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September 1979

Late King Birendra,





Mr. President,

Your Excellencies

and Distinguished Delegates:

Please allow me to convey to all the distinguished delegates assembled here at this Conference warm felicitations and greetings on behalf of the people, the government and the delegation from Nepal, which I have the honour and the pleasure to represent and lead here at this august gathering. I also wish to express our heartfelt thanks to President, the Government and the friendly people of Cuba for the warm reception and the generous hospitality extended to us. Our appreciation is also which she has guided the Non-aligned Movement for the past three years.

Hung like a graceful ornament at the heart of the Caribbean sea, Cuba is known to the Nepalese people not only froth e export of good cigars and sugar but more for its people-gay, proud, industrious and determined to remain free. The cal of the Cuban Leader, Fidel Castro, for the progress and the dignity of man has struck a sympathetic approach to problems that beset contemporary man, with Cuba as with all other truly non-aligned nations we have made a common cause in our condemnation of colonialism, big power chauvinism, racism, apartheid and all those design that seek the exploitation of one nation by another nation. Since Cuba is the only Latin American founding member of the Non-aligned Movement, it is only appropriate that she should have been the first to host this Conference in this beautiful city of Havana.

Mr. President, I have traveled half way around the world, across many lands and seas, to come to Cuba and for my own satisfaction I have often asked myself about need and the rationale for the Non-alignment Movement in our times. Eighteen years ago, when my august Father, the late King Mahendra, attended the first Conference in Belgrade, the participation then was limited to only twenty-five countries. From Belgrade to Havana summit, through Cairo , Lusaka, Algiers and Colombo, all of which without exception were attended by Nepal at the level of Head of ?State, the membership of the movement has swelled to more than ninety, not counting many observers and guests. The Non-alignments Movement, therefore, has proved to be an irreversible trend in the world of today representing man's cherished desire to freedom and national independence. This is a sufficient vindication for the presence of many world leaders at his Conference and this should justify the slogan of the Non-alignment being raised from the Himalayas to Havana. Whether a country is land-locked or sea-locked, the cause of principles of non-alignment at the highest level cannot be ignored as futile or frequent.

Nepal's policy of non-alignment is born of her way o of life. It is an extension of her domestic outlook on world affairs. As an independent Kingdom in the Himalayas, we are a small united nation where people, still undivided by ideological rifts or factions, have pursued the goal of ultimately creating a society free from exploitation of man by man. The Nepalese people believe in tolerance, in showing respect for opinions and views other than their own. They prize the basic values of individual freedom and an attitude of non-interference in the lives of others. As a nation with a varied topography and many local customs and traditions, the Nepalese people disapprove of a doctrinaire approach to life rejecting fanaticism and chauvinism of all kinds. In a word, non-alignment is innate to the culture of Nepal. It provides me with further proof to declare why Nepal justly feels non-aligned, even among the non-aligned nations.

While I take stock of these values, they are not an exclusive heritage of Nepal. Instead, they are universal in character and valued by man in all realms and ages. The replacement of a bipolar world by the centrifugal centres of power provides the vest proof of the universality of the principle of non-alignment which, if upheld, guarantees sovereign equality and democratic right to each nation.

Evaluation of recent events will also prove that non-alignment has been a strength to the small countries against the domineering influence of the big powers. Besides, the movement has given an impetus to the upsurge of the national liberation move4ments in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Newly emerged as independent states, I am happy to note that they have mostly opted for non-alignment in their international relations. The movement now includes almost two-third of the nations of the world. The voluntarily accepted code of keeping away from bloc politics has attracted new members, including members of the erstwhile military alliances. In this contest, I would, on behalf of my countrymen, take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to the new members of the Movement –Pakistan, Iran, Bolivia, Grenada, Surinam, Nicaragua and the Patriotic Front of Zimbabwe. I am hopeful that their admission will impart new vigor into the movement and, together with them; we will all contribute to the cause of international peace and security.

I am also happy to observe that the philosophy of non-alignment has had its bearing on the universal efforts towards disarmament has to the creation of a new world order based on peaceful coexistence and co-operation. The non-alignment ethos, moreover, has generated a condition whereby each nation in its quest can find an identity for itself in a world threatened by alien cultures. It is therefore, Mr. President, our sacred duty to maintain this noble inheritance. History has left to our trust something precious to save. The question is how to go about it. Since non-alignment has traveled through eighteen years, there is now a need to translate it from an agreeable principle to the realm of realism and utility.

Today, we cannot ignore the grim facts of life in the Summit. The least developed countries call for our compulsive attention. Mr. President, the ever-exploding population, the massive unemployment on unprecedented scale, the continual depletion of exhaustible natural resources, the omnipresent dearth of basic technical skills and poor management have made the developing countries the poorer forcing them to move from the economy of subsidence to lower than the present level. The specter of such ignoble poverty becomes the more grim when we think of countries that by virtue of being land-locked have been struggling to build their infrastructure for development. Being away from the sea, being denied of facilities to modernize their economics, their economics, and their problem ever-exorbitant hike in the price of oil. Indeed, if this has caused some genuine difficulties to some advanced countries, the hardship it has caused to the least developed nations is awesome and optically burdensome. I feel it, therefore, my duty to call upon our friends in the OPEC countries to come out with concrete measures to help the situation from worsening.

... to be continue

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