Kathmandu, Oct 17: Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has said that lasting peace and political stability were prerequisites for poverty alleviation.
Speaking at a national seminar organized on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty here today, he said ‘peace is paramount for development’ while adding that the political parties were making very sincere efforts towards establishing lasting peace by promulgating the new constitution in the stipulated time.
“I assure you your excellencies that the new constitution would come in the stipulated time”, Prime Minister Koirala said while addressing the diplomats present at the programme.
Not reading out a statement readied for him for the programme, the Prime Minister spoke extempore and more in English language than in Nepali.
Prime Minister Koirala said we have lost enough time in struggles since the 1951 revolution and that the Nepalis could no longer afford any more movements. “There must not be any kind of conflict now in the country”, he said.
The Prime Minister also expressed the confidence that Nepal would see radical transformation in terms of economic development in the next ten years.
Despite being so rich in natural resources, it is unfortunate that we have not been able to tap them to our benefit. “We could not utilize our rich resources due to lack of a stable democratic system in the country”, he said.
Chief Secretary Lilamani Poudel said development initiatives should not be discouraged in the name of lack of political stability. “Lack of development and thereby scarce employment opportunities will give way to instability”, he said.
UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal Jamie McGoldrick said Nepal will not achieve its development goals to the fullest until economic development disparity between groups and regions continue to exist. These he, said, should be addressed through policy-level interventions.
Giving an overview of the incidence of poverty in Nepal, former Vice chairperson of National Planning Commission Dr Jagdish Chandra Pokharel said one cannot deny the fact that poverty has indeed lessened in Nepal, no matter how you measure it.
Former President of FNCCI Suraj Vaidya argued that Nepal cannot be termed a poor country given the abundant development potentials it has it terms of hydropower, agriculture and tourism.
Vice-chair of Poverty Alleviation Fund Yubaraj Pandey, Secretary at the Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Shreedhar Gautam and other speakers also spoke about the economic potentials of Nepal at the programme organized jointly by PAF, the Ministry and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
At the programme, three journalists were honoured with the PAF National Journalism Prize including Nagendra Kumar Karna of the Jaleswar-based Maithili Sandesh, Nirmala Kumari Thakurathi of Radio Sudur Awaj of Dadeldhura and Raju Chaudhary of Kantipur daily. The prize awarded jointly by PAF and Society of Economic Journalists Nepal (SEJON) carried a purse of Rs. 40,000 each. The prize recipients received the award from Prime Minister Koirala.
This was the first time that the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was observed officially in Nepal. The theme for the year 2014 is “Leave no one behind: think, decide and act together against extreme poverty”.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1993, when the United Nations General Assembly designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries.
In a message for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that on this day we recommit to think, decide and act together against extreme poverty and plan for a world where no-one is left behind. “Our aim must be prosperity for all, not just a few.”