Climate Justice For Nepal


As the world stares at the threat of larger scale military confrontation in West Asia and Europe, there can be no better place than Nepal, birthplace of Gautam Budddha, to make a clarion call for cessation of wars and restoration of permanent peace. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres made an apt choice to convey the message of peace from Lumbini. “Peace and humanity are indispensable issues, humanity should not be allowed to die," Guterres said. Addressing the joint session of the federal parliament Tuesday, the UN Secretary General offered a full-throated praise for Nepal's historic peace process, robust role in mitigating global warming, serving the UN peace-keeping mission, promoting sustainable development goals and defending multilateralism. Nepal has been the second largest contributor of troops to the UNs’ peace missions. Situated between two giant neighbours, Nepal draws admiration from Guterres for safeguarding sovereignty and independence. 

The country's progress of the past two decades, new constitution and quick embrace of SDGS are also in good books of UN chief. What is more important is his announcement to support for concluding the process of transitional justice and graduation from Least Developed Country status. In mid-1990s, Nepal was under Maoist insurgency and the country was able to find a peaceful outlet to it. Guterres stated that Nepal successfully calmed the storms of conflict and moved from war to peace. However, the political spectrum is still divided to finish the transitional justice process. Guterres cautioned: "A process must help to bring peace to victims, families and communities haunted by questions, and scarred by injustice; and help put the past to rest. The TJ has the 'greatest chance of success when it is inclusive, comprehensive, and has victims at its heart'.

 In UN chief, Nepal has found a vocal friend to muster international support for fighting the devastation of climate change in the Himalayas. He hailed Nepal as the frontrunner of climate action. Nepal has set a target to achieve net zero emissions by 2045. Reforestation has covered almost half of the country. Similarly, Nepal is one of the pioneers of our Early Warning Systems for All Initiative – which aims to protect every person on Earth by 2027. Despite contributing just a fraction of one per cent of global emissions, climate change has hit hard Nepal. Nepal has lost close to a third of its ice in just over thirty years. The UN chief noted that what is happening in this country as a result of climate change was an appalling injustice and a searing indictment of the fossil fuel age.  "I am deeply concerned by those communities in Nepal facing the brutal impacts of the climate crisis. The United Nations stands with them." 

He has pledged that Nepal and other developing countries needed far greater international support to aid development, accelerate climate action, and weather the current global storms.  Last month, the UN head proposed an SDG Stimulus that would release at least $500 billion a year in affordable long-term finance for sustainable development and climate action. With the UN's backing, Nepal can expect a fair share of this stimulus package to overcome climate crisis and meet the SDGs. He also made it clear that affected Nepali people depend on the Loss and Damage Fund, which the COP28 scheduled this year to implement. Guterres' four-day visit to the Himalayan has enhanced its prestige before the international community and diplomatic mileage to fight for climate justice in the global forums. 

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