July 20, 2023 – Representing the Kingdom of Lesotho at the 2023 United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), H.E Matete ‘Nena, the Permanent Representative to the United Nations, emphasized the country’s commitment to accelerating recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the HLPF took place from July 10 to July 19, 2023. This year’s theme focused on “Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels.” During the forum, several crucial Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were reviewed, including clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, industry, innovation, infrastructure, sustainable cities, communities, and partnerships for the Goals.
The forum addressed the unique challenges faced by countries in special situations, particularly least developed and landlocked nations. It delved into the regional and local dimensions of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic while striving to achieve the SDGs.
Ambassador ‘Nena took the opportunity to address the Ministerial Segment of the forum on July 19, 2023, coinciding with the launch of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework in Lesotho. This framework, championed by the Prime Minister Mr Samuel Ntsokoane Matekane, commits Lesotho to pursuing the country’s strategic priorities in alignment with the National Strategic Development Plan II (2023-2027). By doing so, Lesotho aims to advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Looking ahead, Ambassador ‘Nena expressed optimism regarding the upcoming SDG Summit in September and the 2024 Summit of the Future. He believes these events will usher in decisive and ambitious actions towards achieving the 2030 Agenda and SDGs. He also echoed the Secretary-General’s call for a global agreement on allocating the USD 500 billion Stimulus package for sustainable development investments.
The Ambassador also delivered closing remarks at a Side Event on Least Developed Countries Access to Finance, organized by Canada and the United Nations Office of High Representative for Least Developed, Landlocked Developing States, and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS). During this event, co-sponsored by Lesotho and Nepal, he shed light on the importance of good governance and accountability in building donor confidence. Ambassador ‘Nena emphasized that many least developed countries (LDCs) lose budget support from multilateral donors due to a lack of accountability. In response to this challenge, the government of Lesotho plans to convene an Accountability and Transparency Summit by the end of the year. During this summit, government institutions will present their best practices in managing public funds and government programs, aiming to boost donor confidence.