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Nepal: An Emerging Power In World Affairs


World order is getting reordered as the unilateral power which is America is on the decline. The regional and continental powers are on the rise. Emerging powers and economies are wielding enormous influence and size in the world hierarchy. Thus, a multipolar world order with concomitant multilateralism is taking shape. Nepal in international forums is reiterating the idea of an inclusive and democratic world order.

Nepal’s role and responsibility are enticing and expanding in the changing world affairs. From peacekeeper sending nation to development group stakeholder, Nepal’s stint in international relations can be traced from 1955 when a country in a package deal acceded to membership of the United Nations. Since then, Nepal has advocated for development needs, peace, and security in the world. Time and again particularly the Western countries would like to see Nepal engage actively in building blocks of rule-based international order. What principles and policies can Nepal adopt in world affairs? This invites criticism from non-aligned perspectives. Nepal professes it will not get involved in the security alliance. 

World order is getting reordered as the unilateral power which is America is on the decline. The regional and continental powers are on the rise. Emerging powers and economies are wielding enormous influence and size in the world hierarchy. Thus, a multipolar world order with concomitant multilateralism is taking shape. Nepal in international forums is reiterating the idea of an inclusive and democratic world order. As a democracy, development, and human rights are cardinal features of a country that can lead by example. Professing these norms and values need not necessarily be the Western countries’ exclusive leadership. Pursuing them is not equivalent to aligning with whatever Western or advanced democracies say. International interests are safeguarding human rights and in this regard, the world expresses solidarity for justice and the rule of law thereby ensuring good global governance. Both domestic and international domains are getting blurred as universal aspirations, thinking, and solutions are echoed everywhere. 

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Nepal can pursue both hard and soft power. It means the country not only uses politics and security as a tool of international politics but also focuses on economics, welfare, and culture to uphold its interests. As the diaspora expands across the world so does Nepal’s soft power. Both these dimensions of power have strong traction in liberal democracy, prosperity, and progress at home. To make a difference in international relations, foreign policy must be guided by both liberalism and realism. It is a pragmatist doctrine to save, secure, and sustain national interests perpetually. 

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Methods of coercion and persuasion in diplomacy are used as approaches to get things done. In the case of Nepal, it can mobilize the United Nations, regional bodies, and other conclaves to shape conduct and behavior to the needs of a just, sane, and humane world order. Limitations are there for assertiveness all the time. It can be capitalized as and when a situation demands or on burning issues that draw broad attention or inflict an impact worldwide. A voice of conscience in such cases in international relations will leave a deeper etch in the memories of principled positions and power of ideas the generation of leaders can emulate to do better and strive for a common cause.

Also Read: Nepal at UN: A Perspective

The 21st century has never been so conducive, credit goes to the rise of information and communication technology. Nepal is even closer to the world. Unlike in the past, we are raising issues, demands, and interests that reflect our problems, constraints, and hurdles. We are seeking solutions, and resources – finance and technology to mitigate them. Being in a neighborhood of India and China is a boon but Nepal should be wary it does not turn out to be a bane. Other extra-regional powers like the US, Europe, and Japan have their own development interests and diplomatic engagements with Nepal. To exercise its external sovereignty, Nepal has to spell out its purposeful action and behavior based on principles. When effort is translated, it will add power to the world of states. In completely expressing its aspirations in the world, domestic affairs have encumbered it and stunted our true potential in world leadership. In particular, our leadership and problem-solving qualities can be enhanced if we mobilize at international bodies like the United Nations to serve the people of the world. This can be the best option for Nepal to evince its roles, responsibilities, and obligations towards the world as a nation-state.

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About the author

Mr. Kunwar is a politics and international relations analyst based in Kathmandu.


Rajeev Kunwar

Mr. Kunwar is a politics and international relations analyst based in Kathmandu.

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