The fourth Non-Resident Nepalese (NRN) Global Conference started in Kathmanu today. President Dr Ram Baran Yadav inaugurated the three-day meet with the motto 'Peaceful and Prosperous Nepal - Common Dream of Ours' amid a function at Army Officers' Club, Bhadrakali this morning.
"A peaceful and prosperous Nepal is a dream we all have cherished," Dr Yadav said in his inaugural address. "The Nepalis living at home as well as those staying abroad need to join hands to translate this dream into a reality, he said adding that Nepal was not a poor but a very resourceful country, but it lagged behind in absence of a loktantrik polity. "We can progress if we move ahead adopting democratic norms and values."
"He said the country was now in the process of drafting a new constitution to institutionalise the federal republican system and asked the NRNs to hold consultations with the politicians, civil society leaders, professionals and intellectuals to make sure that it is inclusive in the true sense and it comes in time. Stating that all the Nepalis living in any part of Nepal or any country abroad were first Nepalis, he requested everybody to keep intact the national unity.
"Let's be effortful to give elixir to the nation, not the poison."
Appreciating NRN investment in education, health, infrastructure, and hydropower sectors, Dr Yadav appealed to them to sensitise the issue of environment protection and take stepts to mitigate the impacts of climate change. "You bring your knowledge, skills, capital and good intention; we will invest our time and energy. Let's work together to develop the nation."
Sujata Koirala, deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs, in her welcome address said the knowledge and skills aquired by NRNs would assist in Nepal's development. Koirala mentioned that the govenrment had already brought the NRN Act and necessary regulations to address the concerns of the NRNs and informed preparations were under way to issue identity cards to NRNs fromanuary 2010.
"The government will take an appropriate decision in regard to the demand of dual citizenship," she added.
She said the government would push ahead the work of constituting an Advisory Borad to best avail of NRN knowledge, skills and capital. Similalry, a Foreign Employment Promotion Board will be set up for efficient mangement of this sector. She hoped the conference would be instrumental in achieving the goals of economic diplomacy.
Dr Upendra Mahato, President of Non-Resident Nepalis Association (NRNA), appealed to the NRNs to do their best to translate the dream of peaceful and prosperous Nepal into a reality. "We have understood that only Nepalese can build a peaceful and prosperous Nepal. So I request you to assist the upcoming leadership to in its campaign to build a peaceful and prosperous Nepal," he said asking the government to create a favourable environment for the NRNs to bring in their knowledge, skills and capital for the development of the nation.
Kush Kumar Joshi, president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), asked the government to swiftly address the concerns of NRNs to attract them to Nepal's development.
About 500 NRNs from 52 countries across the world are attending the event organised jointly by NRNA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the FNCCI. It will conclude electing a new leadership of NRNA.