Kathmandu, September 20
Nepal has signed the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty which envisages a world without nuclear weapons.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara signed the treaty on behalf of the Government of Nepal during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York this morning.
The treaty was adopted at the United Nations Conference in July this year as a result of a global campaign focused on the unacceptability of the use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances and the hope that the Treaty’s adoption would give renewed momentum to nuclear disarmament.
With the signing of the treaty, Nepal maintains consistent and principled position on disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, said foreign ministry Spokesperson Bharat Raj Paudyal. “It is a good step towards nuclear disarmament,” he told THT over the phone from New York.
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara attended the opening of the General Debate of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The general debate began at the UN Headquarters in New York under the theme “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet”.
The general debate, which was preceded by a presentation of the annual report by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, began with the addresses by the Brazilian President Michel Temer and US President Donald J Trump.
On the sidelines, DPM Mahara participated in the Leaders’ Event on Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking organised by British Prime Minister Theresa May. Speaking at the event, DPM Mahara underscored the need to focus on
education and awareness in partnership with UN agencies and NGOs, adding that Nepal was committed to getting rid of forced labour, slavery and human trafficking, and bonded labour, according to a foreign ministry statement.
Earlier in the day, DPM Mahara attended an interactive high-level event on Water for Sustainable Development, which underscored the importance of ensuring universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030 and the huge investment in infrastructure it entailed.
Nepal also participated at an event on “Promoting Quality Infrastructure Investment” organised jointly by the European Commission, Japan and UNOPS.
Besides attending a luncheon hosted by Secretary-General Guterres in honour of the leaders attending the UNGA, DPM Mahara held a bilateral meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende. During the meeting, the two sides discussed matters related to bilateral relations and cooperation.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba reaches New York today to lead the Nepali delegation to the UNGA. PM Deuba, who is scheduled to address the UNGA on Sept 23 and hold bilateral meeting with Secretary-General Guterres the same day, will be joined by DPM Mahara and other Nepali officials who had reached New York on September 18 for the same event.
A version of this article appears in print on September 21, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.