The national consultation on Nepal's graduation from LDC category, implementation of Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was held on 21 August 2017 in Kathmandu. The main objective of the national consultation was to increase understanding and awareness of the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries (IPoA) for the Decade 2011-2020 among government officials, policymakers, civil society organisations and ensure its effective implementation through synergy and coherence with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nepal.

Against the backdrop of the government's decision to graduate Nepal from the LDC category by 2022, the consultation also held meaningful discussions on the key issues of Nepal’s graduation into a developing country, including the main obstacles towards graduation, key components of Nepal’s graduation strategy, possible cooperation among the Government of Nepal, private sector and the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to meet the targets of the IPoA and the SDGs as well as the key priority areas of Nepal to attain graduation.

Mr Lal Shankar Ghimire, Joint Secretary of National Planning Commission (NPC), shared the status of graduation process of Nepal and the integration of IPoA and SDGs in the periodic plans of Nepal.

Likewise, Chandra Prasad Dhakal, Vice-president of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) stressed the need to employ private investments and foreign direct investment (FDI) to meet the financing gap required for the successful implementation of IPoA and SDG.

Mr Gopal Lamsal, President of NGO Federation of Nepal spoke on CSOs perspectives on the implementation of IPoA and SDGs in Nepal and graduation of the country from LDC category. He highlighted the need for good governance and increased policy space for CSOs at provincial and local level government for the implementation of SDGs and IPoA.

Meanwhile, Mr Gauri Pradhan, International Coordinator of LDC Watch shared his perspective on the similarities of challenges faced by the 47 LDCs.

At the end of the event, Ms Mana Dahal, president of Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN) handed over a petition letter to the Government of Nepal on behalf Nepalese CSOs urging to take concrete steps towards graduation from LDC status in a meaningful way in reference to the IPoA and SDGs. Joint Secretary of National Planning Commission Mr Lal Shankar Ghimire received the petition letter on behalf of the Government of Nepal.

The national consultation concluded with a declaration which was discussed and agreed by the participants. In the declaration, all the parties in the consultation acknowledged the need to implement the SDGs and the LDC specific IPoA for the successful graduation of Nepal from the LDC category by 2022. It also called on the line ministries to mainstream the IPoA and SDGs into the planning mechanisms at the local and provincial level under the new federal setup. It also called on the government, political parties and all other concerned stakeholders to make the best use of the new constitutional foundations to effectively implement and integrate all the national plans of action related to SDGs, IPoA and other Internationally Agreed Development Goals (IADGs) for the graduation from LDC category and building Nepal as sustained and prosperous Middle Income Country by 2030. Recognising the important role civil society can play in building the capacity of provincial and local level government in SDG-based planning and budgeting, the declaration called for more policy space to enhance the CSO's participation and decision-making in the same. The declaration also called on all the relevant stakeholders, including the private sector and civil society to contribute and cooperate for the attainment of the goals of IPoA and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and unitedly work towards the successful graduation of Nepal scheduled for 2022.

The consultation was jointly organised by LDC Watch and Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN) which was participated by more than 50 representatives from Government of Nepal, CSOs and the private sector.

Participants of the consultation meeting
Participants of the consultation meeting