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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, January 18, 2018

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Nepal PM Koirala urges SAARC to combat terrorism unitedly

South Asia, and stressed on the need for SAARC

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Kathmandu, Sept.19 (ANI): Nepal's Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said Friday that terrorism, extremism and radicalism pose threats to the culture of harmony and tolerance existing in South Asia, and stressed on the need for SAARC member countries to collectivily resolve to addressing the challenges emanating from them.

Inaugrating the sixth SAARC Interior/Home Ministers meeting here, Prime Minister Koirala said South Asia, as a region, has become more democratic since the founding of SAARC in 1985, yet democracy, human rights and individual freedom continue to be targeted, including the increasing violence against girls and women.

"These threats are further compounded by organised crimes, cross border crimes, trafficking in persons, narcotics trade, and their offshoots in the region," Kantipur Online quoted Premier Koirala, as saying, while underscoring the need of collective resolve to address these challenges.

Noting that South Asia is prone to disasters and people have constantly been affected by disasters of various types, such as floods, earthquakes, landslides and associated problems, he said disasters affected everyone in this interdependent world and hence the need of strengthening the capacity and promoting collaborative partnership in the region to deal with these problems.

Briefly, touching on latest developments in Nepal, Koirala said Nepalis are engaged in having a democratic constitution promulgated through the Constituent Assembly and expressed the firm belief that the promulgation of the new constitution would help institutionalize democratic aspirations of the people, build solid democratic institutions and bring the ongoing peace process to its logical conclusion.

He added that all these would contribute towards the 'architecture of peace, stability, democracy, and development in the region and beyond.'

Stating that Nepal would be hosting the 18th Saarc Summit in Kathmandu on 26 to 27 November 2014, Prime Minister Koirala thanked the Saarc member states for their full support and understanding.

"We welcome the commitment of new government in India to work together with South Asian leaders to revitalize SAARC as an effective instrument for regional cooperation and as a united voice on global issues," he said.

Talking of the region's shared cultures, norms, values and traditions along with abundant natural and human resources, the Prime Minister pointed out to the ample opportunities for making the region peaceful and prosperous, and a better place to live in through collective efforts. Nepal remains committed to join hands and forge deeper collaboration with the fellow member states of SAARC, he added.

"Today, we witness an unprecedented level of interdependence and interconnectedness. Together with the advent of modern technology, the nature and scope of threats to peace and security has undergone change. Human security has gained preeminence in security discourse. Our policies, mechanisms, and instruments therefore must adapt to this changing notion of security in today's increasingly complex world," Koirala said.

Mentioning that peace and prosperity are the fundamental pillars of a healthy society, he said economic growth and social progress is possible only in a peaceful and secure environment, which in turn contribute to the norms and values of democracy, individual freedom and human rights.

While charting a course for regional cooperation in 1985, a peaceful and prosperous South Asia was envisioned, Koirala recalled and reiterated that regional cooperation was considered essential for promoting the welfare and improving the quality of lives of the people.

"We have made a number of efforts over the years to enhance cooperation, including in the area of peace and security under the aegis of Saarc. A number of conventions and agreements have been concluded, mechanisms developed and institutions established to achieve the desired objectives. What we need today is to be true to the spirit of all the conventions and decisions adopted in the past and work for their effective implementation," he said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bamdev Gautam said Nepal was willing to expand cooperation with all the SAARC member states on matters of common interest related to establishing peace and security in the region.

SAARC Secretary-General Arjun Bahadur Thapa said the SAARC Interiors/Home Ministers meeting would be significant in ensuring peace, stability and development and achieving the long-term goals of the regional body.

One hundred high officials, including the Ministers of Interior/Home, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the SAARC Secretariat, except Pakistan, are deliberating on regional peace and security issues in the meeting.


 

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