27 October 2019, Kathmandu
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said that human rights can find true meaning only in a condition of comprehensive democracy. “Nepal’s experience presents a testimony of how peace, democracy, development and human rights are closely interlinked,” he said.
Prime Minister Oli made this remark as Leader of the Nepali delegation to the 18th Summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in his statement to the General Debate session of the Summit that began in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan yesterday. The general debate was held under the theme “Upholding the Bandung Principles to Ensure Concerted and Adequate Response to the Challenges of Contemporary World.”
A total of 21 heads of State or Governments spoke at the General Debate in the second part of the first day of the 18th NAM Summit. The General Debate started with a statement by the President of Pakistan following from the President of Iran, the President of Turkmenistan, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the President of Afghanistan, the President of Cuba, the President of Djibouti, Deputy Minister of Russian Federation, the Minister of State of the UAE and President of Algeria Abdekader Bensalah.
Also making their statements under the chair of Prime Minister Oli were His Majesty King Mswati III of Eswatini, the President of Ghana, the President of Naminia, the President of Equatorial Guinea, the President of Sudan, the Member of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Vice-President of India, the Vice-President of Vietnam and the Prime Minister of Libya. As the session Chair, Prime Minister Oli also announced the first working session of the NAM summit close, before inviting the Heads of delegation of the participating member-states for a gala dinner on behalf of NAM Chair and President of Azerbaijan Aliyev.
It may be noted that Prime Minister Oli had chaired the second part of the General Debate at the request of NAM chair President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. He was the 20th Heads of State or Government to speak during the General Debate, after leading the same from the 10th, thanking President of Algeria Abdelkadar Bensalah for his statement and inviting His Majesty King Mswati III of Eswatini for his statement. Comprehensive democracy, the Prime Minister said, must be practised beyond the borders, at the global level as well by ensuring sovereign equality, nonuse of threat or force, non-interference in internal affairs, respect and dignity of all nations, non-exploitation, and fair opportunities for all countries to grow and develop. “Comprehensive democracy demands a world order that is democratic, inclusive and that is just and fair,” he said while noting that the NAM will continue to be relevant for us unless and until we achieve it.
The Non-aligned Movement (NAM) was conceived as a decisive response to unjust and unfair world, a dehumanizing world where the essentials of human being- the freedoms were denied and brutally suppressed. It was conceived to defend fundamental rights of the peoples and the nations in the South. Prime Minister Oli said the Bandung principles, which are eloquently manifested in the objectives of the NAM, form the fundamentals of Nepal’s foreign policy as enshrined in the Constitution.
“We take immense pride in saying that the five principles of peaceful co-existence better known as Panchasheela, were derived from the teachings of Buddha, the immortal son of Nepal. They make a perfect sync with the essence of Nepal’s foreign policy principle that believes in ‘Amity with all, enmity with none”, he observed. The Prime Minister however observed that the time had come to seriously reflect on how could we collectively make the Movement more dynamic and effective, while suggesting the need to establish a NAM that is internally cohesive, united, strong and externally influential so that entrenched global inequalities are uprooted for once and for all. “We want to see a NAM that helps leverage the strength and capability of the South so that all developing nations build collective strengths to address development challenges to achieve shared prosperity”, he said.
He also called for development of a system to ensure that the decisions made in the NAM are implemented in good faith, and efforts are made to reach broad consensus in translating into action on the ground the political message of the Movement. As a founding member of NAM, Nepal stands firmly to shoulder its responsibilities from the forefront, while it looks forward to making the NAM truly a force to respond adequately to the contemporary challenges and to advance development journey for collective prosperity. “We wish to see a NAM that takes up burning global issues in a systematic manner and devises concrete solutions to address them, a NAM that contributes to strengthening multilateralism with the United Nations at its centre”. Prime Minister Oli also said that the Bangdung principles are so sacrosanct and have timeless value that if we fail to observe them the world order will turn into anarchy. And, this is certainly not the objective of humanity, rather the objective is to respect them, which makes the world peaceful, safer, stable and prosperous.
Noting that excessive greed is the primary reason for environmental catastrophe as well as the social conflict, Prime Minister Oli said we must therefore ensure prosperity for all so that no one is left behind as the SDGs have underlined and protection of mother earth so that the needs of the future generations are not compromised. This, he said, can be achieved by ensuring global justice in such a manner that all states enjoy their rights and fulfill their obligations in a balanced manner. “However, in judicious utilization of natural resources, there should not be any restriction on the sovereign choice of the people”.
He also shared the decision of the Government of Nepal to host the ‘Sagarmatha Sambad’, a global dialogue, under the theme of ‘Mountains, Climate Change and the Future of Humanity’ in April next year. This initiative is being taken being acutely aware of the fact of climate change having assumed crisis proportion. Expressing the view that that political rights alone remain useless if a person remains hungry and homeless, which threatens his most fundamental right – the right to life, the Prime Minister said, “being cognizant of the fact, we in Nepal have crafted social security system to cover the entire cycle of human life so that no one dies due to lack of food and shelter”.
The Nepali delegation includes Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister Bishnu Rimal, Foreign Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr Rajan Bhattarai, Foreign Secretary Bairagi, Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations Amrit Rai and senior officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as state media representatives.
The closing ceremony of the 18th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of NAM will be held at the Plenary Hall of the BCC with the Closing Remarks by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Chair of NAM Ilham Aliyev. The Prime Minister and his 21 members delegation will arrive in Kathmandu on Sunday morning.