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South Asia Peace Initiative

Nepal's Political Leaders Stress Need for Consensus

Kathmandu, Nepal — "Building peace is not a spectator sport," the Vice-President of Nepal explained. As Chief Guest at Nepal's International Leader Conference, he continued, saying, "[Peace] is not just the responsibility of our national leaders. Each one of us has the responsibility to be a peace-maker by building prosperous, healthy and loving families."

H.E. Parmanand Jha, the Vice-President of Nepal, was inaugurating the two-day conference. In attendance were 105 international guests from 27 countries. Over two days, there were more than 1,200 Nepalese leaders from all sectors of society and from throughout Nepal.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, Hon. Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, President of MJF (Democratic), attended as did dignitaries from all sectors including political leaders; members of parliament from Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka; UN representatives; business leaders; educators; diplomats; and student leaders.

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The conference, Sept. 1-2 in Kathmandu the capital of Nepal, was co-hosted by the Universal Peace Federation–Nepal and the Ministry of Co-operatives and Poverty Alleviation.

"This conference sets a model for government private-sector cooperation," said Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, Minister of Co-operatives and Poverty Alleviation. "It was a win-win situation. My ministry gained the experience of working closely with an international NGO, they benefited from the educational contents of the sessions, and we could expand our international network of contacts."

The conference was a beacon of cooperation and harmony which stood in stark contrast to the political paralysis due to the dissolution of Nepal's Constituent Assembly three months earlier and the chaos in the commercial sector with fast-food restaurants KFC and Pizza Hut being closed in August because of death threats to their managers.

At the inaugural session the Vice-President of Nepal officially launched the autobiography of UPF Founder, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen (Nepalese edition).

Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, President of UPF International, expressed his sincere appreciation to UPF-Nepal and all the UPF chapters in Asia. "Under the leadership of Dr. Chung Sik Yong, UPF-Asia is doing phenomenal work in Nepal and throughout the region. This conference is just one example of the positive impact UPF is having globally." Dr. Yong is the Regional Chair of UPF-Asia, overseeing operations in 20 nations.

Session topics, eight in all, covered a wide range of subjects that dealt with such critical issues as:

  • Transformational Leadership for Peace, Sustainable Development and Poverty Alleviation
  • Universal Principles of Peace and Sustainable Development
  • Root Cause of Conflict and its Resolution
  • Interfaith Cooperation for Peace and Development
  • A High-level Dialogue on Nepal's Peace Process
  • Cooperation for Global Peace and Human Security
  • Role of Government, the Private Sector, and Co-operatives in Peace, Sustainable Development, and Poverty Alleviation
  • The Vital Role of Women in Peacebuilding

During the conference more than 60 Ambassador for Peace certificates were presented.

Within hours of the closing of the conference, Father Moon passed away. Immediately, this conference took on a whole new meaning as it was the last such event held during his lifetime. It was a testimony to Father Moon and a commitment that his legacy will live on!

Reports of the proceedings were published by the Himalaya Times on September 1 and 2.

Note: The transition of Nepal from a Hindu monarchy to a parliamentary democracy has been marked by violent insurgents. The conference is part of UPF's South Asia Peace Initiative that seeks to end the violence in Nepal and promote a stable government.

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