The 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly’s 40th Plenary Meeting unanimously adopted a resolution on Thursday recognizing Nepal’s graduation from the Least Developed Country category, with a five-year transition period as a prerequisite.
The unanimous ratification of the idea makes it unavoidable for all political players to refocus their attention on activities that generate national money in order to sustain political stability for the next five years.
Taking into consideration the Government of Nepal’s unwavering determination to realize the national aspiration of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’ reflected in the 15th Periodic Plan and based on Gross National Income, Human Assets, and Economic and Environmental Vulnerabilities, the meeting approved Nepal’s proposal on the basis of Gross National Income, Human Assets, and Economic and Environmental Vulnerability.
It is a source of national pride for all Nepalis that their country, which has suffered from poverty and backwardness for more than five decades, is on the verge of becoming a middle-income developing country. In addition to being a sign of success, Nepal’s uplift has also conveyed a favorable message to the international community about the country’s growth potential.
The challenge for Nepal is to increase the income of every Nepali, free them from the cycle of poverty, and keep them occupied in sustainable income generation. Despite this, upgradation can be marketed as an attractive destination for foreign direct investment, and there is ample opportunity to increase domestic private sector investment in order to ensure smooth upgradation. In order to achieve sustainable and irreversible development, there is no alternative to moving forward slowly and methodically by developing development strategies, accelerating policy and procedure reforms and adjustments in collaboration with Nepal’s development and trade partners, and creating an environment that is conducive to foreign investment.
As a result, it has become imperative for Nepal’s political leadership to engage in dialogue with the country’s bilateral and multilateral development and trade partners as soon as possible in order to ensure that the common ‘agenda’ of national development remains the same, despite differences in political leadership. It is necessary to display great resolve and sincerity in order to accomplish this.
Nepal’s political leadership, which has been successful in peacefully resolving a decade-long armed conflict, should seize the opportunity to demonstrate that they are not divided on the issue of removing Nepal from the list of poor countries and restoring its lost image in the eyes of the international community.
However, even though Nepal will continue to receive support from the international community until December 2026 since it is a least developed country, the amount of assistance will be reduced after then. It has become necessary to develop a national transition strategy of upgrading in collaboration with bilateral, regional, and multilateral development and trade partners, including the United Nations system, in order to work with a clear action plan that focuses on the country’s abundant water resources, commercialisation of agriculture, optimal utilization of forest and forest products, including herbal medicine, and tourism sectors.
In order to ensure a smooth transition, a five-year preparatory phase has been established, taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the following necessity to implement policies and strategies in order to counteract the pandemic’s harm to the economic and social sectors. The five-year transition time is offered on an extraordinary basis, primarily in the context of the COV-ID-19 pandemic, and would ordinarily be for three years under normal circumstances.
The Committee on Development Policy, a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council, was instructed by the resolution to assess the sufficiency of the preparatory time during its triennial review in 2024 and recommend further extension if necessary. As part of this process, Nepal and the other two graduating nations are encouraged to build smooth national transition programs, with the assistance of the United Nations system and in collaboration with their respective bilateral, regional, and multilateral development and commercial partners.
As a result of the passage of the resolution, Nepal has repeated its commitment to making all-out efforts to ensure a seamless graduation, with the assistance of increased levels of support from development partners, including the United Nations system.