7 July 2020.
On the eve of virtual VNRs at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the UN from 7-16 July, the comprehensive VNR report of Nepali CSOs was launched by and submitted to Hon'ble Prof. Dr Puspa Raj Kadel, Vice-Chairperson of National Planning Commission (NPC) amidst a virtual ceremony. Hon'ble member of NPC Mr Min Bahadur Shahi also was present in the report launching and handover ceremony. Chaired by Mr. Jit Ram Lama, Coordinator of Nepal SDGs Forum and President of NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN), and facilitated by Mr Ram Prasad Subedi, Secretary General of NFN, the virtual meeting was attended by nearly a hundred participants.
Speaking at the programme, NPC Vice-Chair Mr Kadel said that government efforts alone without participation and contribution of civil society, cooperatives, private sector and international support will not be adequate to accelerate and achieve the SDGs. Having said that the trend and success so far on SDGs are mixed, Vice-Chair Kadel agreed critical challenges remain towards realizing the Goals. He also appreciated the CSOs' engagement including contribution of community organizations in Nepal. SDG16 and financing arrangements including international development partnership are challenging but necessary at the moment. Mr. Vice-Chair informed that a steering committee is expected to be formed in order to guide the integration of SDGs at the subnational levels. In the Covid-19 context, he said, NPC is considering of reviewing the SDG indicators. The impact of Covid-19 on SDGs and other aspects cannot yet be estimated but further study and adjustments are definitely necessary.
NFN Deputy Secretary General Mr Arjun Bhattarai highlighted the VNR report preparation process and also informed that NFN is hosting a side event at HLPF 2020 on "Leave No One Behind during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Decade of Action" on 10 July 2020. Several international organizations are its co-organizers.
Mr Hum Bhandari, Program Manager of NFN, presented a few the highlights of the report. The report analyzes aspects that include leaving no one behind which has been the main concern of civil society in Nepal, Covid-19 and SDGs, and all the SDGs. The report will be shortly available online on Nepal SDGs Forum's website and in print.
Several CSO leaders including Ms. Shanta Laxmi Shrestha, Ms. Bharati Pathak, Mr Bhakta Bishwakarma made brief remarks. They highlighted the participatory process in preparation of the VNR report.
On the same occasion, newly developed website of Nepal SDGs Forum (https://nepalsdgforum.org/) was also launched. All the stakeholders were requested to contribute and collaborate to populate useful information in the website and make it a common repository of SDG information and data.