDC category, Minister Khadka said some measures needed to be introduced by the government in a bid to maintain healthy economy.

Likewise, he underscored the need to strengthen regional cooperation and engage in inclusive dialogue on interconnected issues such as managing debt, tax evasion, environmental sustainability and trade, among others.

The 78th Session of the UN- ESCAP is being held from May 23 to 27 at the United Conference Centre, Bangkok, in hybrid mode. Dil Bahadur Guring, a member of the National Planning Commission, is leading the Nepali delegation.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 24, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.