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The United Nations and Nepal

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UPENDRA YADAV, the newly appointed foreign minister, dwells on UN-Nepal connections.



It gives me pleasure to have the opportunity of sharing a few words at this distinguished gathering organized by ' The United Nations Association of Nepal' a well established organization in its field. I also congratulate the Association for its activities in such an important area for more than 50 years.

Ever since Nepal joined the world organization 53 years ago, the UN Charter has become one of the guiding principles and fundamental tenets of our foreign policy. In fact, the Interim Constitution of Nepal directs us to abide by the principles and purposes of the United Nations. We admire and support the great ideals of maintaining international peace and security, respecting the equal rights and self determination of peoples, promoting better standards of life through socio-economic and cultural enhancement and encouraging respects for human rights not only in words but also in deed. Likewise, we highly value the egalitarian principle of sovereign equality of all nations and the principles of peaceful settlement of disputes and non-interference in each other's internal affairs which are vital for a stable and peaceful international order. Today, the United Nations need to be a catalyst to find the solutions of myriad of problems. The United Nations must play a central role in the conduct of international relations, if we are to create an equitable, just and sustainable world order.

Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a matter of great pride to note that Nepal has been actively engaged in the maintenance of world peace and security by contributing to a large number of UN Peace-Keeping operations around the world for the last 50 years. We are celebrating the golden jubilee of our participation in UN Peace-Keeping Operations with various activities this year. Nepal's continued and dedicated participation in the UN Peace Keeping efforts reinforces our unflinching commitment to the UN objectives and the ideals it espouses. Currently, nearly 4000 Nepalese peacekeepers are working in various Peace-Keeping Missions. It would be relevant to note the world organization's involvement in the development activities and in support of the peace process of our own country. We express our appreciation for the role of UNMIN in the mandated areas at our request to lend support for the peace process.

Peace and stability depend upon multiple variables. We believe that for the success of peace building efforts, a number of measures should be taken simultaneously. Reconstruction, strengthening of the rule of law and democratic institutions, human security and development, good governance are all indispensable for addressing the sources of instability. Peace and development complement each other and, therefore, they should be promoted together. Nepal has been vocal in all UN fora that the two primary objectives of the United Nations - peace and security and development should be given equal emphasis. One should not get overwhelmed by another. Main reasons of conflicts, in most cases, are deprivation, exclusion and desperation. Therefore durable peace and stability can not be achieved without development for all, participation by all and inclusion of all.

I take this opportunity to mention that Nepal attaches utmost importance to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental Freedoms - another noble ideal espoused by the Charter. Human rights constitute one of the important building-blocks of the Interim Constitution of Nepal. Indeed, the respect for human rights has become one of the fundamental planks of our foreign policy. It gives me a great pleasure to note that Nepal has already become party to sixteen international human rights instruments, including six core human rights treaties. We believe that we can ensure effective protection and promotion of human rights, only when we incorporate the fundamental provisions of civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights to which we have become party in the Supreme Law of the land- that is the Constitution of Nepal.

Let me also express that we are equally committed to and active in other areas of the United Nations, such as the attainments of MDGs, general and complete disarmament, both on nuclear and conventional fronts, environmental protection and fight against terrorism. These are the pillars of larger international framework in which peace, development and human rights would find their full expression.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All of you are quite aware that, as a result of twelve years of people's revolution, people's movement of 2063-64, Madhesh movement and the successful holding of the Constituent Assembly elections, we have entered into a new phase of history. At this particular juncture we are confronted with both the challenges and opportunities. We have firm commitment of drafting a new constitution which would ensure a fully democratic system of governance, a federal structure for the state, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, press freedom and independence of judiciary. Similarly, we have a challenging responsibility of leading the ongoing peace process to a logical conclusion. At the same time we have poverty, illiteracy, exclusion, low level of economic growth and so many other socio-economic problems which should be addressed immediately. There are many constraints in the availability of resources and managerial capacity of mobilizing the available resources. Nepalese people are keenly waiting for the rapid transformation of Nepal into a fully democratic, inclusive, stable and prosperous Nepal. Thus the vista of future is full of challenges. Yet, I am confident when our sincere efforts are backed up by all the stakeholders, including the international community, we will attain our goals.

In order to fulfill people's aspirations, I believe that our efforts should be holistic, courageous and pragmatic. Holistic in the sense that transformation of Nepal into a fully democratic, inclusive and developed Nepal demands honest efforts from the side of government and positive cooperation from all sections of society - political parties, civil society, media, private sector and people themselves. Courageous in the sense that we should have enough courage to give all people their rightful share which they have been deprived of for centuries. And, it demands practical wisdom - wisdom to work for larger national interest and for durable solutions, rather than petty interest and a narrow vision.

Finally, let me assure you that for the holistic transformation of the state, the government is committed to making genuine efforts on its part. At the same time, I would like to request all other stake holders to cooperate in this regard. I am confident that in these noble endeavours, the Government would get due support and cooperation from the international community as well.

Thank you


Text of Upendra Yadab, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal in a Talk Programme ' The United Nations and Nepal' organized by 'the United Nations Association of Nepal', September 9, 2008

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CPA
Brihát Śhānti Sámjhautā, 2006
(Comprehensive Peace Agreement)








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