Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Bharat Raj Poudyal has said that peace and stability in the Indian Ocean was also important for Nepal.
Addressing the Fifth Indian Ocean Conference in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi on Sunday, Foreign Secretary Poudyal said the Indian Ocean was the lifeline for most foreign trade, even for a landlocked country like Nepal.
“Nepal attaches great importance to the Indian ocean: its security, sustainability and economic potentials. Linking our highlands with the Indian Ocean with seamless ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ of connectivity is our priority and these include roads, railways, waterways and power grid interconnection,” Secretary Poudyal said.
“Nepal is committed to increasing the share of clean energy and achieving net-zero carbon emission by 2045, contributing to the region’s ecology. Nepal has vast potentials in generating hydroelectricity to drive economic growth not only in the country but also in South Asia,” he said.
“Peace and stability in the Indian Ocean is important to all of us,” he said. “Thus, Nepal stands ready to work with all countries in the Indian Ocean region to address the challenges pertaining to ecology, economy and epidemic,” a statement adds.
Poudyal also said that landlocked developing countries need international and regional cooperation to take advantage of the oceans, including the use of marine resources, to increase their capacity.
He also urged all countries to fulfill the commitments already made to enable them.
Emphasizing on cooperation between the coastal and mountainous countries, Foreign Secretary Poudyal has opined that the problems are coming across the borders of the country where we live in the same world has been reaffirmed.
He said the weather conditions in the Indian Ocean had a direct effect on the mountains that resulted in a growing climate crisis that simultaneously affected high-altitude and maritime countries.
“On the one hand the sea level rises and the ocean water becomes more acidic; On the other hand, the high mountains are losing their snow cover,” Secretary Poudyal stressed adding “this has endangered the lives and livelihoods of many as climate disasters have hit coastal states and small islands as well as mountains.”
Explaining the COVID-19 epidemic as a storm, Poudyal said that “As others Nepal is also facing the same storm. However, the people in developed nations are equipped to save from the crisis but poor countries’ citizens are struggling to survive.”
“In terms of treatment and vaccine production capacity, the Indian Ocean region has potential to help save lives in and out of the region,” Poudyal said and also lauded the impressive progress made by India and the UAE as a medicine and technology hub.