Former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has received the ‘Leadership and Good Governance award’ on Saturday at ‘Asia Summit 2015’ in Manila.
Upon receiving the award Nepal remarked that because of the rise of regional and religious conflicts in many part of the world, “the teachings of Lord Buddha who advocated peace, harmony and compassion more than 2,500 years ago, are more relevant today than ever before.”
Former PM Nepal referred to recent opposition protests as “hiccups” in the peace process and said he was, “still committed to work towards promulgating a new constitution at an early date.”
Addressing the function, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Sujata Koirala outlined three essential elements for sustainable development: good governance, strong education and the political will or what she called an “open mind.” Koirala is also the vice-chairperson of the women’s wing for the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP). She reiterated the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) noting that the first obstacle to peace was also the first MDG namely the eradication of extreme poverty. Director of Nepal Republic Media Shova Gyawali addressed a session on the role of media and education in peace and development. She highlighted the media as a central actor in educating a nation.
“The disparity between men and women in educational opportunities must be addressed. But the lack of education when linked to poverty is a lethal combination,” she said, adding “ it is a core breeding ground for terrorism and diseases.”
Lawmaker Ek Nath Dhakal also participated in the World Summit. He presented a case study emphasizing the role NGOs can play in building peace process over the past eight years. On the occasion, Dhakal, Chairman of UPF-Nepal, highlighted a series of 15 South Asia Peace Initiative (SAPI) programs that were designed to foster dialogue and understanding among various stakeholders. The stakeholders were often enemy combatants and negotiating this political minefield requires social dexterity and patience.
On the second day of the Summit, delegates will be part of the Interfaith Peace Blessing Festival. This will be held at the Marikina City Sports Complex in metro-Manila and as many as 60,000 people are expected to attend this inter-religious marriage rededication ceremony. A similar event will be conducted in Kathmandu at the National Stadium on February 21.