In 2017, Nepal held historic three-tier elections based on the new constitution promulgated two years earlier. Constitution and elections were both landmark in ushering the nation into an era of stability, reconstruction and economic growth. Elections alone were not sufficient to guarantee the stable political course. It was the sweeping electoral mandate that enabled the government to strive for durable peace and prosperity. In the years marked by uncertainty and chaos, the country’s every realm including foreign policy suffered a lot. But now the situation had dramatically changed. Twenty months on, the government is on track to conduct its independent foreign policies aimed at meeting high goals of economic development.
During the period, the nation witnessed the flurry of high profile visits from the foreign nations. Nepali Prime Minister, President and Foreign Minister had paid visits to different nations and participated in international events. This put Nepal on the global diplomatic map and the world has started to listen to the concerns of Nepal and Nepalis. Policy clarity and geopolitical opportunity has provided a distinct edge to the country to execute foreign policy in conformity with its national priorities and necessities. The government has successfully maintained balanced relations with the neighbours. It has become a land-linked nation from the land-locked status. It is treading a fine line as powerful nations are increasing their presence and influence in the country with their development and geopolitical strategies having broad implications. While being busy in the external engagement, the government has focused on the consolidation of the internal institutions to push the diplomatic agenda to be materialised under its ‘larger strategy.’
The other day Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali highlighted the achievements that the new government made on the foreign policy front. In an interaction with editors of different media outlets, Gyawali said: “Stable government has helped boost the country’s image in the international arena.” As the FM noted, Nepal has espoused clear foreign policy vision to muster the support of international community. Nepal government has embraced the motto of ‘Amity with all, enmity with none.’ PM Oli has said nations might be big in size or influence, but their pride and sovereignty would be equal in dealing with one another. Economic diplomacy constitutes the core of foreign policies undertaken by the present dispensation that is in dire need of huge foreign investment to mobilise the means and resources, alleviate poverty and build massive infrastructure under the new federal setup.
Showing a sign of greater confidence, the new administration is poised to assert its foreign policy agenda. Next year it is going to host the Sagarmatha Sambad to be attended by the top leaderships from around the world. It will primarily discuss the issues of climate change that is posing a threat to the existence of the entire planet. Nepal is itself a victim of the global warming and the initiative is highly meaningful as it will sufficiently draw the attention of the developed as well as underdeveloped nations to the catastrophic impacts of the climate change on the Himalayas, which have been the sustainable sources of living for the millions of people.