The Asia Pacific Summit
The Asia Pacific Summit 2018, which has attracted wider attention because of a high number of foreign dignitaries taking part in it, has kicked off in Kathmandu. The 4-day summit, being participated by various heads, deputy heads of governments, ministers and high-ranking dignitaries, is probably the biggest one in the country after the SAARC and BIMSTEC summits which Nepal had hosted. The summit, according to the organiser, is being attended by 15,00 dignitaries and VIPs hailing from 45 nations that include heads and deputy heads of six countries, five first ladies, 10 former heads of their respective nations, one deputy prime minister, five speakers and as many deputy speakers. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, President of Tuvalu, President of Nauru, Samoa’s head of state, Vice President of the Philippines among others are some high ranked dignitaries attending the summit. Our Prime Minister, deputy prime ministers, speaker and other dignitaries will also be attending the summit, having the theme, “Addressing Critical Challenges of Our Time: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values.” The summit, it has been said, is being held in Nepal with a view to spread positive message about the peace process of Nepal among the world fraternity. The nation has now gained long lasting peace after going through a decade-long civil war, which might have encouraged the organiser to gather many international dignitaries and heads, deputy heads of state and ministers in the capital to make deliberation on the important theme of interdependence, mutual prosperity and international values as well as peace.
Unlike the much-publicised reports that the Nepali government has acted as a co-host of the summit, the organiser has made it clear that the summit is being hosted by International Conference of Asian Politics, Universal Peace Federation and International Association of Parliament For Peace among others. The Nepalese government and the Federal Parliament of Nepal have acted merely as the supporters of the summit and are not the co-host as publicised earlier by some quarters. The government has had a small but important role in welcoming the foreign dignitaries and in providing stringent security to the foreign VIPs and dignitaries who have converged in Kathmandu to attend the summit. When a slew of foreign dignitaries descend upon a country, it is imperative for a government to accord warm welcome to and provide a full-proof security to them. The existing diplomatic etiquette also demands a government must accord warm welcome and provide full-proof security and finest hospitality to the important foreign dignitaries.
The summit is expected to put Nepal on a spotlight among the participating foreign dignitaries. It may also be an occasion for the Nepali government to hold bilateral meetings and talks with the foreign dignitaries regarding issues pertaining to Nepal’s vast tourism and investment opportunities. Exchanging bilateral discussions and informing about the Nepali initiatives in attaining prosperity through peace and development would only enhance the image of the country in the eyes of foreign VIPs. The summit will nevertheless provide an opportunity to the Nepali government to tell the world about the all efforts taken to restore peace, to end staggering political transition and most importantly, religious harmony among the people in the majority Hindu nation. The organisation of the Asian Pacific Summit 2018 in Nepal is thus an occasion to applaud, not a time to criticise it by going overboard. One must look into the positives the summit is expected to offer to the country.