UN Gen Secy agrees to support greater Lumbini development
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 9, 2011
KATHMANDU: Former Prime Minister and Chairman of the UCPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal, aka, Prachanda met United
Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday at UN headquarters in New York.
Dahal is in New York as the Chairman of the High Level National Steering Committee for the development of Greater Lumbini, seeking international assistance for the development of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in Rupandehi district, about 300 km southwest of Kathmandu.
During the meeting, Dahal briefed the UN Secretary General about the commitment of the Government of Nepal to develop Lumbini as a world peace city as a pilgrimage and a heritage city with inclusive livelihood programs for the people living around there.
Prachanda explained to Ban Ki-moon that the recently formed High Level National Steering Committee reflects strong and long-term commitment of the Government of Nepal to the preservation and development of all aspects of Greater Lumbini with a
multi-stakeholder approach through national and international support.
While urging Moon to form a broader Lumbini development international committee under his chairmanship, Dahal said, spiritual dimension of Lumbini for world peace fits in very well with the noble ideals of peace and justice of the United Nations.
“Lumbini would be developed as an enduring source of international peace, harmony and understanding.”
At the same meeting, Dahal further added that as Nepal has come out of conflict, the message of peace coming from Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha will have a special meaning to the people around the world.
He also expressed his commitment to develop a new master plan covering 3 districts, Kapilvastu, Rupandehi and Nawalparasi.
In that context, he also touched upon the long history of the involvement of UN in promoting development of Lumbini from
the first Asian Secretary General of the UN U Thant and appreciated the keen interest and clear support of the current Secretary General in the all round development of Greater Lumbini.
While explaining that Nepal will play its part in revitalizing the International Committee for the Development of Lumbini,
he called for the involvement, full support and cooperation of the UN Secretary General to help galvanize the international community.
In response, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his pleasure to be the second Asian Secretary-General to visit Lumbini. He particularly said that he was pleased to see that a distinguished high level political leader, Former Prime Minister Prachanda, has agreed to head the High Level National Steering Committee.
Secretary-General expressed his deep commitment to provide full support for Greater Lumbini development and expressed satisfaction to see Nepali leadership and ownership for this purpose. He also reiterated his political and moral support for the conservation and development of Greater Lumbini area.
According to Permanent Mission of Nepal to UN, New York, “Prachanda informed the Secretary General about the plan of the High Level Steering Committee to host a multi stakeholder international meeting in Lumbini itself early next year and subsequent meeting to follow-up in New York next year.”
Various leaders from all fields, political, spiritual, and philanthropic and the private sector will be invited to the international
meeting, Prachanda said. He extended the invitation to the Secretary General to the meeting in Nepal and to play a leading role in support of the initiative of the Government of Nepal.
The Secretary General accepted the kind invitation for the international meeting in Lumbini, Nepal early next year and
agreed to play a lead role in support of Nepal’s initiative.
Prachanda also conveyed sincere appreciation to UNESCO and UNDP for their valuable cooperation so far to the preservation and development of Lumbini and expressed the hope that their level and scope of cooperation will be strengthened and enhanced in the days to come.
During the meeting, former Prime Minster Prachanda thanked the Secretary-General for his keen interest and support for
Nepal’s peace process and positive contribution of UNMIN.
He also briefed the Secretary General about the recent landmark steps taken to take forward the peace process in Nepal with a view to move onto the next phase.
He also expressed his firm commitment to writing a new constitution at the earliest and complete the transition process in Nepal with the support and cooperation of all political parties.
The Secretary General also expressed his appreciation to him and other political parties for the recent steps taken in Nepal and urged them to effectively implement it and move forward to complete the peace process and the writing of the new constitution at the earliest.
Prachanda was accompanied by Minenedra Rijal , Former Minister of Culture and member of the national steering committee, Ambassador Gyan Chandra Acharya, Permanent Representative of Nepal to UN, Manoj Bahadur Shrestha, member from the private sector in the committee, Noritada Morita, international advisor of the Lumbini Development Trust and other officials.