The 13th meeting of the Nepal-European Union Joint Commission has concluded with an announcement of providing Rs.31.92 billion to assist Nepal with keeping environment clean and control pollution.
At a meeting of the Joint Commission held here on Wednesday, Finland, France and Germany announced that the funds would be provided through the Europe Group Initiative under the Green Rejuvenation Program. However, details of the assistance have not been made public.
An official from the Ministry of Forests and Environment, who attended the recent meeting of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Glasgow, Scotland, told RSS that the money would be used to help fulfill Nepal's commitments and implement an ambitious long-term strategy to help Nepal achieve zero carbon by 2045.
In response to Nepal's request to the European Union to lift the embargo on its airline, he appreciated the positive development and efforts made by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal and assured that positive steps would be taken in that direction once the necessary legislation is enacted. The association has been emphasizing that the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal being made a separate body providing service and regulation. During the meeting, Nepal was briefed on its efforts to improve air safety and the proposed new aviation law.
It has been a long time since the government introduced a bill in the parliament to establish the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal as a separate service provider and regulatory body. Expressing gratitude for the assistance received from the Union for the improvement of air safety, the official said that special emphasis should be laid on lifting the flight ban to revive the tourism sector which would help Nepal in its post-epidemic economic recovery.
Nepal launches climate-friendly development initiatives to contribute to sustainable tourism, clean energy, sustainable forest management, climate-enhancing agriculture, biodiversity conservation, eco-friendly transportation, sustainable urbanization and economic revival of the country It is stated in the press release.
The fact that the Government of Nepal's climate-friendly development efforts focus on social inclusion to empower women and disadvantaged communities through skills training and education was clearly presented by the Nepali side in the meeting.
The Union welcomes Nepal's plan to transform Nepal from an underdeveloped country to a middle-income country by 2026, with special emphasis on finalizing development assistance in the multi-year financial framework from 2021 to 2027 and promoting inclusive, green growth, human capital development and good governance. He also expressed his commitment to the green, flexible and inclusive development of Nepal and said that he was ready to provide all possible assistance to fulfill the development aspirations of Nepal.
During the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on bilateral trade relations, which will transform from a least developed country to a middle-income country.
The Association has reiterated its commitment to assist in the process as much as possible in view of Nepal's national aspirations. Welcoming the European Commission's loan disbursement and other assistance to Nepal by the Joint Commission, the Association stressed the need to focus on climate change adaptation and mitigation in the coming years, as well as improved communication networks and renewable energy.
Both sides agreed on the need to expand the G20 financial assistance mechanism for low and middle-income countries to facilitate post-epidemic rehabilitation activities, and to expedite the implementation of aid mobilization through the mechanism in view of the ongoing financial crisis in the beneficiary countries.
Both sides agreed on the need for effective multilateral cooperation, strengthening the World Health Organization and strengthening the global capacity to cope with future epidemics, as vaccines are a commodity of public consumption and need to ensure equal access to them.
The two sides exchanged views on the importance of regional cooperation in the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multilateral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and the EU and Nepal. It has been agreed to further strengthen cooperation and collaboration on regional issues.
At the meeting, both sides reiterated their commitment to democratic values, rule of law, good governance and fundamental freedoms, as well as the promotion and protection of human rights. Nepal thanked the UN Human Rights Council for its assistance in Nepal's re-election process at the UN Human Rights Council last year and congratulated it on its successful completion of its global periodic review earlier this year. Nepal was commended for accepting a significant number of recommendations received during the periodic review. The two sides also agreed to hold regular talks for the promotion and protection of human rights. At the meeting, the UN welcomed the commitment made by Foreign Minister Dr. Narayan Khadka towards transitional justice at the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations.
Nepal and the Union reiterate their commitment to work together in the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and others in support of an effective multilateral and rule-based world order, and to faithfully implement the recommendations of the recent climate conference in Glasgow. The two sides also agreed to meet economic commitments to help countries with less resources to combat the adverse effects of climate change and to take strong action on climate change.
While praising the achievements of the Association in Nepal's socio-political transformation, it emphasized the important role of civil society and the media in strengthening democracy and good governance and encouraged Nepal to increase women's participation in political life and Nepal's decision-making process.
During the meeting, Nepal expressed its gratitude to the European Union for its immediate assistance in providing life-saving medical supplies and equipment while fighting the devastating second wave of COVID-19 this summer.
During the meeting, Nepal informed about the plan to vaccinate all eligible citizens against Coronavirus by next April and also informed about the efforts being made by the government to control Covid-19. Nepal acknowledged the Union's generous support for post-earthquake resilience and rehabilitation and thanked it for its partnership in disaster risk reduction and green development.
Similarly, people-to-people contacts, ongoing cooperation between the Union and Nepal in higher education were discussed at the meeting and emphasis was laid on expanding additional areas of partnership. Since the launch of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Postgraduate Program, 800 Nepali students have had the opportunity to study at European universities. Nepal is among the top 20 countries in the world to benefit from the program.
The meeting was co-chaired by Foreign Secretary Bharatraj Poudyal and Paola Pampaloni, Deputy Director for the European and External Affairs Service for Asia and the Pacific. The 14th meeting of the Joint Commission will be held in Brussels next year.
Established in 1996, the Nepal-EU Joint Commission has not only proved to be a suitable platform for deepening the partnership between Nepal and the European Union and accelerating mutual cooperation, but has also become an effective means of further strengthening mutual cooperation and partnership with 27 EU member states.