Freedom and development must go hand in hand Nepal tells General Assembly

Speaking at United Nations Headquarters in New York, where the Assembly’s annual General Debate is being held, Madhav Kumar Nepal said “there is reason to be forward-looking and optimistic about Nepal’s peace process” in the three years since a pro-democracy movement led to the then king relinquishing his power as the civil war with Maoist forces also came to an end. “We have come a long way in terms of our transition from conflict. Like in every post-conflict situation, there are ups and downs and obstacles in the way,” he said, outlining the struggles to transform the former warring parties into one democratic order and the efforts to balance the need for justice for those who were the victims of crimes with the need for reconciliation. “Therefore, we know that we have to go even a longer way… We know we must be alert to the aspirations of our people for both freedom and development,” Mr. Nepal said. “Freedom rings hollow when there is no development. Development loses its soul if it is not accompanied by freedom. These are the twin goals for us and my Government is committed to pursuing these goals with clear vision and commitment.” Mr. Nepal voiced his country’s gratitude for the ongoing work of the UN political mission in the Asian nation (known as UNMIN) and said “we look to the United Nations as a true advocate and upholder of the universal values of peace, justice, equality, freedom and human dignity.” 26 September 2009Nepal has made steady progress since it emerged from a decade-long civil war, but to ensure lasting peace it must simultaneously boost economic development and strengthen political freedoms, the country’s Prime Minister told the General Assembly today.