Second south summit : ‘Govt to push for UN reforms in Doha’

Rekha Shrestha

Kathmandu, June 10:

The government is likely to convey Nepal’s position on United Nations reforms to her friendly countries during the Second South Summit scheduled for next week in Doha. Nepal supports reforms in the 60-year-old institution to meet the challenges of the 21st century. “Nepal wants reforms in the UN to make it more strong, effective and a meaningful instrument to protect world peace,” Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ramesh Nath Pandey, told The Himalayan Times today. According to him, the government has fully understood the “position and concerns” of countries, which had sent their ministers and special envoys to Nepal for consultation regarding the reforms. “In the past 60 years, the world has seen tremendous changes and the role of the United Nations has changed too, so reforms are needed,” Pandey said. He, however, was not specific when asked about Nepal’s position on the expansion of the UN Security Council. The General Assembly could vote this month to add ten new members to the world body’s most powerful organ.

Pandey said over six bilateral meetings are scheduled on the sidelines of the South Summit. He, however, refused to name the countries involved in the meetings. “The meetings will focus on negotiations with the delegations on mutual economic and technical cooperation and investment in Nepal,” he said. As a follow-up of the Afro-Asian Summit in Jakarta in April, the government is expected to use the meeting of the Group of 77 (G-77) as a forum to convey Nepal’s political situation to the international community and gain their confidence. The foreign minister believes that the South Summit “will further strengthen the image of Nepal.”

King Gyanendra will leave for Doha on June 13. He will address the conference on the 15th and will also make a visit to the United Arab Emirates before he returns home on June 22.

The Foreign minister will leave a day earlier to attend the ministers’ meeting. “The Summit will definitely contribute in protecting the interest of smaller countries in the new economic order,” Pandey said, adding that relations between Nepal and the gulf countries have been remarkable and political understanding has strengthened in the last four months.