South Asia Peace Initiative
Kathmandu Conference Calls for Stability and Political Consensus in Nepal
Written by Robert Kittel, UPI Correspondent and Amb. K.V. Rajan, Chairman, UPF Regional Peace Council-Asia
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Kathmandu, Nepal - H.E. Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, cut the ribbon to inaugurate the “International Conference for Solidarity with Nepal” organized by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and the Parliamentarians’ International Forum in Kathmandu July 17-19, 2009.
The ceremony took place in the Rastrapathi Bhavan (Presidential Palace) with delegates representing 22 Asian nations attending. President Yadav deeply appreciated the show of solidarity from the nearly 100 international guests, which he said came at a time when there were serious challenges in Nepal’s peace process.
Dr. Chung Sik Yong, the Regional Chair of UPF-Asia, reminded the Nepali President that they had met just a year ago when both began their respective terms of office. They laughed as they realized this was the one year anniversary for both.
Participants were also received in the Speaker’s Chamber at the Constituent Assembly by the Rt. Hon. Subash C. Nembang, who briefed them about the on-going progress of writing the new constitution and consolidating peace in the country. The Speaker recalled his association with previous conferences organized by the UPF and praised the vision of its founder, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, in dedicating his life for peace throughout the world. Hon. Nembang also thanked the Nepal chapter for its various peace initiatives over the past many years.
A special brotherhood / sisterhood ceremony was presided over by the Vice-President of Nepal, H.E. Parmanand Jha. International participants were matched with members of the Constituent Assembly and other civil society leaders to affirm their commitment to the concept of fraternal cross-border ties at the people-to-people level which would help build bridges transcending cultural, ethnic, religious and national divides.
The conference had a detailed interaction with members of the Constituent Assembly at a meeting in the Singhadurbar (Parliament Secretariat) organized by the Nepal Pariwar Dal (Nepal Family Party). Renowned performers from Japan and Nepal entertained the audience of about 150 which included a large representation from numerous political parties from Nepal.
While appreciating the considerable achievements of the people and all the political parties of Nepal in ending the decade-long insurgency and holding elections to a Constituent Assembly, the conference unanimously:
• Called upon all political parties in Nepal to work together in an environment of political stability, trust and reconciliation in order to achieve the twin objectives of writing a new constitution and consolidating the peace process;
• Highlighted how critically important it was for key leaders to articulate and respect the basic principles of good governance so they could seize the historic opportunity to serve the people of Nepal and help them fulfill their aspirations for peace, inclusive development and prosperity;
• Underlined the parental responsibilities of all political parties, whether they are in the government or in the opposition, as vital to building the spirit of harmony, unity, forgiveness and understanding which is essential in the democratic process;
• Emphasized that in making the difficult decisions that lie ahead, leaders must give higher priority to the well-being of the nation when it conflicts with interests of the party and seek to implement the universal ideal of vasudaiva kutumbakam (one family under God);
• Pleaded for an end to the culture of violence, intimidation and impunity as a means to achieve lasting social, economic or political transformation;
• Acknowledged the urgent need for sensitive and effective governance in order to address the legitimate grievances of hitherto marginalized and underprivileged sections of society, and;
• Pledged to support the people of Nepal in their search for sustainable peace and inclusive development in every way possible.
At the conclusion of the conference the Rt. Hon. Lokendra Bahadur Chand, former Prime Minister of Nepal, led the international delegation in a unanimous expression of appreciation acknowledging the Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, Member of the Constituent Assembly and organizing chairman of the conference, and his staff for the highly successful, unprecedented, and very productive series of back-to-back of peace initiatives.
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