Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha addressed the fifth Bali Democracy Forum in Indonesia on Thursday.
Appreciating the initiative of Indonesia to foster dialogue in the field of peace and democracy among the countries from Asia and around the world since 2008, Shrestha emphasised that the Forum, which is an Asian initiative, has helped build and consolidate “our region’s voice on the promotion of democracy that is meaningful and at the same time duly recognises the Asian values, cultures and contexts”.
He further said that world peace, stability and progress cannot be achieved when a large chunk of humanity is grappling with the dehumanising conditions of poverty and hunger. He suggested that any discussion on democracy should first pay attention to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries and people. The people living in the 48 Least Developed Countries and other low-income nations must be empowered to enjoy the fruits of democracy through effective global development support.
He expressed his belief that meaningful democracy can only be ensured in the world by pursuing a development path that aims to equalise prosperity for mankind by widening meaningful development opportunities for all while at the same time uprooting the deeply entrenched inequalities and global exploitative practices.
There is a growing recognition that the 21st century belongs to Asia and it is rightfully so, he said, adding that encouraging trends are clearly visible as the region’s profile grows as the most dynamic engine of economic growth and prosperity. Democracy is not a static process; it is a dynamic and developing phenomenon, but certainly with some basic and universal characteristics, he said.
“Democracy, therefore, should address and give solution to the exploitation, oppression, exclusion and deprivation of all sorts based on class, ethnicity, caste, race, gender and region. Democracy, in the true sense, should empower people politically, economically, socially and culturally to develop their full potentials.”
As the people are the real source of sovereignty in democracy, national sovereignty and independence are also invariably linked to it. Without national sovereignty and independence, there cannot be any genuine democracy. Sovereignty of the people and sovereignty of the nations are inseparably interlinked, he said.
In his address, Shrestha briefed on the current political situation of Nepal, with emphasis on the country’s efforts to attain democracy.
“We are engaged in dialogue among the political parties to forge national consensus either to reinstate the erstwhile Constituent Assembly for a brief period to complete the remaining part of drafting the new constitution and promulgate it or go for a fresh election to the new Constituent Assembly to complete the task of the stalled constitution-writing process.”
Posted on: 2012-11-09 08:54