Govt not sponsor, but supporter: UPF

‘Natural for it to back event’

Kathmandu, November 25

Universal Peace Federation, which will hold the “Asia Pacific Summit 2018’ in Nepal from November 30 to December 3, has clarified that the Government of Nepal will not co-sponsor the programme.

It clarified on its website that the Government of Nepal would only support the summit. Its clarification comes in the backdrop of media reports stating that the UPF programme was aimed at propagating Christianity, a charge the UPF denies.

UPF Nepal Chairperson Eknath Dhakal told THT that UPF never projected the Government of Nepal as co-sponsor and those who interpreted it that way misunderstood it. “The government will only support the programme but won’t bear any financial liabilities,” he said. He added that since the event was being hosted in Nepal, it was relevant for the government to support the programme and provide security to participants. Spokesperson for the government Minister of Communications and Information Technology Gokul Baskota said the NC seemed to have no better issue to oppose the government.

He said it was natural for the government to support the international event where Nepal stood to benefit by sharing its ideas with the participants and discussing new areas of cooperation with them.

Nepali Congress Vice-president Bimalendra Nidhi, however, said since the UPF was accused of advancing the hidden agenda of propagation of Christianity, the government or the Parliament Secretariat should not support such a programme or play the role of facilitator. “Any kind of involvement in such a programme would be against the spirit of secularism guaranteed by the constitution,” he added.

The UPF said besides addressing concerns related to climate change, peace and development, good governance and conflict resolution, the summit would strive to strengthen marriage and family, with a focus on supporting the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

Other major partners and supporters of the summit include the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace and the International Conference of Asian Political Parties.