Nepal hosts Asia-Pacific leadership summit amid controversy

By Matters India Reporter

Kathmandu, Nov. 29, 2018: The Republic of Nepal and the Universal Peace Federation are jointly organizing the Asia Pacific Leadership Summit 2018 in Kathmandu amid controversy over the Christian funding partner involvement with a state involvement.

The November 30 to December 3 Asia-Pacific Summit 2018 will address critical challenges, including independence, mutual prosperity and universal values.

It will bring together eight heads of state and government, Members of Parliament from some 40 countries and more than 2,500 delegates, including lawmakers, eminent leaders, businessmen and leaders of civil society of the Asia Pacific region.

The summit will have several discussions on diverse topics such as climate change, peace and development, good governance, conflict resolution as well as strengthening marriage and family institutions with the aim of supporting the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

The summit is being termed as an event of high significance in the world geopolitical scenario, majorly in bringing a strategic shift in the positioning of Asian nations.

Nepal Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli has invited several prominent leaders of Asia such as former Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Philippines Vice-President Leni Robredo. Others include Acharya Lokesh Muni from India, the founder of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti.

Addressing reporters in the Karol Bagh Ashram before his departure to Kathmandu Acharya Muni insisted that “religious and social organizations have significant contribution in addressing the current global challenges.” He would also speak at the session on ‘Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: Role of Faith based Organisation’. The Acharya

Chirendra Satyal, a leading Christian lay leader in Kathmandu, says he is tired of state imposed “even-odd alternate vehicular ban” for four days starting November 30. “Just because a few hundred guests are flying in for this meet, the capital city’s inhabitants have to walk,” he told Matters India.

The World Hindu Federation in Nepal, he said, has organized media and protests accusing the organizers of promoting Christianity through the meet.

Meanwhile, the Nepal Congress party has taken the issue of the summit being held to voice their anger against the ruling Communist government for supporting the meet. One prominent Nepal Congress leader Gagan Thapa has formally appealed to all to disobey the even-odd number limitation.

Some leading journalists plan to boycott reporting on the summit.

A Kathmandu journalist objects “money being poured for this meet from the late Rev Moon’s organization, Universal Peace Federation’s.”

In another incident, a protest in central Kathmandu on November 29 ended up in a scuffle and police arresting the anti-summit protesters.

Interfaith peace building was the vision of late Korean pastor Rev. Sun Myung Moon who said, “This age of globalization needs enlightened leaders in each faith who can examine their sacred writings and traditions and identify the aspects that can benefit all humanity as well as those that preserve each religion’s identity.”

Accordingly, UPF calls on people of faith to honor the Divine indwelling in a way that encourages understanding, respect, and cooperation among people of all faiths for the well-being of our communities and peace in the world.

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