PM addresses Oxford Union Democracy, development contingent on peace
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, June 12: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said that peace, democracy and development are intrinsically linked to each other.
"Democracy and development are contingent upon peace and peace cannot be achieved and sustained in the absence of development," Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said while addressing the Oxford Union in London on Monday evening.
It is only the democratic system that paves the way for lasting peace and development, he added.
Delivering his views on 'Peace, Democracy and Development,’ the Prime Minister said that understanding the complex relationship between peace, democracy and development would warrant an in-depth knowledge of root causes of conflict.
"Peace is much more than the absence of war. It is an idea, a condition, a culture and a way of society and nation," he said.
He said as an idea, peace is a vision aimed at greater good of a society, adding that values such as harmony, tolerance, coexistence and unity are essential catalysts for peace.
"As a condition, it is the desired state of political, social and economic realities. It is about enjoyment of all rights by individuals without any discrimination and securing equal access to economic resources," he said.
At the political level, what we need is a fine balance between freedom and responsibility. Democracy is about civic rights. It is also about civilized way of behavior, he said.
He said at the economic level, it was about empowering people with means, resources and choices.
"At the social and cultural levels, democracy must address the problems related to power dynamics and promote a sense of belongingness, inclusivity and justice," he said, adding "At the technological level, new means of disruptive technologies must be used for the sake of empowering people. After all, it was democracy that created technologies."
Sharing how Nepal attained
the present state of peace and
stability, he said that Nepal's journey to peace and political stability had been full of struggles, movements and sacrifices.
Major milestones were the political transformations of 1951, 1990 and 2006, he added.
He said the autocratic Rana Regime that perpetuated the family rule was overthrown on the strength of people’s movement in 1951 and it paved the democratic journey of Nepal.
"Democratic government must be responsible and accountable to the people. It should be transparent as well," he said.
He appreciated Oxford terming it as an epitome of human pursuit of knowledge right from the medieval times. "It is a center of knowledge and research where learning is nobler and superior," he said.
The Prime Minister said the growing tussle between and among the world’s largest economies had raised doubt over the future of multilateral trading system and overshadowed the prospect for global development.
The fourth industrial revolution along with ‘disruptive technologies’ has led the world towards greater prosperity, he said. "However, its benefits are not judiciously shared. Inequality persists. The existence of poverty is against the values of human civilization and our conscience. This is where the roots of the problems are. No one is spared from these problems as they transcend boundaries and borders of a society, nation and region."
He said peace must be understood in casual relationship with democracy and development. Peaceful environment enables societies and nations to achieve progress and prosperity.
"Like creativity and innovation, the roots of conflict and violence are also inherent in human minds. These roots are nurtured by ignorance, greed and intolerance. So, the foundation of peace must be built in human minds themselves," he said.
He said realisation of SDGs by all would help translate the vision of comprehensive democracy into practice
"Democracy must embrace equal rights, equal opportunities, equal protection of security and equal respect as its key pillars. This is the core of comprehensive democracy," he said.
Stating that the Nepal Communist Party played a decisive role in all transformative developments and movements, the Prime Minister said the promulgation of the Constitution marked the conclusion of the peace process and institutionalised the democratic gains made by the people.
Political pluralism, periodic elections, inclusion and proportional representation, fundamental freedoms and human rights, rule of law, independent judiciary, separation of powers and checks and balances, and people’s sovereignty are the major features of our Constitution, he said
"The Constitution guarantees 33 per cent representation of women in the Federal Parliament and Provincial Assemblies and 40 percent at the Local Level," he added.
He said it was unfortunate that the countries like Nepal which emit negligibly and contribute substantially to the maintenance of global ecological order were bearing the brunt of disproportionate impact of climate change and it was simply unacceptable.
"Our Himalayas and forests contribute to the recharging system of the earth and also keep the environment clean and cool. This is an extraordinary contribution. This must be recognised and climate justice should be upheld as an essential component of comprehensive democracy at the global level," he added.
“We want to become a middle-income country as well as realize the SDGs by 2030. We have crafted a long-term vision for development and periodic plans to guide our economic journey.”
Stating that Nepal's demographic dividend and huge national resources offer enormous possibilities for development, Prime Minister Oli said, "Our model of development aims at ensuring basic services such as food security, shelter and clothing, education, and health and security for all. Our priority is not only about building and sustaining a political system but also about achieving overall social transformation."
He recalled that constitution was promulgated by an inclusive Constituent Assembly in September 2015 after years of hard works.
“We accomplished this historic responsibility in a peaceful way, keeping the vital national interest uppermost,” he said.
He said the elections held in 2017 produced a strong and stable government with a robust mandate to Nepal Communist Party and it ended the cycle of political uncertainty and frequent change of governments.
PM Oli meets Prince Harry, Prime Minister May
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, June 12: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday called on Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, at the Kensington Palace in London.
Prime Minister Oli was accompanied by his wife Radhika Shakya during the audience.
Prince Harry was on his official visit to Nepal during Oli's first stint as Prime Minister of Nepal in 2016.
Prince Harry also travelled to the areas affected by the devastating earthquake of April 2015 and worked as a labourer to rebuild a school damaged by the quake in Lapubesi in Gorkha.
Likewise, Prime Minister Oli held a meeting with his British counterpart Theresa May also on Tuesday.
The meeting held at 10 Downing Street lasted for half an hour meeting. It was learnt that the two prime ministers dwelled on the issues of existing bilateral relations and various ways to further expand the ties. UK is the first country to have diplomatic relations with Nepal.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Foreign Secretary Shankar Bairagi and Nepal's Ambassador to UK Durga Bahadur Chhetri were present during the meeting.
Prime Minister Oli reached London on Monday after attending the centenary meeting of International Labor Organisation (ILO) in Geneva.
Earlier, PM Oli addressed a special program at Oxford University organised by Oxford Union on Tuesday evening.
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