‘Nepal has already internalised SDGs’

Kathmandu, August 6

In order to promote inclusive and sustainable development, South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment launched the SAWTEE Centre for Sustainable Development here today.

The centre will initially focus on economic transformation in line with the Sustainable Development Goals’ principles of inclusiveness, equity, sustainability, gender mainstreaming, multi-stakeholder approach, good governance and global partnership, while also looking at all SDGs in an integrated manner, according to former under-secretary-general of the United Nations Gyan Chandra Acharya, who will be leading the centre.

Launching the centre, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali said Nepal had already internalised the SDGs in its policies and programmes and was working towards integrating them at local levels, which will necessitate support from all stakeholders — domestic and international.

During the event, former foreign minister Prakash Saran Mahat emphasised that Nepal’s constitution envisaged sustainable and inclusive development, but the goals could be attained only through rule-based implementation of these laws and rights.

He added that the private sector should lead the growth while the government should undertake equitable distribution.

Posh Raj Pandey, chairman of SAWTEE, said that the centre would bring together politics, policies and expertise devoid of ideological content and material interest while fully adhering to the scientific approach and ensuring non-partisan research. “The activities of the centre will contribute not only to existing issues and policies, but will also provide alternate ideas to decision makers.”

Realising that the government has to take a lead role in the development of a country as it cannot deliver alone, the centre seeks to play the role of a catalyst and contribute to the country’s accelerated development through research, analysis, dialogue and advocacy.

Emphasis will be on structural transformation and job creation, also envisioned by SDGs. The fundamental essence of these goals — an integrated, holistic and multi-stakeholder approach, sustainability, gender mainstreaming, leaving no one behind, and global partnership — will guide the centre’s activities, as per a media release.

The centre will be collaborating with all stakeholders in carrying out its activities, including political leaders, civil servants, private sector, development partners, experts, the academia and beneficiaries.

The centre aims to pursue a bottom-up approach and contribute to developing a coherent national strategy for structural transformation of Nepal’s economy that is people-centred and sustainable. Nepal’s adoption of a federal, democratic and republican structure warrants this as all the constituent federal units are responsible for economic development and related activities.