Welcome Remarks by Foreign Secretary Ms. Sewa Lamsal at the Third Edition of Professor Yadu Nath Khanal Lecture Series 2024

Welcome Remarks by Foreign Secretary Ms. Sewa Lamsal at the Third Edition of Professor Yadu Nath Khanal Lecture Series
Kathmandu, 14 May 2024

Honourable Mr. Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Honourable Justices of the Supreme Court of Nepal,
Honourable Former Foreign Ministers,
Honourable Members of Parliament,
Esteemed Secretaries,
Keynote Speaker of Today’s event, Professor C. Raja Mohan
Distinguished Guests,
Friends from the Media,
Colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Namaste and a Very Good Evening!

It is my distinct honour and profound privilege to welcome you all to the Third Edition of Professor Yadu Nath Khanal Lecture Series, a milestone programme of the Ministry commenced in 2022.

On this momentous occasion, on behalf of the Ministry and on my own, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to you all for accepting our invitation and joining us this evening. 

I am pleased to share with you all that the Ministry launched Professor Yadu Nath Khanal Lecture Series two years back as a flagship annual program of the Ministry, in recognition as well as in honour of the outstanding contribution of late Professor Yadu Nath Khanal in shaping Nepal’s foreign policy and crafting diplomacy during its formative years.

We have envisioned this platform to foster deliberations of different dimensions on Nepal’s foreign policy matters as well as the contemporary pertinent matters in international relation and diplomacy.

The overarching objective of this programme is to provide a distinguished forum for discussions and deliberations and for propagating and exchanging innovative ideas and thoughts on emerging issues of foreign policy and diplomacy. Its core objective is to offer a contemporary outlook on the subject matter that would help practitioners of this field in conducting diplomacy amidst the ever-evolving regional and global dynamism.

The lecture series is expected to bring in knowledge, expertise, experience and insights from renowned diplomats, policymakers, professors, and researchers on a diverse range of themes on Nepal’s foreign policy conduct.

In today’s lecture, we expect to stimulate informed deliberations on the issues of national, regional, and global importance. The lecture is also expected to inspire opinion shapers, policy makers, and practitioners to nurture better insight into the essence of Nepal-India relations.

Distinguished Guests,

Professor Yadu Nath Khanal was born in mid-west Nepal in Tanahun District, currently in Gandaki Province in August 1913. He studied Sanskrit, Science and English literature from Nepal, India, and the United Kingdom.

Professor Khanal harboured diverse career as a professor, scholar, senior government official in various capacities, and a refined diplomat. He served as Secretary to Prime Minister, as a member of Planning Council, Chair of Tribhuwan University Service Commission, and Chair of Public Service Commission at various times.

His career in diplomacy began in 1955 as a member of Nepali delegation to the Afro-Asian Conference held in Bandung (Indonesia). Thereafter, he continued to achieve higher milestones in Nepal’s diplomacy.

He was appointed Foreign Secretary twice in 1961and in 1967. Prof. Khanal served as Ambassador of Nepal to India; to the United States; and to China. He was actively contributing to Nepal’s diplomacy as late as 1992 when he participated in the 10th NAM Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia as a Minister ranked delegate. Prof. Khanal passed away in 2004. He has also published books on various dimensions of Nepal’s foreign policy.

Prof. Khanal, through his diplomatic acumen and writings, set guidelines on how Nepal could pursue its vital national interests against the constraints of the time. His vast experience, incisive observation, wisdom and pragmatism conveyed through his writings continue to inspire and guide succeeding generations of Nepali intellectuals, policy makers and foreign policy practitioners.

His core message that a country like Nepal needs to maintain clarity, consistency, credibility and coherence while orchestrating diplomacy and foreign policy stands like a Mantra of all time.

Distinguished Guests,

Having said this, let me introduce Professor C. Raja Mohan who will deliver his lecture on ‘Nepal-India Relations: Prospects and Pathways’ today. He treasures a distinguished career as a renowned professor, an accomplished academician, and a proficient foreign policy analyst in the domain of contemporary international relations vis-a-vis India’s external engagements with other countries.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our distinguished guest for accepting our request to share his thoughts on this important topic despite his busy schedule. I am confident that the lecture will give us useful insights, and a comprehensive analysis on multi-dimensional aspects and prospects of Nepal- India relations.

Professor C Raja Mohan is a Visiting Research Professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) of National University of Singapore where he earlier served as the Director. He was Professor of South Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Professor Mohan is one of India’s leading commentators and analysts on India’s foreign policy. He has been associated with a number of think tanks in New Delhi.

He writes a regular column for the Indian Express and was earlier the Strategic Affairs Editor for The Hindu newspaper, Chennai. He is on the editorial boards of several Indian and international journals on world politics.

Professor Mohan has a Master’s degree in nuclear physics and a PhD in international relations. Among his recent books are Samudra Manthan: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Indo Pacific (2013) and Modi’s World: Expanding India’s Sphere of Influence (2015).

I am confident that the lecture will be interesting, insightful, and thought-provoking. However, the views expressed in this lecture do not necessarily reflect the views of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the end of the lecture, Prof. Mohan will take few questions from the audience.

With this note, I cordially invite Professor C. Raja Mohan to the podium to deliver the Lecture on the theme of ‘Nepal-India Relations: Prospects and Pathways’.

I welcome you to the podium, Professor.

Thank you.