Remarks by Hon'ble Sujata Koirala at the 9th General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP)

Remarks by Hon'ble  Sujata Koirala, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal, Member of the Central Working Committee of the Nepali Congress  at the 9th General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) in Kuala Lumpur on September 3, 2016 under the theme of 'One Asia'.

Mr. President,

Distinguished delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

I bring with me hearty greetings from  Nepal,  and my party-Nepali Congress, to the people of Malaysia, government and fellow delegates and their  best wishes for the success of this meeting.

It is such a pleasure to address this important meeting dedicated to the main theme of  One Asia.  I would like to extend sincere thanks to the  representatives of political parties and institutions from various countries  including the Permanent Conference of Political Parties from  Latin America and the Caribbean and the Council of African Political Parties. Thank you for your support and solidarity. 

I sincerely thank the government of Malaysia and its people for their generous  hospitality and for the excellent arrangements made for this meeting.  We would like to express our sincere thanks to His Excellency Dato Seri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, and Chairman of the National Front and President of the United Malays National Organization,  for their support of  this  historic gathering.

Mr. Chairman,

We are living at an extraordinary time which is characterized by extremely complex and fluid international relations that have enormous implications for peace, justice and prosperity. It is encouraging to note that ICAPP has been a forum discussing these issues over the years and working to overcome these challenges.

Asia's rise has been exemplary. Asia has witnessed unleashing of its transformative potentials. The center of gravity is moving eastwards. Asia has set examples in lifting people from the trap of poverty, and expediting the process of socio-economic transformation.

Several reports forecast that  Asia will have surpassed North America and Europe combined in terms of global power by 2030. It is encouraging to note that three of the world’s four largest economies are already  in Asia.  Asia's GDP is projected to hit 51% of the global output in 2050 from 27% in 2010. Asia is sure to regain its dominant position it once had some 300 years ago. We are happy to note that Nepal's  neighbours, China and India constitute the principal pillars of  Asia's rise generally referred to as Asian Century.

Along with  important opportunities, there are significant challenges associated with the rise. The same reports  also  warn that Asia faces a deadly triangle causing  an intense competition for scarce resources accompanied by a  series of internal and external shocks during the next 15-20 years.  The competition is likely to be compounded by grinding poverty, low growth, food insecurity, transnational challenges, terrorism, violent extremism, and increasing challenges of climate change and natural disasters, and energy shortages posing stiff challenges to governance and law and order. The erosion of institutions and growing distrusts and tensions will be another challenge.  We must work together to overcome these challenges. Terrorism is a threat to peace and security and entire humanity.  We condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestation. We call for the peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues though dialogue and negotiation. We want precious resources to be diverted from arms race to the eradication of poverty. 

Unity in diversity has been  Asia's strength. We will have challenges to maintain this unity by building a bridge of peace, friendship, and cooperation within and among all countries in the region. In doing so, we shall have to ensure that the process is guided by democratic values and institutions and is full in conformity with principles of good governance and the rule of law, which are characterized as participatory, accountable, transparent, equitable, and inclusive.

Mr. Chairman,

It is by working together only that we can advance the cause of building an “Asian community” or “One Asia,” as our ultimate goal. We believe that building a community of common interest, and  common destiny is our common responsibility. This can be enhanced by strengthening the networks of connectivity between and among nations. The deepening connectivity in turn will further the foundations of interdependence and interconnectedness and help strengthen understanding and cooperation for greater peace and prosperity.

Before I conclude, I would like to recall with pleasure the first ICAPP Media Forum  in Seoul under the theme of 'Cooperation to build an Asian Century'. Initiatives  like this will go a long way in promoting awareness towards our march to One Asia.

With these words, I once again thank the Government of Malaysia for their gracious hospitality. Thank you for your kind attention.

Thank you.