Thanked UNDP staff for their tremendous efforts
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon concluded his four-day visit in Nepal with a meeting with the staff of the local UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) offices. The Crown Prince expressed admiration for their efforts and the extent of their achievements.
The days programme began in the early morning when the Crown Prince and the Administrator of UNDP, Ms Helen Clark, were given an introduction to activities to improve Nepals preparedness for dealing with natural disasters.
Enhanced preparedness against earthquakes
Nepal is among the countries in the world most susceptible to natural disasters. Many lives are lost to floods, earthquakes and extreme weather each year, and the situation is being exacerbated by climate change. The country sits on a fault line between the Asian and Indian continental plates, making it extremely prone to earthquakes.
A major earthquake in the vicinity of the capital of Kathmandu could cost the lives of up to 100 000 people and reduce a substantial portion of the citys buildings to rubble. Action is being taken to reduce the citys vulnerability by enhancing contingency measures, raising awareness and introducing more stringent building regulations. UNDP is assisting the Nepalese authorities in these efforts.
Crown Prince Haakon and Ms Clark were accompanied on a guided earthquake vulnerability walk through the old city of Kathmandu. The situat ion in this densely-populated area is representative of the problems that could arise throughout the city if disaster were to strike.
Meeting with the President
Later Crown Prince Haakon and Ms Clark met with the President of Nepal, His Excellency Dr Ram Baran Yadav. The Crown Prince took the opportunity to congratulate the President on Nepals excellent progress towards meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals. A physician by profession and the former Minister of Health, President Yadav has actively supported the endeavours to achieve these goals.
Meeting with local UNDP staff
Crown Prince Haakon concluded his visit to Nepal with a meeting with local UNDP staff. In his remarks, the Crown Prince thanked them for their extensive efforts and praised them for their achievements. He also praised the constructive dialogue and cooperation with the Nepalese authorities.
About the UN Millennium Development Goals
In 2000 all the countries in the world agreed to establish common goals to eradicate poverty, and eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG) were formulated.
The general goal – MDG 1 – was to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. The first of three targets under the goal was to halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than USD 1 a day.
The eight MDG were to:
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Achieve universal primary education
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce child mortality
- Improve maternal health
- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- Ensure environmental sustainability
- Develop a global partnership for development
At the end of 2015, significant progress had been made in all eight areas, and the countries of the world decided on 17 new goals - the Sustainable Development Goals.
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.
World Heritage at Vega
In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the Vega Archipelago on the World Heritage List. Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was in attendance to open the new Vega Archipelago World Heritage Centre – Norway’s first authorised centre of its kind.