Priorities Of Nepal’s Foreign Policy

Shambhu Deo

 

The most important component of Nepal’s foreign policy is to shield national sovereignty, independence, cultural and territorial integrity and garner economic development. Principles of the UN Charter, Non-alignment movement, international laws, principles of Panchsheel, universal brotherhood, global peace and prosperity are other important dimensions of Nepal’s foreign policy. Nepal adopts the policy of balancing the competing influence of two of the world’s most populous and emerging economic giants—China and India—into Nepal. Nepal has established friendship and ties with various countries of the world and has been playing an important role in the international forums. Nepal is audacious on a graceful foreign policy and urges the whole world, including China and India, to show respect to Nepal’s concerns.

 

Legacy

Nepal has the legacy of sovereignty and independence since existence, though Nepal is not known as a developed country. The long prevailed harmonised socio-cultural system among the Nepalese people coupled with the appropriate political system is the foundation of Nepal’s sovereignty and independence. Nepal enjoys a mutual co-existence of people among great civilisations. These people have diverse cultures, religions, ethnicity and languages. There is a unity and social harmony among Nepalese people from centuries. All citizens are equal before law in Nepal.  These people participate in the decision-making process through fair representation at grassroot level. Liberal democratic political system that has been in practice since 1990 has helped strengthen the national sovereignty.

However, Nepal lags behind other countries in terms of economic development. A poor or devastated country can be well developed in a period of two to three decades through a consistent policy implementation by a resolute leadership. Singapore, Japan, Germany, China and India are some of the examples. Nepal too can achieve the economic development without compromising the neutrality and Non-alignment.

 

Prosperity

The government has to ensure that all Nepalese people can enjoy prosperous lives. Nepal needs an effective policy to improve the efficiency of resource allocation to achieve the economic, social and technological progress in harmony with nature. Nepal has to be developed as an education hub focused on skill development for employments, income and to reduce the brain drain. A gradual shift to knowledge economy that increasingly requires skills, harnessing the forces of knowledge diffusion and allocating right position for human talents can help boost productivity and reduce inequality. Nepal needs a carefully designed innovation policies with respect to the success of basic research.

Labour migration for remittance is to be reduced and channelized the working force to hydro electricity consuming industrial hub emphasizing on agro-industry and manufacturing. Exploration and use of shortest and cost effective international trade route is very important for Nepal. Internal tourism focusing on beautiful natural heritages and religious trip routes should be promoted.

Comparatively, bilateral ties and projects are not performing satisfactorily in Nepal. Indian supported projects could not make tangible progress. Nepal needs to emphasise more on multilateral projects. A policy of avoiding grants and taking soft loans from financial institutions and multilateral funding agencies will enhance morality and produce better results.

Nepal’s socio-cultural system facilitates inclusive societies, an ideal for peace. Global peace is affected mainly when natural and technological resources are exploited excessively and efforts are made to maintained socio-cultural, religious and political hegemony.  Nepal needs to be careful to avoid these elements.

Nepal is contributing to global peace by supporting the implementation of the global agenda for peace.  United Nations Peace Missions is one of the prominent examples. Nepal needs to increase its cooperation to UN, to make her presence feel in the global arena. Nepalese youths are devoting bloods, sweats and their lives serving in the foreign armies. This policy should be revisited and come up with the alternative employment opportunities for Nepalese. Performance of Nepalese security agencies and personnel are high. There is always a need for exploration of room for improvement so that they enhance their contribution to national peace and integrity as well as global peace through UN.

There is an increased need for peace in Nepal as it is the birthplace  of Lord Buddha and land of King Janaka and Mt Everest in the changed political context while assuring human rights and making socio-cultural, economic arrangements in line with the requirements of new millennium. Nepal needs to make a great effort collectively to make Nepal truly a ‘Peace Zone’

Dignified Position

Nepal has maintained ineffable existence since centuries. Nepal is experiencing democracy, human rights and social justice since decades. Nepal has achieved remarkable improvement in development indicators such as implementation of rule of law, health sector etc. Though economic activity is dependent mainly on remittance, Nepal plays a prominent role for world peace through UN peacekeeping missions. Nepal is one of the founder members of Non-aligned Movement. Of Course, Nepal has a very hard earned dignified position in the world diplomacy.

Now it is time for Nepal to regain its international stature, consolidate over it and delineate profound presence with a balanced support of the close neighbours and other countries in this period of globalisation for overall development. China can offer more to Nepal as being a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a second economic power of the world. India, on the other hand, has cultural, religious, historical relationship and shares an open border. Nepal must take into account this vital position of the two powerful neighbours. Nepal, as usual, needs to continue to respect Chinese claim for Tibet as her integral part and refrain from all sorts of movements launched targeting Tibet. As Nepal has adopted ‘One China’ policy’, we need not allow our soil for any   anti-China activity. Nepal must sustain the policy of ceasing the potential cross-border threats for neighbours from Nepalese territory. At present, Nepal’s foreign policy should firmly stand by keeping the national sovereignty, independence, prosperity, global peace and non-alignment at the epicentre.

 

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