Key insights from the High-level Political Forum event on mountains


International interest in the Global Framework for the Five Years of Action for the Development of Mountain Regions 2023-2027 proves high, with the side event "Promoting the Five Year Action Plan: Mountains as key to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" on 19 July 2023 at the United Nations Headquarters drawing participation from over 60 Member States. 

The High-level Political Forum (HLPF) side event was co-hosted by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Mountain Partnership and co-sponsored by the Governments of Italy, Malawi, Nepal and Peru, together with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The event was chaired and moderated by Rosalaura Romeo, Coordinator of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat and Officer of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Speakers emphasized the need to accelerate progress towards inclusive, resilient and sustainable mountain development within the context of Sustainable Development Goals 6 (Clean water and sanitation), 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

The Kyrgyz Republic’s delegation, represented by First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Asein Isaev, called on all countries to collaborate on concrete measures to advance the mountain agenda, including allocating financial resources to protect mountain ecosystems.

Aida Kasymalieva, Permanent Representative of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United Nations, presented an outline of the Global Framework for the Five Years of Action for the Development of Mountain Regions 2023-2027. This quinquennium aims to increase action in mountains and improve the livelihoods of mountain people through international cooperation, research, innovation and increased investments. The Mountain Partnership, being the United Nations alliance dedicated to sustainable mountain development, coordinated the task force that drafted the Global Framework.

Elisenda Vives, Permanent Representative of Andorra to the United Nations, highlighted the importance of prioritizing sustainability and resilience in mountain ecosystems and communities and called for collective efforts to overcome challenges faced by mountain countries. Water resource management was a key focus as she discussed how Andorra has integrated responsible water consumption into its circular economy law and promotes environmental education in schools.

Min Bahadur Shrestha, Vice-Chairman of the National Planning Commission of Nepal, expressed that the proposed Global Framework aims to address challenges faced by mountain communities through nature-based solutions, adaptation and mitigation. Nepal is taking various measures to protect mountain ecologies, expand infrastructure, and combat climate change. However, stronger political will and international cooperation and resources are crucial to achieve equitable and sustainable mountain development, leaving no one behind.

Maurizio Massari, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, emphasized the importance of conserving and restoring mountains and their impact on the lives of millions of people living in mountain regions. He underlined the vital role of mountains in providing freshwater to half of humanity despite facing challenges due to climate change. He commended initiatives like Aqua Team for Sustainable Development and the Mountain Partnership Products Initiative for promoting sustainable water solutions and strengthening mountain economies, encouraging more countries to join the Mountain Partnership to collectively support such initiatives that benefit the planet and contribute to the 2030 Agenda.

Luis Ugarelli, Deputy Permanent Representative of Peru to the United Nations, stated that 35 percent of Peru's territory consists of mountains, and sustainable mountain development is key to accelerating the 2030 Agenda. He underscored the Global Framework for the Five Years of Action’s valuable role in addressing challenges like climate change, desertification and food security in mountain regions. He highlighted efforts in monitoring hydrology and formulating mitigation measures for Andean peatlands and acknowledged the vital role of international cooperation in achieving sustainable development in mountainous regions.

Dai Bing, Deputy Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations, acknowledged the challenges faced by developing countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda and stressed the importance of concrete actions to safeguard mountain regions. With two-thirds of its national land area as mountains, he reaffirmed China’s commitment to eradicating poverty, advancing environmental protection, and fostering economic development in these regions.

Ivana Živković, Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), highlighted the strategic importance of mountains in shaping climate and environmental agendas, noting the role their vital ecosystem services play in climate adaptation and mitigation. However, high-altitude regions, especially in developing countries, face distinct challenges due to underdeveloped infrastructure and isolation, making mountain communities among the world's poorest and most marginalized. She reaffirmed UNDP’s commitment to promoting the Global Framework and protecting mountain ecosystems to accelerate progress on the 2030 Agenda, ensuring a sustainable and inclusive future for all.

The event also featured presentations from the heads of delegations of Malawi and Uzbekistan, as well as representatives of international organizations such as the OSCE, World Meteorological Organization, World Bank, Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, and Aga Khan Agency for Habitat. They lauded the Kyrgyz Republic's leading role in promoting the mountain agenda and expressed gratitude to the Kyrgyz Government and the Mountain Partnership for presenting the Global Framework, which contributes to the conservation of mountain ecosystems, infrastructure development in mountain countries, and efforts to build resilient mountain communities.

Learn more here about the Five Years of Action for the Development of Mountain Regions 2023-2027, which was proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/77/172 on Sustainable mountain development and co-sponsored by 110 governments.

Home > mountain-partnership > News