H.E. Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prime Minister
26 September 2008
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PUSHPA KAMAL DAHAL, Prime Minister of Nepal, recalled the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and said Nepal had held elections to the Constituent Assembly in April this year. At its first meeting, that Assembly had declared Nepal a federal democratic republic, formally ending the 240-year-old monarchy, and creating an opportunity to transform the feudalistic State into a “new Nepal”, in keeping with peoples’ aspirations. His Government was committed to restoring law and order, providing immediate relief to conflict-affected people, fighting the “cancerous” growth of corruption, and starting a pro-poor economic recovery package.
Nepal’s peace process was based on multi-party democracy, dialogue and recognition of the people as the ultimate arbiter, he explained, noting his appreciation for the United Nations’ continued support. However, as Nepal continued its process, new problems had emerged in the form of the global food crisis, rising oil prices and the dangers of climate change, which undermined its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. He called for fulfilling the “solemn” pledges made in 2000, and at the 2002 World Conference on Financing for Development.
He said the United Nations must tackle such development challenges, among other issues, as religious extremism, nuclear weapons proliferation, transnational crimes and gross human rights violations. Multilateralism was the solution. Further, least developed countries like Nepal faced a special predicament in that they were trapped in a vicious circle of poverty. Their low social indicators, and the growing income gap within and among nations was a “sure sign of looming disaster”. Due to least developed countries’ high level of vulnerability, he strongly urged that their issues be examined separately by the United Nations and with focused programmes.
Nepal was also landlocked, a “double disadvantage”, and had to deal with a high cost of doing trade, he explained, urging full implementation of global compacts and the Brussels Programme of Action for least developed countries. He also highlighted the need for developed country partners to fulfil their pledges to allocate a certain percentage of their gross national product to least developed countries. On climate change, he said Nepal faced the melting of glaciers and shifting weather patterns, and strongly appealed for extending support to help protect its environment. A regime of common but differentiated responsibilities also must be created.
Continuing, he was pleased the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific had been operating in Kathmandu for 20 years. Peacekeeping had evolved as the “soul” of the United Nations, and Nepal had regularly sent peacekeepers since 1958. On human rights, he said the proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission would be a necessary balance between peace and justice, and that Nepal would enhance the work of its National Human Rights Commission.