Nepal at UN: A Perspective
Nepal’s membership in the United Nations has passed 67 years since its accession in 1955. Nepal provides the second largest peacekeeping contingent under the Blue Berets of the UN. Nepal espouses norms and values of world peace and follows international law. But sanctity of Nepal’s sovereignty must not be compromised. The world community at UN gatherings has to listen to countries – not only the powerful but also the powerless, not only the great but also the small, not only the loud but also the feeble.
Nepal’s membership in the UN under the famous Package Deal in 1955 has turned 67 years while the UN’s existence has turned 76. The UN was engineered to convene an intergovernmental platform in Post War World like its precursor international body the League of Nations (LoN). LoN met its unnatural nemesis when major powers transgressed international law in pursuit of their interests to avenge unjust decisions of the “Great War” of 1914-1918 meted out, particularly by Germany, Italy, Japan, and a lack of American participation. In contrast, the UN is running its global operations despite topsy turvy world affairs and has prevented the outbreak of the Third World War since 1945.
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Though the third world war was prevented, the world witnessed internal conflicts and territorial warfare that claimed lives and properties. Still, the world faces global challenges of great power competition, geopolitical rivalry, a hotbed of conflicts, fragile regional and international peace, huge climatic calamities, annihilating atomic energy misuse, risks of disasters, humanitarian catastrophes, large migrations, unsafe refugees, food insecurity, global public health challenges, global political economic difficulties, global divide (including income inequality), cataclysmic wars, multiple existential and disruptive threats to species – humans, animals and plants, and dangerous degradation of oceans, mountains, and atmosphere
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Nepal is traversing these problems and challenges in one form or another in its means and resources and at times seeking help from the international community. International partners and donor agencies are supportive to contain these dangers and develop knowledge services wherein the UN and its specialized agencies are at work in Nepal. While Least Developed Countries (LDCs) pay a maximum of 0.01% of the UN budget Nepal contributes 0.1%. Every dollar spent for Nepal should be accountable to the UN bursary. Thus, Nepal has achieved some success and continues to strive toward global development goals as a responsible member of the international society.
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Firstly, Nepal is now the second largest troop contingent providing nation to the United Nations Peace Keeping Operations. This commitment resembles our dovish foreign policy amid great power rivalry and running conflict in war zones in the hotspots of the world. Our principle of peace is total and unflinching in our spiritual birth land of Buddha and the liberalism of Nepal’s worldview. Liberal peace and democratic peace are two fulcrums of our governance tied to prosperity, progress, and ultimate expressions of bonafide citizens of both Nepal and the world in the 21st century.
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If we recall even in Rana Oligarchy during the two Great Wars, our troops fought against autocratic, fascist, and totalitarian regimes that were disturbing liberal regimes till the mid-20th century (1914-1945). Despite the home government’s conviction in contravention of democratic principles, Nepal’s position is not an apology to agree with Ranarchy. On the contrary, Gorkhalis deployed in the war theatre who in their valiant response interfaced with such demonic regimes felt the urging for freedom and democracy back home also. This had the direct and indirect inspiration for many freedom-seeking movements at home that could not be negated. It was their providence to realize dreams that democracy can deliver us at home. These have been uttered in memoirs of Gorkhalis in two Great Wars
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Thus, international peace and security in tandem with the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter have been enshrined in Nepal’s foreign policy in the Constitution of Nepal (in 1990, 2007, and 2015). Nepal espouses norms and values of world peace and follows international law. There can be multiple analyses and different dimensions to Nepal’s vow constitutionally. But principally we can ascertain and be clear that the sanctity of Nepal’s sovereignty must not be compromised and the UN acknowledges its sovereignty. The world community at UN gatherings has to listen to countries – not only the powerful but also the powerless, not only the great but also the small, not only a loud but also the feeble, not only the rich but also the poor, and opposites of any category of the country in the hierarchy of the world of states. Pluralism and diversity of human society reflect in the society of states too. Not only listening and paying attention to words but also translating them into action solidifies our conviction and journey of democracy that includes all and excludes none.
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Nepal’s role would be pivotal in the coming decades and thus it needs to prove its mettle in democracy, good governance, and sustainable development goals. Nepal’s achievements would supplement regional stability and our national and international aspirations. It shall provide us a space to contribute positive global goods and services to the global fraternity where we might be needed as a friend in support of building blocks of peace and prosperity (India-China relations or West Asia where the West has problematic relations hosts substantial Nepalese labor) and an honest unit and entity in the international community. This enriches our national identity with global roles and responsibility where our need is indeed imperative and crucial in the coming days. Our geostrategic premium is serendipity as well and our legacy and heritage in world religion, culture, and tradition are no less insignificant amid the great civilization states of India and China. For Nepal always, peace and truth shall prevail over violence and falsity. The UN is the right place for global engagements to pursue such noble ideals and project Nepal in the tall order of global affairs.
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About the author
Rajeev Kunwar is a political scientist based in Kathmandu. He is currently a doctoral student of political science at Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Nepal.
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