DPM Shrestha makes a case for meaningful democracy
KATHMANDU, Nov 8: Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha has said that meaningful democracy can only be ensured in the world by pursuing a development path that aims to equalize prosperity of mankind.
Addressing the Bali Democracy Forum V in Indonesia on Thursday, Shrestha argued that meaningful democracy should be able to widen development opportunities for all and at the same time uproot the deeply entrenched inequalities and global exploitative practices.
“Disparities such as gaps in development, income, prosperity and, more recently, knowledge and technological advancement all fuel tensions and conflict in many societies making it difficult to establish and sustain democracy,” he noted.
Arguing that the word democracy is not limited to political domain only, Shrestha said democracy should address and give solution to the exploitation, oppression, exclusion and deprivation of all sorts based on class, ethnicity, caste, race, gender and region.
“The substance of democracy matters more than its form. Its´ genuine practice should not only ensure political freedom but also guarantees freedom from dehumanizing poverty and hunger to enable people to live a life worth living,” he added.
He also said that democracy, development and peace are interlinked, interdependent and mutually reinforcing. “Without democracy and development there cannot be any lasting peace.
Without lasting peace, development cannot foster. Therefore, we are putting our best effort to build national consensus on issues of peace and constitution in a fully democratic spirit so that we could focus our attention on economic development with social justice,” he said, referring to the ongoing political process in Nepal.
On the occasion, while lauding the initiatives made by Indonesia to foster dialogue in the field of peace and democracy among the countries from Asia and around the world since 2008, Shrestha emphasized that the Forum, which is an Asian initiative, has built and consolidated the region´s voice in the promotion of meaningful democracy.
Earlier in the morning, Shrestha was received by Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia at the Bali International Convention Center. The BDF, organized with the theme of ´Relevance of Advancing Democratic Principle´ this year, is being attended by leaders of more than 50 countries.