REPUBLICA KATHMANDU, July 2: While praising the role played by Nepal in highlighting the concerns and difficulties faced by Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in multilateral forums, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appreciated Nepal for its vision to graduate from the status of LDC by 2022.

During his meeting with Foreign Minister Madhav Prasad Ghimire at the United Nations Office in Geneva on Monday, Ban also appreciated the progress made by Nepal toward meeting most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This is the first meeting of Ghimire, who is currently in Geneva to attend ECOSOC meeting, with the United Nations Secretary-General after the latter assumed the post.

Ghimire underlined the need for giving due recognition to the special needs and difficulties of LDCs in the articulation and implementation of the post 2015 development agenda.

According to a press statement issued by Nepal´s Permanent Mission to UN and Other International Organizations in Geneva, Ban also pledged UN´s full support to Nepal´s political process while noting with satisfaction that recent political developments taking place in Nepal was encouraging. He appreciated the efforts made towards holding elections and expressed hope that elections will be held in a credible and democratic way. 

Also, Ban deeply appreciated the role of Nepali peacekeepers and said that their sacrifices would not go in vain.

During the meeting, Minister Ghimire reaffirmed Nepal´s strong commitment to the United Nations Charter. While conveying the greetings from the Chairman of the Interim Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi, he thanked the UN Secretary General for his statement of welcome on the formation of the current council of ministers as well as the announcement of election date.

Ghimire also briefed Ban on the current situation in Nepal, in particular the progress on the peace process and the preparation being made to hold the November 19 elections.

“While informing the government´s all-out efforts to bring all political parties on board, he reiterated the commitment to hold the Constituent Assembly elections in a free and fair manner,” the statement further said.

Other issues that figured during the meeting were scope of wider cooperation for the development of Lumbini and the role of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the changed context and concern over its declining trend which might negatively impact the achievement of key goals and objectives outlined in the Istanbul Programme of Action. The importance of having a binding mechanism on climate change and the necessity of a better disaster risk reduction strategy for the vulnerable countries was also stressed.

Earlier on Monday, Ghimire participated in the opening session of the High-Level Segment of the Substantive Session of the Economic and Social of the United Nations (ECOSOC) at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. He also attended the luncheon for heads of delegations hosted by the President of ECOSOC Nestor Osorio.

Source: My Republica (2013-07-03)