Address by Hon. Upendra Yadav, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal to a colloquium organized by Nepal Russia Friendship Association on
Nepal-Russian Federation relations in a changed context
(Kathmandu, December 24, 2008)
Chairman of the Nepal-Russia Friendship Association
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I feel happy to be here amongst representatives responsible for foreign affairs of different political parties, intellectuals and foreign policy experts assembled to share new thoughts in further deepening the Nepal-Russian relations in the changed context. I note with appreciation the interest and the efforts of the members of the Nepal-Russia Friendship Association in taking this initiative to further fostering closer understanding, friendship and cooperation between the peoples of Nepal and the Russian Federation.
Nepal and Russia have traversed a long road of friendship during the past a little over five decades ever since the establishment of our diplomatic relations in 1956. We greatly value and therefore express our sincere appreciation to Russia for its contribution to create industrial infrastructure and train technical manpower in past. Today Russia is continuously providing scholarships to train human recourses on regular basis and thereby people to people relations between Nepal and Russia have grown over the period. It is time for us now to take stock of the progress and achievements that we have together attained and craft a new pathway to work to identify and explore new areas of co-operation to the satisfaction of both nations.
In the last more than a decade, both the countries have witnessed fundamental changes in their political and economic landscapes. The end of the cold war represented a major historical turning point with far reaching consequences in the international arena. Today Russia has been experiencing a sustainable economy growth because of its strong macroeconomic fundamentals. Despite present financial crisis it has been successful in addressing the challenges of competitiveness, economic diversification and financial sector modernization. This would ensure that Russia emerges with a stronger basis for productivity-led growth necessary to boost growth and living standards of its people.
As you are aware that following the declaration of Nepal a republic state, Nepal has been undergoing historic political transformation over the last two years. We held successful elections to the Constituent Assembly in the month of April this year. The new Government constituted following the Constituent Assembly Elections is committed to taking the peace process to a logical conclusion through far-reaching and sustainable socio-economic transformation, institutionalising inclusive democracy and giving momentum to the pace of development. The present government is committed to take up this responsibility, though the task is formidable and ways ahead are arduous and challenging. The formation of constitution drafting committees has given the added momentum to the work of the Constituent Assembly.
Russian Federation is a great nation with an intense focus on science and technology and cutting edge of development. Russia is an important member of the international community, which can play ever-important role for the maintenance of international peace and security. At the same time, it is also a leading world power and with it's forward looking vision that has been emphasizing the values and importance of peace, harmony and cooperation. Given its diverse industrial base, abundant natural resources and large pool of scientists and qualified manpower Russian Federation has great potential of its robust development. This reality thus, provides Nepal with ample ground to seek sustained engagement with Russia to work together and collaborate in a number of areas, such as agriculture, tourism, energy, education and culture among others.
At a time, when we are engaged in the socio-economic transformation and building a road map of a new Nepal, we give utmost value to all the support, cooperation and goodwill received from our friendly countries and well wishers like Russian Federation.
In conclusion while thanking the organizers once again for giving me this opportunity to inaugurate this colloquium, I wish for fruitful deliberation and success of the event in finding new approaches that would contribute to take Nepal-Russia relations to a new height.
I thank you so much for your attention.