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Govt gives top priority to peace‚ statute: DPM Shrestha


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File Photo of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha


KATHMANDU : Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, has said that the government has accorded top priority to the peace process and writing a new constitution.

Speaking in a talk programme titled '67th Session of the UNGA: Nepal's Perspective and Role' organized by Institute of Foreign Affairs here today, DPM Shrestha said: "In the present context, the government's main responsibility is to complete these two tasks."

He also expressed the confidence that a new constitution would be issued with the completion of the peace process through dialogue and collaboration among the political parties.

In different context, Shrestha said, the 67th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will take up 167 agendas for discussion this time.

Nepal has interest and stake in the issues being debated in the General Assembly, including on international peace and security, peacekeeping, special needs of the least developed and landlocked developing countries, development agenda, climate change and environment, human rights, disarmament, and reform of the United Nations, DPM and Foreign Affairs Minister Shrestha said.

"The General Assembly has been increasingly attracted on issues of international peace and security, including on the situation in Syria, as the Security Council has been unable to devise a uniform international response on this subject. UN's failure in Syria is likely to be debated along with the increasing call for UN's role in preventive diplomacy, protection of civilians and responsibility to protect. Issues of terrorism will continue to be in the agenda, as the long-aspired comprehensive convention on the subject remains to be concluded," he said.

As peacekeeping grows bigger everyday with huge financial implications to the UN, it brings operational and political complexities which demonstrate the need to reform, which the UN's department of peacekeeping operation is seeking to address through its New Horizons process, DPM Shrestha added.

Nepal's ranking as troop contributing country has slipped recently, as there is need to focus on female and more police participation, he said adding that apart from aiming to get more senior positions for the military, Nepal should also aim to increase the civilian side of UN pace missions.

DPM Shrestha also stated that in the aftermath of the global financial and economic crisis, the slow recovery and new Euro Zone crisis will figure prominently, as there is call for reform of international financial institutions like the World Bank and the IMF.

"Increasing clout and role of developing countries, like G77 and China and BRICS has made the issue contested. In this regard, the least developed countries should speak up on the need that economic slowdown should not undermine UN's development agenda and implementation of the pledged commitments in the Istanbul Declaration and the Istanbul Programme of Action for the decade 2011-20 on which Nepak has a special role as the chair of the LDCs."

Stating that there is already some momentum on the post-MDG development agenda, including on the need to agree on the criteria for sustainable development goals, on which a high-level panel and an inter-governmental committee were supposed to work, he said Nepal is expected to contribute to this process, both as chair of the LDC on its national capacity as a country that is set to achieve most of the MDGs.

Former Permanent Representative of Nepal to the UN and former foreign secretary, Madhuraman Acharya said that the UNGC is debating 167 items this time and suggested that Nepal should raise the issue of the impact of climate change more prominently.

Executive Director of the Institute, Dr Rishiraj Adhikari said the objective of the talk programme was to identify the topics that Nepal should raise in the 67th UNGA.

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