Two-day Asia Pacific Summit 2018 kicks off today


KATHMANDU, Dec 1: The Asia Pacific Summit 2018, which is one of the biggest international events being held in Nepal in recent years, commences amidst a special function in Kathmandu on Saturday. Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli will inaugurate the two-day Summit at 9 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency hotel.

According to the organizer, Universal Peace Federation (UPF), the Summit will have a total of 1,500 participants from countries across the Asia-Pacific region. Over 500 special guests from 45 various countries including heads of state and government from seven countries have arrived in Kathmandu to participate in the Summit. This is the first extended international summit here after the fourth BIMSTEC Summit held on August 30-31.

Organized around the theme “Addressing Critical Challenges of Our Time: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values”, the Summit will conclude on December 2, issuing a Kathmandu Declaration for peace and cooperation.

Security in Kathmandu Valley has been beefed up in view of the Summit, as senior leaders from Asia Pacific countries continue to arrive.

President of Samoa Afioga Tuimalealiifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, President of Tuvalu Lakoba Taeia Italeni, President of Nauru Baron Waqa, former president of Palau Johnson Toribiong, former vice president of Iran Hassan Ghafoori Fard, former president of the Marshall Islands Kessai Note, another former president of the Marshall Islands Christopher J Loeak, former president of Vanuatu Ati George Sokamanu and former president of Kiribati Anote Tong have already arrived.

Former vice president of Afghanistan Karim Khalili, Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia Prak Sokhonn and former prime minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gillani, among others, arrived in Kathmandu on Friday.

The global participants will discuss various issues in international affairs including peace, development, good governance and the role of parliamentarians to address critical issues of global peace, the challenges posed by climate change, the role of media, peace initiatives and projects around the world, and social issues including strengthening marriage and the family.

Prime Minister Oli, former prime ministers Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal and House of Representatives Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara will be delivering speeches on various topics at the Summit. The Summit will also discuss the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Prime Minister Oli hosted a welcome dinner for the visiting heads of state and government at the Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu on Friday evening. Visiting State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi, Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen, former prime minister of India HD Deve Gowda, President of Nauru Baron Waqa, Speaker of Tonga Lord Fakafanua, Vice President of the Philippines Maria Leonor Gerona Robredo, former president of Colombia Andrés Pastrana Arango and UPF founder Dr Hak Ja Han Moon were among those attending the dinner reception.

Meanwhile, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and State Counselor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar San Suu Kyi called on President Bidya Devi Bhandari separately on Friday.

Implementation of a just signed agreement and further strengthening of bilateral relations figured during the meeting with the Cambodian leader, while matters related to Nepal-Myanmar relations, in particular economic and cultural cooperation, were discussed with Suu Kyi, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Visiting Vice President of the Philippines Maria Leonor Gerona Robredo met her Nepali counterpart Nanda Bahadur Pun at the Vice President’s Office, Friday.

Myanmar State Counselor Suu Kyi also met Prime Minister Oli Friday morning and discussed a wide range of issues including bilateral relations between Nepal and Myanmar as well as mutual cooperation. Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Gyawali, PM Oli’s Chief Political Advisor Bishnu Rimal and Foreign Affairs Advisor Rajan Bhattarai were among those present during the meeting.

Earlier, Nepal and Myanmar signed an agreement on trade and investment. This is the first time such an agreement has been reached between the two countries. The agreement was signed following the one-on-one meeting and bilateral talks between Oli and Suu Kyi.