speech on ICAPP
H.E. Co-Chairmen Jose de Venecia Jr. and Chung Eui-yong of the ICAPP,
Esteemed Delegates to the ICAPP Standing Committee Meeting,
Friends from the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen !
I am extremely pleased to greet all the friends and delegates who have come to Nepal to attend the twelfth Standing Committee meeting of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP). As you are kindly aware, I have a special attachment with this forum of political parties representing Asia and Pacific region for the last one decade. I take this opportunity to extend a hearty welcome to all our friends who have found it convenient to attend this meeting and wish that your stay in Nepal would be comfortable and enjoyable.
The ICAPP is a meeting and interacting forum of political parties of Asia and Pacific countries started in September 2000. Its basic goals and objectives are to promote exchanges and co-operation between political parties with various ideologies, enhance mutual understanding and trust among Asian countries, and promote Asia’s regional co-operation through the unique role and channel of political parties. ICAPP also envisages creating one day an Asian Parliament and common currency for the Asia and Pacific region. So far, five general conferences meetings have been held and eleven meetings of the Standing Committee have taken place.
As we are holding the twelfth Standing Committee meeting and as a founding member of ICAPP when I look back at the formation of the ICAPP, I recall, with a sense of pride and satisfaction, wonderful roles played by some of our old friends who have really obliged us by their presence today. Likewise, we have the pleasure to welcome many other influential and dynamic leaders from many friendly countries who have made excellent contributions in their respective fields. One common hallmark of all the participants is their solid and unwavering commitment to uphold genuine peace, democratic principles, rule of law and faster social and economic development of their respective countries.
Distinguished Friends and Colleagues,
The Government of Nepal is specially happy to welcome all the delegates as our problems and opportunities are similar and there are a lot of areas where we can share our experience for our collective benefit. Many of our friends who are here are quite familiar with the problem of our country as they themselves have fought for civil liberty, democracy and rule of law. In 2006 as a result of the unprecedented support and participation of our people and sympathetic moral support and co-operation from peace-loving people around the world, the historic People’s Movement of 2006 was a great success. This led to the establishment of genuine democracy and abolition of the 240 year-old monarchy and a republican political order has been established since 2008.
Nepal is currently in the midst of a major political transition with various challenges particularly relating to institutionalization of multiparty inclusive democracy, rule of law and federalism. The Constituent Assembly is actively engaged in the task of drafting a new constitution within the stipulated timeframe i.e. May 28, 2010 to sustain and safeguard the historic political gains made by the people during the last four years. The Government is committed to take the peace process to its positive and meaningful conclusion at the earliest. The Special Committee and the Technical Committee are engaged in the preparatory works of integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist combatants in the camps established under the supervision of the United Nations and active participation of the major political forces. Recently we had a breakthrough in discharging the 4008 number disqualified minors from the camps. At the same time, we are conscious of the fact that as one of the least developed countries, we have to pay special attention to the task of rapid social and economic transformation to improve the quality of life of our people. Accelerated development of the country helps promote peace and stability in the country and they, in fact, reinforce each other. The Government is effortful in enlisting active co-operation of all political parties and organizations for resolving our problems in a spirit of unity, consensus and dialogue.
At international level, Nepal pursues a policy of cultivating friendly relations with all countries around the world and particularly Asian countries and our immediate neighbours. Tremendous rates of growth in China and India with whom we enjoy excellent relations at political and economic levels, and their emergence as global economic powerhouses are important positive factors for us. Scrupulous pursuance of the five principles of Panchsheel, non-alignment and promotion of peace, stability and disarmament in the world are fundamental objectives of our foreign policy. As the current Chair of the Group of the Least Developed Countries and as a landlocked country, Nepal is committed to safeguard the interests of the LDCs and geographically disadvantaged countries.
We are also engaged in promoting the interests of the mountainous developing countries and tackle the problems arising out of the adverse impacts of climate change. Seven out of ten highest mountain peaks lie in Nepal. Some months ago, we held a cabinet meeting at Kallapathhar, the Base Camp of Mount Sagarmatha (Mount Everest), the highest peak in the world. The Everest Declaration that was issued after the cabinet meeting talks of the delicate and fragile ecosystem of the Hidu-Kush Himalayas, melting snow in the Himalayas, creation and expansion of the glacier lakes and danger of their outburst and pledges to renew Nepal’s commitments to the adaptation and mitigation of the global impact of the climate change of which the developing and least developed countries are the worst victims.
I appreciate the roles of the political parties and organizations associated with the ICAPP for the promotion of unity and solidarity among the political parties and for fostering durable relations among the countries of this region. I also welcome the participation of observer organizations that have taken keen interest in our activities. The ICAPP is keen to promote fraternal ties with political parties in other parts of the world including Latin America and Africa where we have a counterpart organization, COPPPAL (Permanent Conference of Political Parties in Latin America and the Caribbean), in order to develop synergetic co-operation among the political parties for the promotion of world peace and prosperity. Joint sessions of the ICAPP Standing Committee and COPPPAL Co-ordinating Body have already been held to promote co-operation and new joint initiative by the two organizations tends to reach out to Africa. I would like to welcome our friends from COPPPAL, Latin America who have come here a long way to participate in this meeting of ICAPP and express their solidarity and support to our initiatives.
It is in this respect that we should try to orient the ICAPP towards those goals which it is advocating since its inception as it is going to celebrate its tenth anniversary this year. It is heartening to note that a Special ICAPP Workshop is going to be held in Beijing in the early part of June 2010 with a focus on ‘Poverty Reduction and Alleviation under Globalisation’ as part of the tenth anniversary celebration of ICAPP.
I wish the Kathmandu meeting of ICAPP standing Committee all success.
With these words, let me once again welcome all of you, both on behalf of the Government of Nepal and the Communist Party of Nepal (UML), in our country.
Thank you all.
February 27, 2010