Statement delivered by Hon. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal, at Nelson Mandela Peace Summit
New York, Monday, 02 October 2018
At the outset, I commend you, Madam President, for convening this important Summit to mark the birth centenary of Nelson Mandela.
I feel honoured to offer sincere tributes to a statesman extraordinaire of our time. He is indeed an epitome of struggle, freedom, human dignity and democracy.
The strength of unity; power of discipline; influence of humility; and result of diligence are the lessons we learn from his life. He taught the importance of reconciliation, forgiveness and compassion, even by forgiving those who had taken his everything away.
Truth eventually emerges triumphant, no matter how strong the adversaries are. The sense of fortitude and sacrifice defeat even the most invincible. His career spanning anti-apartheid activist to visionary President is a living testimony. His ideals will continue to inspire humanity. Nepal proudly recalls its service as a member of the UN Special Committee against apartheid since its inception and as a vice chair for 25 years.
Nepal, the birthplace of the apostle of peace, Buddha, has unwavering faith in peace. Our long contribution to the UN peace operations testifies it.
Nepal shares the vicissitudes of Africa’s revolutionary past. Our history is illustrated by long struggles against aggression of imperialists; authoritarian regimes; socio-economic and political oppression; and the most recent peace process.
Nepali people have demonstrated exemplary resilience in pursuit of peace. Political forces exhibited wisdom and chose path of peaceful resolution of conflict through dialogues and accommodation, the ideals embraced by the late Nelson Mandela.
The home-grown, nationally owned and led peace process successfully transitioned the country to a state of stability and peace after the peaceful democratic elections were held under the Constitution adopted by people’s representatives.
Each conflict situation is unique and demands context-specific solution. As there is no universal model for conflict resolution, there is no single model for addressing the issues of peace and justice. The main thrust of our peace process has been to achieve reconciliation by healing the wounds of the conflict. We believe that as long as the parties to the conflict choose to address accountability issues through a functioning national justice system and seek accommodation through reconciliation, it would be unnecessary to suggest for a recourse to international justice system. This is our understanding about the Para 19 of the political declaration. Nepal has allowed independent transitional justice process take its course as per the laws. We are now well on the path of reconciliation by ensuring social justice, nurturing inclusive society, and delivering good governance.
Nepal reaffirms its faith in the values of world peace. We stand ready to share experiences of our successful peace process.
While I share this success story, conflicts around the world continue unabated. Aspiration of millions for equality, justice, peace and development continue to elude us even after seven decades of the establishment of the United Nations.
Our commitment to forgiveness, reconciliation, humanity and peace – not just in words but in actions – would be true tributes to Madiba.
I thank you