Speech of Chairman Prachanda on the occasion of International Conference on Social Protection, Security and Peace

In our context, Social protection, peace and security are the fundamentals for realizing our visionary dream of “Prosperous Nepal; Happy Nepali” Therefore, the government under the leadership of Comrade KP Oli, the other Chairperson of Nepal Communist Party, has been trying to promulgate laws, and policies and set up functional mechanisms for timely delivery of people friendly policies and plans. It is in this context that the parliament as well as the government have promulgated several Acts, regulations and guidelines, for example, the Compensation-based Social Security Act-2017, guidelines for establishing social security fund, the Right to Work Act, Labour Act, minimum wage, Prime Minister’s Employment Programme, and etcetera. The compensation based social security act is one of the most sought Acts, and is the first of its kind in Nepal.

Chairs of the opening session Dr.Devkota and Dr. Mestrum,

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Spokesperson of our Party Comrade Narayan Kaji Shrestha

Distinguished Guest,

Ladies and gentlemen!

It is my pleasure to welcome you all, particularly the distinguished foreign delegates from different parts of the globe.

Nepal, the newest federal democratic republic, is the birth place of Gautam Buddha – which is also known as the light of Asia, and his world famous teachings that enshrine the messages of non-violence, social harmony and peace, among others. However, the Nepalese society at large was subjected to different types of suppression, exploitation, discrimination, inequalities and marginalization throughout the significant period of time. Until the recent past, the country was ruled by Autocratic monarchy in disguise of partyless political system just dominated by handful of elite groups. This system remained in the country for nearly two and half century mainly brewing autocratic and feudal regimes controlled by the king and his family. So, when the rest of the countries and societies around the world were already enjoying the popular participatory democracy and hence socio-economic development, the Nepalese societies were under rampant violations of fundamental human rights, forget about the socio-economic development based on the principles of social justice and peace. It continued to create and perpetuate poverty and further injustices in different forms and manifestations.

The people of Nepal have no option but to organize and resit in all their capacities, under the leadership of Communist Party and other democratic political forces. The then Communist party of Nepal (Maoist) had taken up arms to fight against the feudal autocratic establishment, and it created favorable environment within a decade of ‘people’s war’ to overthrow centuries’ old monarchy and establish long awaited republican set of governance in the country.

Now, after decade long political transitional period, we have consolidated and institutionalized the hard won democracy by promulgating a constitution that is framed within the framework of international human rights principles and relevant instruments. It has guaranteed inclusive representation with all levels of governments that are elected through adult franchise, democratic processes and rule of law that are prerequisites for socialism oriented socio-economic development of the country. The three layers of governments – federal, provincial and local, are independent to exercise their powers as per the constitution. We believe in participatory democracy, and hence we had successfully elected people’s representatives to all tiers of governance very recently through ballots. These governments are working to enact necessary laws and set up mechanisms towards ensuring the best delivery of their services to the people. Our current destiny as proclaimed in the constitution is socialism and sustained peace. We are determined to eradicate all forms of discrimination and exploitation, and ensure freedom, fundamental rights, periodic elections, adult franchise, participation, inclusion and press freedom.

The ultimate beneficiaries of good social protection policies and schemes are mainly the people encountering different levels of difficulties and hardships to live a life with dignity in ecological harmony with nature. These schemes, in whatsoever forms and modalities, are intended to prevent or reduce human sufferings and hardships in order to facilitate dignified enjoyment of human rights. They help human beings to elevate, to flourish and thereby to realize their potentials. In other words, social protection instruments not only prevent or reduce human hardships, sufferings and difficulties but also tremendously help to narrow down disparities, tackle injustices and inequalities caused by whatever reasons.

In our context, Social protection, peace and security are the fundamentals for realizing our visionary dream of “Prosperous Nepal; Happy Nepali” Therefore, the government under the leadership of Comrade KP Oli, the other Chairperson of Nepal Communist Party, has been trying to promulgate laws, and policies and set up functional mechanisms for timely delivery of people friendly policies and plans. It is in this context that the parliament as well as the government have promulgated several Acts, regulations and guidelines, for example, the Compensation-based Social Security Act-2017, guidelines for establishing social security fund, the Right to Work Act, Labour Act, minimum wage, Prime Minister’s Employment Programme, and etcetera. The compensation based social security act is one of the most sought Acts, and is the first of its kind in Nepal.

The above mentioned laws and other provisions are necessary as the Constitution of Nepal has envisioned social security as a step towards establishing a welfare society. Although the state has many liabilities towards its citizens, welfare of the people and societies is one of its prime liabilities. Thus, the Acts were enacted as per the social welfare concept, and in accordance with which the people have rights to welfare of various kinds, such as taking care of people, especially vulnerable ones like the old, the widow, the sick, the disabled, the unemployed and children, in terms of providing them with food, shelter, healthcare, education, etc., thus promoting their wellbeing and allowing them to live in society with dignity and pride.

Having said the positive developments rapidly happening in the country, the proper implementation of the regulations and other relevant provisions is not free from challenges because we are still in the UN defined state category of Least Developed Countries. Availability of means of implementation, mainly the financial resources and institutional capacities are yet to be further enhanced. The society is still marred by perpetual poverty, hunger, inequalities, discrimination and unjust and derogatory practices as a consequence of patriarchal mindset, feudal remnants, inadequate awareness and lack of effective governing institutions. But, the Nepalese government under the enabling leadership of Nepal Communist Party is confident to overcome the said challenges with the strong solidarity and support from different walks of life – the party cadres, development partners, civil societies and all the well-wishers and friends of Nepal, your best efforts being indispensable, in a way.

I believe, you will take home the best messages of our relentless efforts towards materialising social justice, peace and security of Nepalese people, acting locally and contributing to world social justice, peace and security. I think, social justice and peace are two sides of a coin -there is no sustained peace without comprehensive social justice and no social justice without peace. Hence, I wish this conference will dwell further discussions on ways and modalities for creating awareness, consolidating and expanding the achievements of our struggles, and finding new avenues backing Peace, Security and Social Justice through the appropriate mechanisms of social protection and rights. I am sure, people united will definitely achieve their noble goal of human dignity.

Finally, let me reiterate that I am very much delighted and proud to be part of this process. I wish for your meaningful meeting, grand success of the conference and pleasant stay in Nepal. While in Nepal, I am of the strong belief that you will enjoy the warmth of hospitality accorded by Nepalese people and the natural beauty of Nepal.  Nepal is a country of socio-cultural unity with diversity in terms of mix of population groups, their cultures, languages and the way they enjoy their socio-cultural lives. Nepal is a treasure of natural beauty and cultural diversity, which if observed and engaged will give a peace of mind and satisfaction.

I wish for your pleasant stay and meaningful days in Kathmandu.

Thank you all.

 [Inaugural Speech by Rt. Honorable Former Prime Minister and Chairperson of Nepal Communist Party Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” Delivered on the occasion of International Conference on Social Protection, Security and Peace] 04 April 2019, Kathmandu, Nepal

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