Inaugural Ceremony of a Colloquium organized on 2nd July 2014 on the auspicious of Birthday of G. P. Koirala at Everest Hotel, Kathmandu, on the subject of: “Hydropower Integrating with Agriculture and Natural Resource Management for National and Regional Collaboration”.
Chairperson of Constituent Assembly Hon. Mr. Shuvas Nembang, Honorable Ministers, Fellow Constituent Assembly Members, Leaders of all political parties, Experts and professionals of various disciplines, Journalists and Media representatives, youth of NC and its sister organizations, ladies and gentlemen.
It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you all for the 90. birthday anniversary of Girija Prasad Koirala a legend of the democratic movement of Nepal who fought for freedom and peace till the end of his life. While commemorating this day, we have to remember that he has left us challenging tasks to provide lasting solutions on how the next generation should overcome the problems arising from poverty, inequality and injustice. His efforts in strengthening democracy, and initiating peace and development were a remarkable move under his leadership. We would truly be paying tribute to the memory of GP Koirala by contributing time and resources to his noble missions that would contribute to a free and prosperous Nepal by successfully and honestly contributing to regional cooperation in Asia particularly in the South Asian region.
The New development paradigm suggests that development is a process whereby different actors and stakeholders work together to formulate appropriate development policies and programms. In this process, while the state is the major actor, outside government actors have to also take up responsibilities to facilitate, guide, and coordinate in order to ensure that the various actors are on-board in the nation building process through national and regional resource mobilization.
After the historic movement of BS 2062 /63 a new vision is expected for the people of Nepal by providing a stable democratic system, sustainable peace and inclusive development. To this end, a democratic constitution is the need of the hour and the desire of the people. The Constitution would be the fundamental legal document that would pave the way for formulating rules, regulations, policy and programmes for national economic and social development thereby contributing to regional cooperation for a common development agenda.
We should not forget to ensure strong local governments with reformed structures to make them sustainable so that they can thereby deliver effective services to the people by promoting development. This only will strengthen the national unity and integrity of the nation.
So the time has come for a consensus among the political forces of Nepal for an agenda of development utilizing our own resources together with regional cooperation to overcome the acute problems of poverty in Nepal and our region.
Considering the economic and social development need of our nation, the Foundation is attempting to place a few agendas for discussion today.
I anticipate support and cooperation from the government and outside government actors including the political forces of Nepal to come forward and initiate a national dialogue to ensure that regional and global forces join hands for investment and collaboration in Nepal.
Regional cooperation is often highly talked about in the sectors of hydropower, tourism, agriculture and natural resource management. However, in order to move forward these sectors, among others, urgently demand a policy dialogue bilaterally and multilaterally.
A dialogue about the effects of Climate change, a crucial issue of regional and global concern, should not be neglected. The long range of the Himalayas which captures a large source of water is at risk of global warming if not properly managed. This has direct impacts on the recharging of rivers and ground waters, degradation of natural resources, with serious consequences for our agriculture. I would like to remind all that Nepal used to be an agricultural export country but now is an importer of many agricultural commodities.
Furthermore, many of the rivers flowing from Himalayas end in the gangatic plains of India providing immense value to Indian agriculture and power generation. So a stable Himalayan range is also required for the mutual benefit of our countries.
The Potentials of hydro-power as a prime mover of social and economic development in Nepal is also often highly talked without any serious action being taken. We have not yet been able to harness this potential for our economic benefit, either by using our own capacity or from regional cooperation. Now the time has come to take an urgent step towards national, multilateral and regional support and cooperation. This needs a national and regional program framework where governments should take the lead and outside government actors would provide a conducive facilitating role to bring the programmes into effect.
Outside government actors help the government form innovative ideas and can change the public agenda through advocacy and actions. G P Koirala Foundation would want to help the government in fostering a policy dialogue, initiating discussions and actions that would move important decisions forward more quickly. It would also want to stand as a regional forum for the national and regional issues that need the urgent attention of national and regional stakeholders for immediate actions. So I call upon and invite the government actors and concerned regional authorities to trust us and help us achieve the mission of strengthening democracy and to create a conducive environment for lasting peace through inclusive development.
I request you all to join hands with us in our efforts for collaboration and cooperation at the national and regional level.
I again would like to welcome you all to this auspicious 90. Birthday of G P Koirala and invite you to share your ideas thereby encouraging this Foundation in trying to make G. P. Koirala’s mission a success.