Senior leader of the ruling Nepal Communist Party and former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal is one of the key leaders to bring the Asia Pacific Summit 2018 to Nepal. As a founder leader of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), which is also a part of the Universal Peace Federation, the organizer of the Asia Pacific Summit 2018 in Kathmandu, leader Nepal shed light on the summit being held in the capital from Saturday in an interview with Republica. Excerpts:
The Asia Pacific Summit is being held in Kathmandu. Can you please share with us the purpose of this summit?
The Universal Peace Federation, which is organizing this summit, is a body recognized by the United Nations (UN). This organization can take part in each activity of the UN. Events like this summit are organized from time to again with a view to explore ways to establish world peace. This organization makes different positive efforts in various continents and countries to ensure world peace.
Its chapters have been formed in a number of countries and it has also been working in coordination with various organizations across the world to achieve its goal of world peace. The International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) is one such organization which has more than three hundreds political parties as its members. I am among the founder leader of the ICAPP. We have been cooperating with this organization to constitute a forum of various political parties in Asia with the objective of exchanging our knowledge and experiences. There is also another organization called International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) which has parliamentarians from across the world as members. The more organizations we have for establishing peace the better it is. It is necessary to make interventions in both political and economic sectors to achieve sustainable peace.
It is equally necessary to make some concerted efforts in the fields of ecology, environment conservation and poverty alleviation. We need to extend support in the event of natural disasters. The Universal Peace Federation is a non-profit organization, which brings together followers of various religions for dialogue and work for peace. It helps to end the people's tendency of not looking at each other's face just because they follow different religions. This also provides an opportunity to learn from each other's religion and spread the message of religious tolerance. Since family value is one of the strongest values of the eastern civilization, this also helps to strengthen such values.
What is the purpose of holding this Summit in Nepal?
The Universal Peace Federation has been organizing such summits in different parts of the world. I had once gone to Senegal in Africa to attend one such summit. The Senegal President himself was the organizer. This organization had organized the Africa Summit. Top leaders of various 48 countries had gathered at the summit which aimed at holding discussions on the prosperity of Africa. I also had the opportunity to share my thoughts on prosperity at the summit and introduce Nepal at that forum. I had shared how Nepal was able to establish peace after the decade-long Maoist conflict, how we are currently working to bring an economic revolution here and what contributions Nepal is making to world peace. When discussions were being held to decide the venue for the Asia Pacific Summit 2018, various countries expressed their desire to host the summit. It is natural for countries to want to host this kind of mega event. Nepal also expressed its readiness to host this event, hoping that it will be helpful in making Nepal known to the rest of the world and promote tourism. Top leaders from various 45 countries have arrived in Nepal for the summit. They include political and religious leaders. Some 1,500 representatives from various 45 countries are participating in the summit. While the heads of state and government of seven countries are participating in the event, there are a number of former heads of state, heads of government, former speakers and senior political leaders also participating in the event.
The main opposition party, Nepali Congress (NC), and some other groups have been criticizing the summit. What do you say on this?
Let me tell you that some lawmakers from the Nepali Congress, too, are participating in this event. Former prime ministers, former presidents and former vice presidents of Nepal have already participated in this kind of event held in other countries. Marich Man Shrestha, Nagendra Prasad Rijal and the Hindu leaders participated in such events when the country was ruled by the monarchy. The rumor that the summit is being organized to spread Christianity is not true. Leaders of various religions from different countries are participating in this summit. Those following Sikhism, Buddhism, Jain, Hindu, Islam and Manab Dharma are participating in the summit. Those who do not follow any religion are also participating in this summit. NC has made a blunder. The main opposition party has crossed its limit. It is not good to make such irresponsible statements.
Is this a profit making or non-profit making organization?
This is a non-profit making organization carrying out various social service activities.
Who is overseeing the financial management of this event?
I do not think there is any business organization exclusively meant for organizing this event. If someone wants to audit the expenses made for the summit, they would better see it through the United Nations.
What kind of coordination is there with the government?
If some foreign heads of state and government visit Nepal, it is the responsibility of the Nepali government to provide them security. When we go abroad, the government of the country concerned takes the responsibility of our security. This is the same in our country as well. It is the responsibility of the government to arrange proper security and hospitality for them. The government has coordinated with us as the foreign heads of state and government would visit Nepal only at the invitation of the government.
There is a rumor that the organizer asked for some funds from the government to host this event. Is this true?
Not even a single penny has been sought from the government. It is better not to spread such rumors. The government may have made some expenses, mainly in the mobilization of the security agencies. It hasn't spent even a single penny for the summit in any other way. Instead, the Nepali hotels have got some business as we have so many international guests in the town. For example, a 40-member delegation has arrived from Cambodia. So, the summit has rather helped Nepal's hotel business. But some people are thinking negatively. This does not help anyone.