Nepal Peace and Solidarity Council
President and Office-bearers of the Nepal Peace and Solidarity Council,
Delegates from Home and Abroad,
Members of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am pleased to attend the inaugural function of the three-day programme organised by the Nepal Peace and Solidarity Council in Kathmandu today. I take this opportunity to specially extend a very warm and hearty welcome to all the delegates and the representatives of various organizations and fraternal parties who have come to Nepal to take part in this important function and wish all of you a very comfortable and memorable stay in our country.
As you are kindly aware, Nepal is in the midst of a historic political transition after making a big stride in the way of political evolution. During the period of almost four years of major political change that shook away the 240-year old monarchy and ushered in an era of a republican political order in the country, we have made concrete achievements. The Comprehensive Peace Accord, promulgation of the Interim Constitution, successful conclusion of the Constituent Assembly elections and the formation of the Assembly are some of the most defining results of the Second People’s Movement of April 2006 that was the culmination of the struggle for genuine democracy of the people of Nepal for the last six decades.
The Government of Nepal is strongly committed to take the ongoing peace process to its positive and meaningful conclusion and draft the new constitution within the stipulated timeframe so as to institutionalise the historic political gains made by our people. We need constant support from the international community in this regard as we have to confront with various problems including the rehabilitation of both the Maoist combatants and the internally displaced people during the period of conflict. While the Special Committee and the Technical Committee are assigned the role of integrating and rehabilitating the Maoists combatants, we have also decided to do away with the unitary political characteristics of our country by choosing the concept of the federal democratic structure.
The Constituent Assembly which is the most inclusive entity in the history of Nepal, is seriously engaged in the task of incorporating various provisions prepared by the thematic committees for our new constitution that has to be promulgated within the next hundred days. This is both a challenge and opportunity for us as we are drafting a new legal and political document that has not only to reflect the aspirations of our people but also make our country a truly inclusive, harmonious, more integrated and federal state.
While the above-mentioned political objectives are very important, we have to concentrate on faster socio-economic development of our country through utilization of internal and external resources in keeping with the rising aspirations of our people. We also believe that economic prosperity is ultimately the best way to reinforce and sustain our political gains. In this context, we need greater support from the international community as we move from a conflict to a post-conflict situation with all attendant difficulties.
Nepal has been a constant advocate of the struggle against colonialism and imperialism and supported the rights of the people for peace, social justice, freedom and independence, and for global disarmament, both conventional and nuclear. Even though our country has always remained an independent entity even during the dominance of the colonialism, we have always identified with the oppressed and exploited people who suffered the yoke of colonialism. Ever since the Bandung Summit of Asian and African countries in 1955, we have been consistent in our stand. We appreciate the role of the World Peace Council in promoting peace and strengthening co-operation among the developing countries.
As a country that gave birth to Lord Buddha, the apostle of peace and non-violence, our foreign policy has incorporated the ideals of Panchsheel , the five principles of peaceful co-existence among countries. Since the sixties, as a founding member of the Non-aligned Movement, we have consistently supported the rights of the countries for freedom from the colonial yoke, and for peace, stability and a new international economic order for ensuring the faster socio-economic development of majority of developing countries. We have always advocated the greater role of the United Nations in the maintenance of world peace and stability and for ensuring commensurate socio-economic upliftment of the developing and particularly least developed countries. Friendship with all countries particularly our immediate neighbours and scrupulous adherence to the ideals of the United Nations Charter have remained fundamental tenets of our foreign policy.
The end of the Cold War was a welcome development as it paved the way for consolidation of peace, democracy, stability and rule of law. This had also a big impact on Nepal as we were able to restore multiparty democracy after the first People’s Movement of 1990. The tremendous development that have witnessed in China and India in social, economic and technological terms, this has ushered the move towards a multi-polar world. We want to further develop our economic interactions with our two neighbours for accelerating our development.
As Nepal is currently holding the chair of the group of the Least Developed Countries, we urge the international community for treating the issue of LDCs with highest priority for ensuring social justice, democracy and equitable development. People in these countries are facing the hardships of food, education, health and other problems that need urgent and special attention of the international community. They need specific and focused attention in their quest for improving the quality of life so that they are not marginalised and sidelined by global developments in terms of economic prosperity and technological advancement. I believe that organizations like the World Peace Council have now to concentrate on these aspects in the changed context of international relations.
Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before I conclude, let me remind all of you that we have celebrated the Democracy Day yesterday with zeal and enthusiasm to mark the end of the century-old Rana autocracy. Your support and inspiration count a lot as we are determined to chart out a new political destiny for Nepal that can ensure equitable distribution of resources and opportunities. With these words, let me wish you all success in future.
20 Feb 2010