Friday, 7 May, 2021
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EDITORIAL

Foreign Policy In Integrated Shape



The government on Sunday unveiled a principal document which integrates and enlists the nation's foreign policy in a comprehensive manner. The crucial policy document places national interests on top priority regarding Nepal's foreign relations and diplomatic practices. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the Foreign Policy 2020 which stands as a central document providing a basis for formulation of related policies and their timely amendments. The document is historic in the sense it has been formulated for the first time in such an integrated and holistic form. Some provisions and sections of the nation's foreign policy may evolve as the call of changing national and global context but the core values and principles, closely attached to national interests, remain intact. They include sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, national pride and legacy, dignity and overall good of the people. So, the integrated foreign policy of the nation documents the guiding principles of friendly and fair foreign relations and nationally beneficial diplomacy.
Unveiling the milestone making foreign policy, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said that the nation needs a foreign policy that can define its role in the changed geopolitical and global context. He has emphasised that the main aim of the newly launched policy document is to protect and promote national interests. In the politically transformed context, the nation is seeking to promote its dignity and roll through cooperation with its friendly nations, especially the southern and northern immediate neighbours. Keeping harmonious and cordial relations with these neighbours has remained a principal motto of Nepal while asserting its rights in the global scenario as a sovereign and independent nation.
The integrated foreign policy has embodied the fundamental policy essence highlighted by modern Nepal's unifier Prithvi Narayan Shah considering the distinct geopolitical position of Nepal between two giant neighbours. The new document has addressed policy needs regarding the relations with the immediate neighbours, international agencies such as the United Nations, and track two diplomacy in which non-state actors play their role. It seeks to expand and strengthen bilateral relations with immediate neighbours as well as other friendly nations. Bilateral treaties and agreements with the neighbours and other friendly nations would be reviewed and amended and new ones will be signed as per needs and national interests, it says. Regarding territorial integrity, it says that border issues would be resolved through diplomatic and peaceful means on the basis of historical agreements, treaties and evidences.
The foreign policy document says that trade, transit, railway, payment and transportation agreements would be amended as per the changing national and global contexts. The document emphasises the role of the United Nations in multilateral diplomacy to promote world peace, human rights and sustainable development. As per the document, Nepal has visualised a rule-based global system instead of a deal-based one, saying that the latter would be detrimental for interests of small nations. Nepal aims to build solidarity and cooperation with the international community against all forms of terrorism and extremism. The integrated foreign policy has also prioritised protecting the interests of Nepali nationals in foreign land and utilising the knowledge, skills, capital and technological know-how of migrant Nepalis for the economic development of the nation.