United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Nepal

NKPAL
Remarks by His Excellency Durga P. Bhattarai, Permanent Representative of
Nepal to the United Nations, at the third session of the Informal meeting of the
UNGA plenary in the process of intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015
development agenda, focusing on sustainable development goals and targets
New York, 24 March 2015
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Distinguished Co-facilitators,
It is reassuring to see you (Amb. Macharia Kamau of Kenya) and your co-facilitator
(Amb. David Donoghue of Ireland) so ably facilitating this important meeting. My
delegation appreciates your diligent efforts and has full confidence in your experience
and wisdom to steer this inter-governmental process towards a fruitful conclusion. I also
thank the Chair of the UN Statistical Commission, and other distinguished experts for
their respective presentations yesterday.
Nepal aligns itself with the statements of the Groups of 77 and China, LDCs, and
LLDCs; and I wish to make a few remarks from my national perspective.
Co-facilitators,
Sustainable Development Goals and targets lie at the heart of the new development
agenda. Nepal supports the integration of the outcome of the OWG-SDGs in its entirety,
including the chapeau, into the post-2015 development agenda.
For the realization of the goals and targets therein, Nepal believes that the declaration of
the agenda should set the requisite tone, and the means of implementation and global
partnerships should ensure a smooth implementation of the agenda.
While the outcome of the Financing for Development Conference should compensate the
deficiency of the OWG-SDG"s outcome in connection with the means of implementation,
Nepal believes any reopening of the goals and targets package puts at risk the delicate
political balance the OWG's outcome has been able to achieve. There would really be no
incentive in reopening what we closed with sufficient satisfaction following over 17
months of arduous inter-governmental exercise involving active and meaningful
participation of the States members as well as the major groups and other stakeholders.
Co-facilitators,
It is now time for us to take up the question of the follow up and review so as to provide
the bases of measuring the progress in implementation. We should be able to identify
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and develop the indicators with which to measure the progress at the national, regional
and global levels. The results should be easily comparable across nations and regions and
integrated at the global level. A continuing oversight mechanism to monitor the
implementation may also be envisaged at this stage.
Due to its highly technical nature, the task of developing global indicators is best carried
out by the UN Statistical Commission, in close consultation with the Member States. In
the process of developing indicators, the question of data becomes crucial. The data used
for this purpose and their sources should be transparent. Nepal welcomes the concept of
setting up an inclusive and representative inter-agency and expert group on SDG
indicators (lAEG-SDGs) and underscores the importance of having the national statistical
authorities on board at all times.
Data dearth and capacity deficit at the national level pose a major challenge in ensuring
the availability of quality data and their universal application in case of the developing
countries. More specifically, the LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS need to be provided with the
necessary capacity-building and technical support in order to develop their own national
indicators. In fact, their national capacity building should constitute a long term strategy
in this connection.
Likewise, the indicators should be such that measure the progress and also enable us to
identify the gaps to be addressed, in real time as far as possible and on a continuing basis.
It is important that the indicators are few, simple, flexible, easily communicated, and yet
able to capture the essence and ambition of the SDGs and targets without compromising
their sanctity. However, this should be the end result, and not a starting point of the
process. The starting point should be to have enough indicators, of course avoiding
duplication and overlap and making use of the cross-relevance and inter-linkages they
may have vis-a-vis goals and targets. A mechanism should be found to integrate those
very many indicators at different levels in such a way that they can be related to each of
the targets and goals to present their individual as well as composite progress in simple
aggregate expressions reflecting accomplishments at national, regional and global levels,
and across themes.
Co-facilitators,
We are aware that this may be easier said than done. More so, when you compile all the
attributes the delegations have wished to attach to the indicators yesterday and today.
This should be possible with the best of talents we have with the statistical commission
and elsewhere committed to making the most efficient use of the time available for the
purpose. However, we heard that the Statistical Commission intends to finish the job only
in the first quarter of 2016.
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I wish to share a word of caution here. We have seen how development decades or their
parts have been lost in the past. Lag in implementation as a result of delayed conclusion
of the package of requisite instruments or their integration into national mechanisms have
been a major factor in this regard. We must realize that it takes a while for us to integrate
into the national level mechanisms what we agree at the global level for implementation.
The post-2015 development agenda officially begins on the first day of 2016, for which
the SDGs and the PTDA need to be adopted by our heads of state and government in the
UN Summit in September 2015 so that we can take the packages to our countries for
integration and implementation. The package must not be short of indicators.
Co-facilitators,
1 wish to conclude by reminding ourselves that we do not have the luxury of time for any
back and forth game since we have a long way to go before we conclude our substantive
business in July so that the Goals, Targets and at least the framework indicators could be
adopted in September. However, the momentum should not be lost at any time until the
full development of indicators. Our efforts henceforth should be focused on developing,
in an inclusive and participative manner, a sophisticated architecture of scientific
indicators to measure the progress we make in implementing the goals and targets already
in place. 1 assure you of the continued support of my delegation in all your sincere efforts
towards that end.
1 thank you. distinguished Co-facilitator.
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