The stakes are very high. It is the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) presidency from the Asia region. In the fray, Nepal and Qatar will face it off if either of them refuses to withdraw its candidacy. Nepal, with its longer contribution to the world body since 1955, has made a bid for the UNGA presidency by fielding Kul Chandra Gautam, a former UN Assistant Secretary General. It is a prestigious post that would eventually be a image setter for Nepal in the international arena. Of course, this seems to be the first time that Nepal has to go impressing the community of nations to assist the country’s candidate for the coveted UN post. What one has to remember is what competitive edge does Nepal have in order to get its candidate to the post, even if elections were to be held as per schedule on February 25. With the Qatari candidate also in the fray, it comes as if it is going to be quite a competition. Nepal well knows that the going is not going to be an easy task, though there are positive feedbacks from India and Japan. And, there is also the need for China to come out openly in favour of Nepal’s candidate. But, the story does not end there. It requires a concerted canvassing with individual countries of Asia in general so that they would have their UN Missions to vote in favour of the Nepali candidate. This is easier said than done, despite the fact that Nepal has scores of high-flying individuals spread out all over the world. The opportunity has come knocking for Nepal’s diplomacy to turn out in all its finery to clinch what has been aimed at.
Qatar, which has also fielded its candidate for the same post from the Asia region, is all keen for the UNGA presidency fully aware that Nepal is also in the scene. This is what brought Qatari State Minister for International Cooperation on a visit to Nepal. The visit was obviously to convince Nepal to withdraw its candidacy or rather opt for a consensus candidate. Both the countries do not want to budge from their stance. Of course, the diplomacy part has seen Qatar lobby so hard. And, Nepal is yet to pick up its campaign to convince the nations to support Nepal’s bid. It is true that Nepal’s long association with UN cannot be denied, but voting has to be faced if Qatar does not withdraw. More than this, Nepal has the delicate task to convince the other countries to support its initiative, or rather its candidate.
The whole thing is so intricate with Nepal facing the election with Qatar. It is not only the political aspect that comes to the fore, the economic part too makes its presence felt. Though lobbying has a greater say in such elections like that of the UN, Nepal has to tread the path very carefully. Now, time is running short, and the efforts in the recent past have not been commensurate yet the last minute surge can work out a miracle. As far as Nepal’s candidate Kul Chandra Gautam is concerned, there is no doubt as regards his capabilities, as he is versed in the UN scheme of things from his tenure with the UN. The last minute is on, and Nepal has to get its acts together for lobbying with the Asian countries to support Nepal’s candidate for the UN post.
Source: The Himalayan Times Editorial, Published on:2011-02-16