UN And Peace in Nepal

The UN is the international community and if all nations observed the Charter which is the supreme law of the land in every member country, there’d be no wars. Some powerful countries flaunt all international law and that’s why there’s trouble – and no other nations challenge.

The UN is celebrating its 61st birthday this year. The UN annually celebrates an International Day of Peace. Founded by 51 Member countries after World War II, the organization has grown through the years to include 191 Member States. It is a noble ideal to support all the actions undertaken by the UN to accomplish its goals. Perhaps the most realistic role of the United Nations is to serve as an inspiration and goad to collectively strengthen, host and encourage all global and non-proliferation efforts by member states.

In an article published in World Security Network, James M.B. Keyser states the recent Nobel Peace Prize award to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its chief, Mohammed El Baradei, is another reminder of the vital role the UN has in the world today. Other agencies of the UN are active in Darfur where the US and Western European countries have not acted enough to prevent genocide. The WHO along with the UN Food and Agricultural Organization are expected to take the lead in combating the Asian flu. Every day there are reports now of the UN taking the initiative in dealing with problems around the world.

But he further reflects that a more effective United Nations is necessary for world security”. Even Rotary World Peace Fellow Ryan Gawn recently said “Some complained that the UN failed to enforce its own resolutions, others felt let down by its inability to prevent an unnecessary war”.

Keyser further added there is a “general indifference towards UN affairs”, the New York Times published an Op-Ed piece on 26 September, calling for the abolition of both the UN Secretariat and the General Assembly! “We must do away with the United Nations’ governing structures and let the agencies and programmes operate independently”, it said.

Peace in South Asia and Nepal’s Possible Role

Enormous progress has been made in the Jammu-Kashmir negotiations in the last several months. All parties, including China, must be congratulated. India and Pakistan are to be congratulated and further encouraged to continue this process.

How these various interactions between Nepal and India, India and China, Nepal and Pakistan, Bangladesh and the United States vis a vis China and India play out will, of course, have a great influence on peace and prosperity in South Asia.

Various analysts have also pointed out that there is at least the potential for such international terrorist groups as al Qaida to use a “northern corridor”. This route was, and probably still is, used by various drug-smuggling groups. The fear is that some different terrorists groups will use the same route to eventually smuggle nuclear material for use against the West, financing their activities with these same drug-smuggling activities along the way. Please note that Nepal lies astride this route. So the world must help Nepal in its fight against terrorism.

Besides serving as a global outpost in the international war on terror, Nepal has other characteristics which lend themselves to a crucial role in regional affairs.

Nepal, with its natural non-aligned, non-aggressive tendencies, can offer the world both a neutral meeting place and a brief respite from the increasingly difficult problems the world faces.

And also Nepal is grateful to the member states that they have designated Nepal as host for the regional center in Asia and the Pacific. It is however deeply troubling that the Center is yet to move to Katmandu. Nepal urges the UN to relocate the Center immediately.

Many commentators have remarked that the type of economic development which has been pioneered by Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) as well as some European and Asian thinkers allows women to perform a very natural function as market makers and entrepreneurs.

This thinking takes economic development for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) a step further by viewing women as holistic entities instead of mere consumers. If done in tandem with targeted infrastructure development, it will almost always result in success and lead to an environment conducive to peacemaking. Traditional income redistribution and land reform theories often create enormously non-productive debates and little or no economically beneficial results.

South Africa has perhaps provided almost the perfect model in addressing a polarized, racially-divided society with a legacy of bitter struggle for economic and political justice with its advocacy of a so-called “truth commission” method of exploring and healing past divisions. We see the same type of thing in Argentina and several Central American countries. These division-healing mechanisms seem to have worked well where there was a commitment from all the concerned parties to make it work.

What can a small country like Nepal bring to such a discussion? Nepal can offer an ancient societal wisdom-base and the experience of being between two much larger countries, China and India. Fortunately, except for a fanatical few, Nepal is not under self-delusion. Nepal has always taken the long view of contributing to the well-being of the world through sharing the results of its long spiritual journey and its wisdom and peace. It is an exciting time to be a citizen of Nepal and will be for the next hundred years or so.

Moreover, Nepal will be a peaceful and influential country if it can contribute meaningfully to this ongoing discussion, which is applicable to many societies in transition and turmoil.

Perhaps Nepali people now dream of great wealth, great accomplishments, or great fame? Or perhaps their dream is more humble: survival and perhaps some slight advancement?

How Can India and China Help Nepal in Its Hour of Need?

India and China, as Nepal’s biggest neighbors, have a stake in how Nepal’s long-running Maoist rebellion is solved. As Nepal’s closest neighbors, both are naturally very concerned with such a conflict in such a sensitive border area. Moreover,Nepal and India must solve their border demarcation issues.

This is certainly fine as a principle, especially as a principle of the 20th Century. Now as both India and China assume their rightful roles as good Nations and Principal Actors on the world stage, the world is watching to see how they can cooperate in solving such a difficult and complex problem as Nepal.

Kamala Sarup
Nepali journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup is an editor for mediaforfreedom.com. She specialises in in-depth reporting and writing on Peace, Anti War, Women, Terrorism, Democracy, and Development.