Dear Respected Co-Presidents, Exbu and Council Members, Secretary General, staff members from UCLG ASPAC and all attendees,
I take this opportunity to thank and appreciate the significant role played by all UCLG ASPAC Members, particularly the able hands of UCLG ASPAC Secretary General, Dr. Bernadia, for making UCLG ASPAC a leading LG Association.
In the ongoing crisis, we have definitely learnt the important role our networking can achieve and learning from each other as well as helping one another to overcome this global crisis. Now as the President representing UCLG Asia Pacific, the challenges ahead is much deeper. However, I also see it as an opportunity to rise much higher as Team UCLG ASPAC.
My friends at UCLG ASPAC, particularly closer friends in the South and Southwest Asia sub-region: The time has come for us to work more closely together and bring into action the values that UCLG ASPAC stands today. My efforts will be to link successful cities with the least developed cities and exchange the learnings from one another. Despite the challenges brought forward by COVID-19, we should also motivate cities to work together on existing issues such as Disaster Reduction and Management, climate change and poverty reduction to name a few. We should also make our network more active and engage more cities and towns for better knowledge exchange. At the same time, our work should contribute more in terms of more globally recognized measurable parameters such as SDGs and the Sendai Framework and other global commitments.
During my term as Co-President in the South and Southwest Asia sub-region, we have been able to contribute in including 22 exclusive rights for local governments in the Constitution of Nepal. The “Municipalities Network Policy Advocacy on Sanitation in South Asia” is another UCLG ASPAC program that has coordinated efforts on fecal sludge management in Nepal and Bangladesh. Likewise, our efforts on Regional DRM and Poverty Reduction, among others, have continued. Not to forget, the Municipal Association of Nepal that I lead as its President has been able to attain national attention with the pledge of Rt. Honorable Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli to work on fecal sludge management. With our efforts on policy advocacy, the local governments have been able to grasp the attention of the Central Government to implement programs that directly benefit the general people whom we serve. Notably, the Municipalities in Nepal have gathered their own resources to build their own fecal sludge treatment plants which is much beyond the scope of what the UCLG ASPAC program had envisioned.
I proudly convey my warm invitation to Mayors and Leaders from South Asia as well as the Asia Pacific to come to Nepal and exchange our experiences. The journey, my friends, definitely does not end here. It has only but just begun.
Finally, I am committed to implement the Manifesto of UCLG ASPAC for which I am confident to get all of your support and cooperation!
Together, we can do more!