KATHMANDU, Aug 4: Prime Minister K P Oli has not missed any international forum ever since his ascent to power in February 2018. These have ranged from the World Economic Forum in Davos and the International Labor Conference in Geneva to the UN Day of Vesak in Viet Nam.
But the prime minister , who left for Singapore on Saturday for another medical checkup, has decided not to attend the upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), according to sources close to him.
The 74th session of the UNGA is scheduled to open on September 17, and the general debate will start from the 24th. Nepal has used the UNGA as a forum for focusing on international cooperation and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as for scouring assistance for its own peace process.
“The prime minister has already addressed the UNGA last year. Since there is no new issue this year, he has made up his mind not to attend the UNGA this time,” said the source. Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali is likely to lead the Nepali delegation to the General Assembly, sources said.
In his address to the 73rd UNGA in September last year, Prime Minister Oli focused on the successful conclusion of the first election in the country under the federal setup and on the peace process. It was his second address to the UNGA. He had also addressed the forum in his capacity as deputy prime minister and foreign minister in the interim government formed after the reinstatement of parliament that was dissolved by King Gyanendra.
In his address to the UNGA last year, Prime Minister Oli had said that Nepal's conflict transformation could be an inspiration for other parts of the world. “We believe that what Nepal has achieved in conflict transformation can be an inspiring success story for many people longing for peace in different parts of the world. We are willing to share our experiences and provide our insights,” he had said.
But in contrast to Oli's claims at the UN, Nepal's transitional justice, which is an integral part of the peace process, still remains uncertain with the failure of the government to even appoint new office bearers for the two transitional justice bodies months after the terms of the incumbents expired.
The international community has started raising questions as the political actors in Nepal appear reluctant to revise the law governing the transitional justice process to ensure that it meets international standards.
Similarly, the growing instances of violence on the part of the Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN (Maoist)—a splinter faction of the erstwhile Maoist rebels who waged a decade-long armed insurgency, have also called into question whether the peace process can already be termed “successful”.