BIMSTEC: Nepal PM calls for eradication of poverty

Kathmandu: Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli while addressing the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit pressed on the need of eliminating poverty to give people a prosperous future.

Oli at the summit called for the implementation of BIMSTEC poverty plan to eradicate poverty.

He said, “BIMSTEC is an association of connected countries, connected societies and connected people. In realizing our potential first and foremost we must liberate our people from the clutches of poverty. The dream of prosperity alters if we fail to defeat the darkness of poverty.”

“The BIMSTEC poverty plan of action must be fully implemented. We must build under progress made in the implementation of millennium development goals and integrate the transformative 2030 agenda for sustainable development. We must ensure that in escalating the economic development, no one is left behind,” he added.

Further emphasising on the significance of BIMSTEC, he said, “The world is watching our gathering here today with keen interest because as a region with 1.6 billion representing 22% of world population and combined GDP USD 2.8 trillion. Our vision, our commitment and action will have an impact on global economic and political order. BIMSTEC is an idea to accelerate social progress and promote collaborations and partnership.”

The Nepalese Prime Minister also talked of natural disasters and climatic change, and said, “We have been bearing the heavy brunt of nature’s fury. Calamities such as landslide and floods have caused colossal loss. To face this challenge we need collective preparedness to prevent the perils of such calamity.”

“We also need to intensify collaborations to adapt and mitigate the manners of climate change best under common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. This platform connects south Asia with South East Asia and it connects mountains with ocean’s reinforcing ecological interdependence. It brings together a resolve for our leadership, for progress and prosperity and for sustainable development,” he added.

Citing the reference of the fourth industrial revolution he called for investing in youth and children terming it as an investment for a prosperous future.

He asserted, “With the wave of fourth industrial revolution, the new avenues have open up, the technological evolution is transformative. World’s mode of production and consumption are being transformed exponentially. This phenomenon has presented us with a wide menu of challenges as well as opportunity. We need to invest more in communication and technology. Most importantly we need to invest in our youth to inculcate entrepreneurial spirit in them to nourish their creativity, to impart skills to them befitting the rapid technological change.”

He also gave a call for peace and prosperity in the region and said, “We are assembled with a solemn commitment to making the Bay of Bengal region peaceful, prosperous and sustainable. Our countries together have a dynamic potential inbuilt with the creative agility and diligence of our people’s opulence and generosity of the nature, richness and depth of the civilization and magnificence of diverse cultures.”

The BIMSTEC is an international organisation consisting of seven nations of South Asia and South East Asia, namely Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and Nepal.

The main objective of the BIMSTEC is technical and economic cooperation among South Asian and Southeast Asian countries around the Bay of Bengal. India has been giving BIMSTEC more importance since the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has been affected by the non-cooperation of Pakistan on issues like connectivity and counter-terrorism.