Remarks by Foreign Secretary Mr Bharat Raj Paudyal
At the First Edition of Professor Yadu Nath Khanal Lecture Series
Kathmandu, 7 June 2022
Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Honourable Justices of the Supreme Court of Nepal,
Honourable Former Foreign Ministers,
Honourable Members of the Parliament,
Esteemed Chief Secretary of the Government of Nepal,
Professor Dr. Surya Prasad Subedi, Keynote Speaker of Today’s Lecture,
Friends from the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Namaste and a very good evening!
It is an absolute honour and pleasure to welcome you all to the First Edition of Professor Yadu Nath Khanal Lecture Series. On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I would like to thank you for accepting our invitation and joining us this evening.
Before I begin my welcome remarks, I have the honour to read out the message from Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to this event. Here is the full text of his message:
Here begins the message and I quote:
[Text of the Message]
End of the message.
Excellencies and Distinguished Guests,
The history of Nepal’s foreign policy and diplomacy is a product of sacrifice, valour, wisdom, and craftsmanship of many people. Of course, it’s evolution has not been the sole burden or responsibility of a few. But some people like Prof. Khanal have a bigger share in it.
Born in Tanahun District in August 1913, Prof. Khanal served as Nepal’s Foreign Secretary for the two terms (1961-62 and 1967-70) and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs after 1990. Apart from various other responsibilities, he served as Nepal’s Ambassador to China, India and the United States.
Prof. Khanal steered the development and intellectualization of Nepal’s foreign policy in its formative years with dignity and distinction. He demonstrated, in diplomatic practice and through his writings, the sharpness of judgement on how Nepal could pursue its vital interests against the constraints of various kind.
He led the drive to diversify and expand Nepal’s diplomatic contacts and engagements. His counsels derived from his vast experience and in-depth study continue to serve as important pointers to the succeeding generations of Nepali intellectuals and foreign service officials.
He held a principled view that a country like Nepal needs to maintain clarity, consistency, credibility and coherence in foreign policy. This continues to be as relevant today as it was in the times of Prof. Khanal.
This lecture series, therefore, is an effort of the Ministry to pay tribute to Prof. Khanal.
We plan to host such a lecture annually on the issues of national, regional and global importance that have direct bearing on Nepal’s national interest and the conduct of foreign policy. We hope that the deliberations of the lecture series will help better understand and navigate through the dynamics of the contemporary issues.
The series is expected to inspire the current and future foreign policy practitioners to internalize the values, ideas and ideals that Prof. Khanal epitomized and expounded. This will also serve as a platform of acquiring better insight into the art of diplomacy. More importantly, it is expected to substantively contribute to Nepal’s foreign policy process.
For today’s lecture, the first edition of the series, Professor Dr. Surya Prasad Subedi has kindly consented to be the keynote speaker.
Prof. Subedi does not need any introduction. He has long been in academia and has received international acclaim for his scholarly contributions to the domain of international law and human rights.
He is a professor of international law at the University of Leeds, England, and a visiting professor at the University of Oxford. He has fulfilled important international responsibilities including under the UN mandate. Between 2007 to 2012, he was UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia.
He is the author of several books, including a seminal book on Nepal’s foreign relations. He has provided expert advice to successive governments and leaders of Nepal.
Prof. Subedi was awarded Oxford University’s highest academic honour, the degree of Doctor of Civil Law (DCL), in 2019, in recognition of his contribution to international law and human rights.
He was born in Lamjung District of Nepal.
Today, Prof. Subedi will be speaking on the topic of ‘Foreign Policy of Nepal: Past, Present and Future’. I am confident that this lecture will be interesting, insightful, and thought-provoking.
As I conclude, I would like to invite Prof. Subedi to deliver his lecture.
I thank you.