After the holding of the elections to the House of Representatives (HoR) and Provincial Assemblies (PA) on November 20, all eyes are now fixed on results as vote counting has been going on.
The political parties, their candidates, independent nominees, and even voters are still eagerly awaiting the poll results. The Election Commission (EC) is working on announcing all results of the federal and provincial legislatures under the first–past-the-post (FPTP) as well as the proportional representative (PR) systems within eight days from the poll day.
The result of this election will open the pathways to form new federal and provincial governments. Nepali people have given a fresh mandate to the political parties through ballots for five years in order to formulate the policies and govern the country. However, the political parties need to learn the lesson that as many as 32 governments were formed following 1990. This symbolises that the nation has been passing through political instability.
The responsibility of the coming government and HoR is not only to formulate the policy and manage the federal system but also to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as ending poverty and hunger, ensuring healthy lives, promotion of well-being, inclusive and quality education for all, and achievement of gender equality by empowering all women and girls. Other SDGs include ensuring access to safe water and sanitation, energy, information and technology, reducing inequality within and among countries, making cities safe and sustainable, ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns, taking urgent action to combat climate change, conserving and sustainably using the oceans and seas, managing forests to protect biodiversity, promoting justice, peaceful and inclusive society and revitalising the global partnership and 169 targets.
Sustainable development (SD) is related to with changing lifestyle, economic growth and development, mode of production, per-capita income, infrastructural development, industrial development, and empowerment. It also relates with political stability, good governance and sector balance development, and environmental conservation with transformation that ultimately appears after concluding millennium development goals (MDGs) in Nepal.
The notions of sustainable development and environmental stability have gained currency in 1987. This form of development is that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability to future generations to meet their own needs. It aims to maintain economic advancement and progress while protecting the long-run value of the environment. Besides, it provides a framework for the integration of environment policies and development strategies in line with the concept of sustainable development.
According to the concept of SD, rational and effective government of any country and its governance requires a notion to consider and protect the environment and natural sources on which its current and future development depends. The overall goal of sustainable development is the long-term stability of the economy and environment; this is only achievable through the integration and acknowledgement of economic, environmental, and social concern throughout the decision making process. Substitutability of social, natural and man-made capital for multi- sector development and the intergenerational equity recognises the long-term scale of sustainability in order to address the needs of the future generations.
Each government should require polluting entities to bear the costs of their pollution rather than imposing those costs on others or on the environment. Likewise, government should ensure that environmental costs are internalised wherever possible in order to maintain externalities. As per a UN’ report, MDGs represented a major shift in galvanising global political will for poverty eradication and improvement of health and wellbeing of populations that is totally followed by SDGs after 15 years. In the context of Nepal, an inequality has deepened, environmental degradation has increased, migration challenges and unemployment for youth have grown, conflict and political instability have halted or reversed progress in the nation, organised crimes including trafficking in people, and drugs violates human rights and undermines development.
As per the SDGs, a particular focus should be on early childhood development, especially girls by every country maintaining political stability and formulating proper policies and plans. Governments, international institutions, private business academia and civil society need to work together to identify the critical pathways to success. Far-reaching vision for future anchored in human rights, a set of concise goals and targets aimed at realising priorities of the agenda, a global partnership for development to mobilise means of implementation, a participatory monitoring framework for tracking process and mutual accountability mechanisms for all stakeholders should be maintained.
Lack of effective leadership, coordinated partnerships, investments, implementation, and indicators with effective data collection are the key challenges of SD. Countries need to recognise the profound transformation required to address the emerging challenges of SD, including economic shifts to sustainable patterns of production and consumption, effective governance and renewed global partnership and means of implementation. Lack of social inclusion, widespread regional disparities and urban-rural gaps, gender inequality between men and women bring the country in backward pathways. The national economic downturn, violent conflicts in some countries, biodiversity loss, degradation of water, dry lands, forests, and climate change are the challenges to the peace and prosperity.
(Khanal is a firstname.lastname@example.org)