Friday, 30 October, 2020
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EDITORIAL

In Defence Of Multilateralism



This year the United Nations is marking the 75th anniversary of its founding. The world body was born from the wreckage of World War II, a human-made calamity. The post-war leaders framed the UN Charter with focus on global peace, security, development and cooperation. It aims to spare the future generations from the scourge of war and untold sufferings caused by it. Seventy-five years after it came into existence, the world is reeling from another unprecedented crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus contagion that emerged from animal world of nature forced the heads of states or governments to virtually participate in the 75th session of UN General Assembly underway in its headquarters in New York.
Nonetheless, the virus flare not only poses a new challenge to the global agency but it also reaffirms its relevance and significance. The world will be able to overcome this threat through international cooperation, solidarity and adherence to shared rules and values. Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has strongly conveyed this message to the world leaders, calling for the global response to the pandemic and support to the Comprehensive Response to COVID-19 launched by the UN Secretary General. In view of the colossal damages to the people’s health and livelihoods by the virus breakout, PM Oli said: “Protecting lives of the people both from disease and hunger is the supreme duty of the governments. While we have deployed all our efforts and resources to that end, international solidarity becomes equally important.”
PM Oli was so precise and logical in his remarks when he said: “The world needs more masks, not muskets; more protective equipment, not destructive weapons, and more social spending to save lives, not military spending to destroy lives.” This echoes the voices of all those poor and needy as well as pacifists and altruists devoted to the creation of a fair and peaceful world. He struck a sympathetic cord with everyone by saying that there should be an easy, smooth and affordable access by all to anti-COVID vaccines after they are developed. Oli’s speech dwells on the whole gamut of diplomacy and multilateral issues. It ranges from the climate change to reform in UN and WTO system to the disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction and genuine rights of LDCs and landlocked nations. His unwavering faith in multilateral cooperation deserves due attention. There have been growing unilateral tendencies and protectionist policies, undermining larger global good and efforts to come out of the current crisis.
As a major troop and police-contributing country and a member of the Peacebuilding Commission, Nepal’s commitment to international peace, stability, human rights and rule of law is stronger than ever. It had played an important role to minimise the impacts of global warming. Nepal’s Himalayas have maintained natural cooling system in the hottest zone of the planet, contributing to the natural recharge system and ensuring continuous supply of fresh water essential for living beings. PM Oli has also shared the world leaders about its epochal political transformation and achievements made with the implementation of landmark federal democratic constitution. Nepal’s home-grown peace process and nascent yet promising social security arrangements reflect her journey towards realising the lofty goal of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’. 

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