NRNs urge govt to conclude constitution writing, peace process
KATHMANDU, Sept 2: Non-Resident Nepali (NRN) Association, a global body of non-resident Nepalis, has urged Nepal’s political leaders to immediately conclude the peace and constitution drafting process so that the country could guarantee national integrity, human rights and fundamental rights to its citizens and others.
The NRN Association made such demand at the 7th NRN Regional Conference held in Sydney from August 30 to September 1.
More than 500 NRNs from 18 countries had participated in the conference, which was held under a slogan ‘Investment and Innovation for Prosperous Nepal’.
During the conference, also attended by a government delegation, the NRN representatives discussed the existing political scenario and constraints of making investments in Nepal. They had also expressed commitments to continue with their investment plans. The conference concluded on Saturday with the association coming up with Sydney Declaration - 2012.
“We are committed to invest in Nepal through mutual funds in the sectors prioritized by the government for the development of the country,” the declaration states.
The declaration also referred to the Association’s previous commitment, under which it had pledged to develop hydropower projects of 100 megawatt (MW), saying that the program was still on. “We are presently at the stage of fund mobilization from our members,” mentions the declaration.
The conference also decided to form a NRN Committee on Science and Technology and set up a Science Foundation under the committee in order to contribute in the development of science and technology in Nepal.
“We will coordinate with the concerned stakeholders in the Nepal government and the private sector in this regard,” reads the declaration.
The declaration has praised the government for including a member of the NRN Association in the committee formed to set up the Open University.
NRNs have been pushing for the establishment of an open university for enhancing the quality of education in Nepal and also for technology transfer. During the conference, the Committee on Establishment of Open University also signed a MoU with Athabasca University Canada, under which representatives of Open Universities from Australia, Canada and the UK have committed support for the establishment of the University in Nepal.
As in the past, the NRNs urged the government to allow them dual citizenship. But instead of that, Nepali ministers said the government was making efforts to set up a system whereby Nepalis residing abroad could cast their votes during elections at home. Election Commission is presently studying the possibility of setting up such a system.
“This is a very welcome development,” NRN Association responded to the initiative in its declaration.
Among others, NRN Association also committed to mobilize its networks across the globe for making government’s economic diplomacy successful. They also pledged their support to promote Nepali tourism in the countries of their residence.
Minister for Industry Anil Kumar Jha, Education Minister Dina Nath Sharma, Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada and senior leaders from various political parties and the private sector institutions had attended the conference.