Govt tables motion in House to support Chinese as official language of UNWTO

Published On: July 28, 2019 05:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, July 28: The government has registered a motion in parliament proposing to include Chinese as an official language of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), as China seeks support from member nations to garner two-thirds majority support for the proposal.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali recently registered a special proposal in the House of Representatives seeking House nod for Nepal's support to the Chinese language in the UNWTO, one of the UN's specialized agencies responsible for the promotion of sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

According to Article 33 of the statute of the organization, the proposal from China can be endorsed if two-thirds majority member nations decided to second the amendment. So far only 72 member nations out of total 158 members have decided to support Chinese as an official language of the organization.

Earlier the government had decided to support the Chinese language to be included in the statute of the UNWTO two months ago through a cabinet meeting. China had proposed amending Article 38 of the UNWTO in 2007 to add its language but failed to garner two-third majority for over a decade.

Although the Chinese language has been included among the official languages of the United Nations, the northern neighbor of Nepal has been struggling to include its language in the UN agency after World Health Organization and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

So far, Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish languages have been included as official languages of the organization established in 1975. Nepal has been a member of the organization since its establishment.

“Seconding the proposal would help further strengthen the cordial relation between Nepal and China and promotion of Nepal's national interest,” reads the proposal registered at the House of Representatives.

India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from South Asia have seconded the Chinese proposal so far. The government requires a simple majority in parliament to endorse the proposal to support the inclusion of Chinese language among the official languages of the UNWTO.

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