Nepal Intellectual Forum (NepIF) organized an “Interaction Program on Role of International Cooperation in Nepal’s Development” on 17th December, 2011 (2nd Poush, 2068 B. S.) in Pokhara. In the program Dr. Kul Chandra Gautam, a former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations presented a paper for discussion. According to him foreign aid in Nepal started from 1952 when she joined the Colombo Plan. Foreign aid was continued throughout the Panchayat system but the progress was minimal. After the restoration of multi-party democracy in 1990, socio-economic development took its momentum. The politics first and economy remained in second priorities. The breakup of monopoly, increased creativity and economic growth are some of the positive changes in Nepal’s development. He stressed on the importance of international cooperation Nepal without which she could not achieve substantial progress. It requires investment friendly environment for harnessing economic potentiality of the country. For this international cooperation is necessary but it must be in national interest. The shift from aid to trade and investment must be our target. Ultra nationalism and short sightednesses are the drawbacks of economic progress. During floor discussion 30 participants exchanged their ideas. Prof. Dr. Nagendra Lal Shribastav, Prof. Dr. Abhaya Kumar Das, Prof. Dr. Bed Nath Sharma, Prof. Dr. Keshav Dutta Awasthi, Prof. Dr. Bishow Shrestha, Prof. Dr. Devendra Bahadur Lamichhane, Dr. Om Sharma, Mr. Gorakh Raj Ojha, Dr. Lekhnath Bhattari, Dr. Puspa Raj Sharma, Dr. Krishna Raj Tiwari, Dr. Prakash Upadhya, Dr. Dhurba Karki, Dr. Shreeram Neupane, Dr. Gyan Bahadur Karki, Mr. Tej Gurung, Dr. Laxmisaran Adhikari, Mr. Kali Das Sharma, Mr. Bishow Mohan Adhikari, Mr. Hari Prasad Timilsina, Mr. Hari Prasad Poudel, Mr. Padhma Saran Regmi, Mr. Krishna K.C., Mr. Surya Bhakta Sigdel, Mr. Kunja Raj Thapa, Mrs. Shanta Khatri, Mrs. Sumita Basnet, Dr. Krishna Raj Adhikari and Mr. Subas Sitaula shared their experiences and raised some queries on Dr. Gautam’ s deliberation. The queries were mostly concentrated on gender participation, misuse of forieign aids, economic depression, motive of the donor agencies, utilization of resources and monitoring & evaluation of the supports. In response to the queries Dr. Gautam clarified that international cooperation always respects gender participation and extends support in win-win basis.
It appreciates collective bargaining of recipients. During bilateral cooperation we must be careful about our own benefits. In fact, flexible systems can be durable. The share of remittance in economy is very high but it cannot be curved at present situation. There is opportunity of improvement too. So far the economic depression is concerned we should not be worried because Nepal is situated between two giant economies, namely India and China. We must pay attention to economic diplomacy because we became failure to handle NGO/INGOs in many respects. An aid is imperative for development of the country. It is not necessary to be much suspicious about utilization of aids. Let us take calculative risk.
This Interaction Program was conducted under the chairmanship of NepIF’s Chairperson Prof. Dr. Pashupati Nath Timalsena. The program was facilitated by NepIF under the sponsership of local financial institutions.