San Jose – The UN University for Peace has awarded the degree of ‘doctor honoris causa’ to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at a special convocation organized here on Monday.
The honorary doctorate has been conferred on the Prime Minister in recognition to his contribution to achieving peace and democracy in Nepal.
In his acceptance statement on the occasion, PM Oli said, “For me, this honour is an acknowledgement of my country’s successful peace process and appreciation of peace-loving Nepali people. Moreover, with humility, I must submit that this recognition is bestowed on a citizen of the country that gave birth to Buddha –an apostle of peace. I must commend the University for its immense contribution, as a center of learning and research, to promoting the culture of understanding, tolerance and peace around the world.”
Stating that Nepal has become party to the agreement establishing the University, he said this was a reflection of ‘our deep commitment to universal peace.’
“Last week I attended and addressed the General Debate of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly. The world leaders gathered in the Assembly spoke of a myriad of challenges that we face today.
Backlashes against multilateralism; growing incidences of terrorism and violent extremism; perpetuating poverty and increasing inequality; rising temperature and rising sea levels; continuing civil wars and sectarian strife; persistent food insecurity were among the issues that prominently figured during the Debate.”
Noting that no matter where the leaders came from, no matter which countries they represented, they were united in their call for a peaceful planet, shared progress and prosperity of humanity, Prime Minister Oli said in the march against many of these woes, the institutions like this University should be in the frontline. ‘For, they have the answer to the many dilemmas we face today.’
“Education that inculcates tolerance and compassion, respects diversity and accommodates differences while unleashing the infinite potential of human mind is the answer to the problems the humanity faces today,” he said adding that after all, education is a lifelong process.
The PM said, “Education is also about making oneself updated and relevant, for what we know and what we do not know today may change. Education that cultivates culture of peace and tolerance while inspiring innovation and invention is the answer to the dilemmas that the world faces today. Such education is a building block to build the citadel of peace and prosperity.”
He also commended the contributions that this University has made as a hub of knowledge for conflict prevention and peace.
Stating that contemporary world is a confluence of achievements as well as setbacks, of progress as well as perils, of hope as well as despair, PM Oli observed that while the world has witnessed impressive economic growth and phenomenal technological progress, the benefit has not accrued to all equitably. Inhumane poverty still persists. Inequality within and among societies and nations is increasing.
“Thousands of lives have been lost due to the civil wars and violent conflicts. The menace of terrorism has not abated, and its tentacles threaten the humanity in every part of the world.
Extremism that doesn’t respect diversity and pluralistic nature of human society is showing its ugly head. We must note that diversity is inherent in nature; and no one can go against this.”
Stating that the ecological balance has been upset, he said, “With the temperature rising, glaciers retreating, snow melting and sea level rising, the climate change has accelerated. And, our responses do not match the enormous challenges that are the results of human recklessness.
Unfortunately, it is the countries with negligible emissions that are bearing the heavy price of climate change. This is unfair and thus unacceptable. We together have the responsibility to hand over a habitable planet to our future generations. We must fulfill our accountability towards them.
With the fourth industrial revolution, many groundbreaking achievements have been made. However, the benefit of technological progress has not been judiciously shared among all. The disruptive potential of such change in the world of work is yet to be assessed fully.”
Talking about migration of people, he said with the millions of people on the move, migration today is a mega trend. “The response is needed to ensure that people migrate as a choice but not by compulsion. The world needs to come together to ensure the human rights of migrants and to make migration safe, orderly and regular.”
Today, the problems are more interconnected than ever, the PM stated, adding - “They are not confined to the borders of countries and continents. They are not confined to particular race and nation.
However, the tendencies undermining multilateralism and search for global solutions are gaining ground. At the time when response should be joint and collective, rhetoric of isolationism is a regressive move.
At the time when international cooperation should be made more robust, protectionism and erosion of trust in the entire edifice of rule-based international order is a discouraging move, which is unfortunate.”
He expressed the belief that the world needs, more than ever, to reassert its faith in multilateralism and collective solutions.
And, it is equally important to resurrect and reinvent the rule-based international order, which is inclusive and accommodative of the voices of all countries, no matter how small or big, rich or poor, developed or developing, The PM added.
“A deeper reflection reveals that many maladies of modern times are rooted in human minds. The attitude of violence sown in some human minds begets wars and human tragedy. The excess of greed breeding, in some, begets conflict and corruption. The veil of ignorance imbedded, in some, begets culture of intolerance.
For this reason, foundation of peace should be built in the minds of people. This is also the essence of culture of peace. The potential of human mind is not optimally realized. Human imagination, innovation and invention have brought tremendous break-throughs in the history,” the Prime Minister opined.
Prime Minister Oli said that the potential of human mind is not optimally realized and human imagination, innovation and invention have brought tremendous break-throughs in the history.
PM said that this potential of human mind is not yet fully realized and there are millions of people living in backwardness, who, if provided with proper education and opportunity, will be instrumental in rowing the raft of progress, stressing the need to identify the willing minds and invest in them for their fuller development.
Saying memory power, and creative ingenuity as well as imaginative power are the two aspects that make human minds superior to others, he said that prosperity and progress in isolated enclaves cannot sustain forever if a large chunk of humanity is lagging behind without being able to realize its full potential.
"Not all people are equal in terms of their capacity. Not all share similar interest in the same subject. Therefore, the role of education is to identify and spur the hidden individual potential through appropriate tools including counseling", added PM Oli.
The Prime Minister further said that education should enable human beings to harness the nature’s enormous potentials while bridging the gaps between haves and haves-not and ending deprivation and backwardness and doing so would contribute to defeat the cause of social tension, discord and conflict.
He said, "Through education, individuals get enriched. Enriched individuals in turn enrich the families. Enriched families help develop society. Enriched societies contribute to enriching the nations. This, in sum, enriches the understanding among nations at the global level in the interest of humanity at large."
UPEACE Charter is the international treaty prepared to establish University of Peace. Nepal is 41st country signing the charter of the University.
Rector of Rodrigo Carazo Campus at the Central Valley, Francisco Rajos Aravena welcomed PM Oli to the University. On the occasion, Rector Aravena briefed visiting Nepali PM about the similarities and differences between Costa Rica and Nepal.
Similarly, Dr Mihir Kanade, Head of the Department of International Law and Human Rights at the Peace University, informed Oli was conferred the honorary the Phd title in recognition of his contribution for establishing peace in Nepal. Likewise, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, Lorena Aguilar, raved about the significant role played by PM Oli in terms of establishing democracy and peace in Nepal.
Nepali Ambassador to Costa Rica, Dr Arjun Kumar Kakri shared that the people-to-people level relation between Nepal and Costa Rica was extended four decades later of the establishment of diplomatic ties between these two countries. A launch reception, organized at the 'Recreative Park' of the University in honour of PM Oli, followed the visit.
Accompanying PM Oli in the reception were his spouse Radhika Shakya, Chief Political Advisor to PM Oli, Bishnu Prasad Rimal, Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Shanker Das Bairagi, Chief of Protocal Deepak Adhikari and senior-officials of the government of Nepal. ---