Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, Minister for Co-operatives and Poverty Alleviation, Government of Nepal gave an update in the UK Parliament on the ongoing peace process in Nepal and the role of civil society within it during a short visit. Hosted by Mr Virendra Sharma MP, the event was attended by Parliamentarians and Ambassadors for Peace who are interested in progress in the search for peace in Nepal. Photo Link for the event
For More Information about the South Asia Peace Initiative please see http://www.upf.org/peace-and-security/sapi
Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal was born in 1974 in the Gorkha district of Nepal. He graduated from Tribhuvan University on Humanities and Social science. Dhakal received informal education from various prestigious educational institutions abroad. His public life started as an independent student leader. He also received many honours from both home and abroad including "Youth of the Year" award with gold medal on 2007. Dhakal is widely involved in Peace-building, Education, Politics, Youth Empowerment, International Relations and Human Rights as well as various projects related to Orphan Children, Underprivileged People and Environment Protection. Dhakal was elected to the Nepalese Parliament and Constituent Assembly on 2008 from the Nepal Family Party. He served on various parliamentary committees such as Security Special Committee, International Relations and Human Rights Committee and Constitutional Committee. Dhakal is also a convener of the South Asia Peace Initiative. Since May 16, 2012, Dhakal has been serving as a Cabinet Minister of the Government of Nepal leading the Ministry of Co-operatives and Poverty Alleviation. Dhakal is married with Mrs. Blessie Gadon Dhakal.
At a recent Universal Peace Federation conference in Nepal held jointly by Universal Peace Federation and the Nepalese Ministry for Poverty Alleviation some insights into the peace process were provided:
"Building peace is not a spectator sport," the Vice-President of Nepal explained. As Chief Guest at Nepal's International Leader Conference, he continued, saying, "[Peace] is not just the responsibility of our national leaders. Each one of us has the responsibility to be a peace-maker by building prosperous, healthy and loving families."
H.E. Parmanand Jha, the Vice-President of Nepal, was inaugurating the two-day conference. In attendance were 105 international guests from 27 countries. Over two days, there were more than 1,200 Nepalese leaders from all sectors of society and from throughout Nepal.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, Hon. Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, President of MJF (Democratic), attended as did dignitaries from all sectors including political leaders; members of parliament from Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka; UN representatives; business leaders; educators; diplomats; and student leaders.
"This conference sets a model for government private-sector cooperation," said Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, Minister of Co-operatives and Poverty Alleviation. "It was a win-win situation. My ministry gained the experience of working closely with an international NGO, they benefited from the educational contents of the sessions, and we could expand our international network of contacts."
The conference was a beacon of cooperation and harmony which stood in stark contrast to the political paralysis due to the dissolution of Nepal's Constituent Assembly three months earlier and the chaos in the commercial sector with fast-food restaurants KFC and Pizza Hut being closed in August because of death threats to their managers.
At the inaugural session the Vice-President of Nepal officially launched the autobiography of UPF Founder, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen (Nepalese edition).
Note: The transition of Nepal from a Hindu monarchy to a parliamentary democracy has been marked by violent insurgents. The conference is part of UPF's South Asia Peace Initiative that seeks to end the violence in Nepal and promote a stable government. For background information click here.
Another explanation of the Nepal Peace Process and UPF's role within it is provided here by Robert Kittel. “This great ideological-political divide [between liberal democracy and socialist democracy] is so deep-rooted in Nepal that the prolonged impasse in the constitution drafting process in the Constituent Assembly basically hinges on this.”
This quote from Maoist Vice-Chairman Dr. Baburam Bhattarai’s speech at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore on March 25, 2011 set the stage for dialogue at the 10th South Asia Peace Initiative (SAPI) sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation – Nepal.
The first SAPI program was held six years ago in July 2005 in Lumbini. Since then ten events have been conducted, each specifically designed to support the on-going peace process. Thousands of leading diplomats, religious leaders, politicians, legal experts, businessmen, media persons, artists and intellectuals from Nepal and abroad have participated in these events. In fact, these occasions offer one of the few opportunities for people from all political persuasions to dialogue face-to-face in a non-threatening environment.
In an article entitled, 'Forum in Nepal on Transormational Leadership'.
In a cordial atmosphere of honest dialogue, the 10th South Asia Peace Initiative (SAPI) brought together political leaders from seven parties to discuss issues of common concern under the theme of “Promoting Human Security Through Transformational Leadership: Common Challenges of South Asia." In the audience of more than 120 guests, eight nationalities were represented.
Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, the Chairman of the Universal Peace Federation-Nepal, welcomed the guests to the UPF Peace Embassy for the April 28 consultation and reminded the attendees that the South Asia Peace Initiative “was designed to allow South Asian nations to work together to address their common problems and challenges.” Delegates were challenged to focus their discussions on ways to develop the nation and to create peace and harmony.
Right: a letter from the then Pime Minister, Madhev Kumar Nepal, to Father Moon and the Universal Peace Federation.
Photo Left: Meeting in the Nepal embassy London with John and Ginger Nicholls who have been assisting the UPF and the Women's Federation for World Peace in Nepal for many years. In the middle is the Minister for Poverty Alleviation, Ek Nath Dhakal.