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S. Pradhan: Peace Depends on Us


Address to International Leadership Conference, Kathmandu, Nepal, January 17-18, 2008

As I understand it, democracy and good governance are synonymous. Democracy is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is about effective delivery of services to the people, and it is also about accountability of the executive arm of the state to the people’s representatives—the Members of Parliament. It is about accepting the people as a sovereign source of power. Governance can be classified as bad and good. Good governance is about using state power and resources in a justifiable and accountable manner. Rule of law, accountability, transparency, and people’s participation in a meaningful sense are some of the requisites of good governance.

Democracy in the true sense provides space for everybody’s voice. Democracy helps promote a peaceful and harmonious society. It helps peacebuilding and thereby family-building. Just as the individual is the basic unit of a family, the family is the basic unit of society. A peaceful society is possible only when individuals and families are bonded in peace, love, and compassion. Leaders should look at their constituency as part of a larger or extended family.

The arrival of peace depends on us, since human responsibility has determined the course and outcome of human history so far. Therefore, there is an urgent need for peacemakers to create more understanding and unity among people. 

Nepal is preparing for Constituent Assembly elections in April. I am happy to say that the interim constitution of Nepal has incorporated the basic features of good governance, such as multi-party inclusive democracy, human rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, an independent judiciary, and an emphasis on the rule of law. We have come a long way, but much still needs to be done.

The cooperation and assistance of organizations such as the Universal Peace Federation and the Ex-MPs Club will no doubt support us in attaining lasting peace. UPF’s Founder, Father Moon, has developed a universal philosophy that has the power and depth to unite people from all walks of life. I believe that this International Leadership Conference will help us promote lasting peace and good governance.

New Level of Cooperation in Nepal