‘Asia Pacific Summit not meant to promote any religion’

Published On: November 27, 2018 08:15 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, Nov 27: Brushing aside allegations that their event is meant to promote Christianity, the organizers of the Asia Pacific Summit (APS) being held in Kathmandu from November 30 to December 3 have clarified that the summit has nothing to do with any religion. 

At a press conference organized by the APS organizing committee in the capital on Monday, chairman of the Summit Organizing Committee, former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said since the summit will have delegates representing various religions, it is not meant to promote any religion in particular. 

“We have been accused of promoting Christianity,” he said, “But people should remember that delegates representing various religions will be attending the summit. This clearly means that we don’t aim to promote any particular religion.”

Similarly, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and member of the organizing committee, Vijay Jolly said the summit is not aimed at promoting any religion. “It is not our intention to promote any religion through the summit,” he said, “I can say this officially.”

The organizers also clarified that the Government of Nepal is not co-hosting the summit but is just extending its support to make it a success. “The government is not hosting the program. Nor is it co-hosting it,” former prime minister Nepal said, “It is just supporting the summit in its capacity as the venue nation.” Nepal said that the government will just be coordinating the event since an event of such scale will need much attention from the government.     

According to the organizing committee, about Rs 200 million will be spent on holding the summit. “The Universal Peace Federation, the main organizer of the summit, will provide for all the expenditure,” former minister Eknath Dhakal, who is also a member of the organizing committee, said. “We have estimated that about Rs 200 million will be spent on the summit.”

With the theme “Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity, and Universal Values”, the APS 2018 will host around 1,500 delegates representing 45 nations. The summit will also feature the first Asia Pacific regional assembly of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP).

The high-level international delegates, who will attend the summit, include seven current Heads and Vice-Heads of State and Government, five current First Ladies, ten former Heads of State and Government, five current Speakers of Parliament and National Assemblies, among other noted dignitaries. 

The organizing committee has said that the heads of state or governments from Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Nauru, Tuvalu, Samoa, and Afghanistan will attend the summit.

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