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Asia Pacific Summit 2018: Evens and Odds

Kathmandu, November 27

Nepal Government has agreed to co-sponsor along with Universal Peace Federation, to organize the Asia Pacific Summit 2018  at Hotel Hyatt Regency, Kathmandu Nepal. The organizers have stated that the summit will be held on December 1 to 3. Delegates from 45 nations including the Asia Pacific will be meeting in Kathmandu.

The major theme of the summit is  “critical challenges of our time: interdependence, mutual prosperity, and universal values.” In the Press Meet held on November 26th at Hotel Yak and Yeti, ex-minister Eknath Dhakal has said that participants will include VVIPs, special guests and delegates including current and former heads of state and government, speakers of the parliament, parliamentarians, leaders from the world’s great religions, traditional rulers, women leaders and representatives of media, civil society, art business. From among them, there will be 7 current and former heads of state and government, 5 speakers of the parliament, 5 current first ladies, 10 former head of state and government, 1 current deputy prime minister, 7 cabinet ministers, and a total of 1500 international delegates.

The major discussions will highlight the challenges of poverty, terrorism, climate change, food security, moral issues, and natural disaster. The program has been divided into sessions where, session opening address will be made from visiting heads of state and government, 2nd session for  peace,  development and good governance and roles of parliamentarian, 3rd session for role of faith-based organization and civil society, 4th covering issues of climate change, 5th session for role and responsibilities of media and closing session for peace initiative and peace project. This summit will inaugurate the first Asia Pacific Regional Assembly of International Association of Parliamentarian for Peace (IPP)’s too.

Organizations and Government as the co-sponsor are positive that the summit will make major impacts on Nepal’s current targets of Visit Nepal 2020, highlight Lumbini as “birthplace of Lord Buddha”, invitation for FDIs on energy sector, poverty and pollution challenges, peace and prosperity, held bilateral and multilateral agreements, and make special declaration on climate change.

However, no one is spared. Despite the heavy backlash and anger of citizens on the home ministry’s decision to allow alternative number plated vehicles (odd or even number plated ) to go en route during the BIMSTEC summit, similar notice has been published again. On 29th November and 1st December, only odd number plated vehicles are allowed and on 30th November and 2nd December only even. Government defends it with “the need for security and ease for the delegates”, but hasn’t the government always failed to do the same for its citizens? Major routes in the valley will be blocked during the airport landing and hotel accommodation time of the delegates. With half the number of public vehicles on the road, almost everyone will bear obstacles on getting to work, offices, schools, colleges or hospitals on time. Now, what about the ease and security of its own citizens?

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