Global Policy Forum

In Nepal, Annan Pledges UN Support

UN News Center
March 13, 2001

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today concluded his official visit to Nepal, pledging United Nations support for the country's plan to develop a peacekeeping centre.

In Kathmandu today, the Secretary-General and his wife Nane called on the King and Queen of Nepal. King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev said he wanted to "see the UN stronger and more effective" and explained that as a small, landlocked country sandwiched between two giants - India and China - Nepal had a special appreciation for the United Nations. "It helps us maintain our identity and gives us a voice," the King said.

The Secretary-General also held meetings with Defence Minister Mahesh Acharya, Foreign Minister Chakra Prasad Bastola, and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, and was the guest of honour at a luncheon hosted by the Prime Minister. Their discussions covered a wide range of topics, including economic and social problems in the country and the region, follow-up to the Millennium Summit, as well as Nepal's contribution to UN peacekeeping.

Encouraging Nepal to develop its peacekeeping training centre, Mr. Annan assured the authorities that now that premises had been found for the peacekeeping building, the Asia Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament could soon move from New York to Kathmandu.

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