Facing our times

This year 2019 is a very special year because we are celebrating 70 years of diplomatic relation between Nepal and France.

Jan. 31, 2019, 7 p.m.

I am very pleased to welcome all of you, for today’s debate jointly organized by the French embassy in Kathmandu, the Alliance Française,and the Nepal Economic Forum.

Each year, wepropose a debate on big issues at the end of January and it has become an important event for us.

This year 2019 is a very special year because we are celebrating 70 years of diplomatic relation between Nepal and France. In order to commemorate, we will be organizing a series of events all along the year, and today’s debate is the second one.

Today’s topic: “facing our time”, will be extensively discussed by our panel. Time can have multidimensional perspective. In Nepal, religious and cultural dimensions make it even more complicated. While time is something one cannot control, the meaning of time can be interpreted in different ways. From the culture around time to the discourse around time; from comparative perspectives to deep spirituality; from reference to the future and the past, from keeping time constant through conservation.There is an ocean of perspectives to explore.

When we are looking at the future, there are many dimensions to ponder upon. By 2030, Nepal aims to be a $ 100 billion economy. At the same time, there are many global deadlines to meet by 2030. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) aim at keeping the global warming within 1.5 degrees, which will require a transformational shift in how production and consumption are undertaken. There are societal shifts that are taking place which are changing the way people consume and produce media. It is transforming at a rapid pace. There are also new trends emerging where there is more interest in the world of history, nature and culture, bringing back people to explore cities and civilizations through different lenses.

To address these changing dimensions, diverse personalities such as business leader, climate scientist, tourism entrepreneur and our goodwill Ambassador for the 70th anniversary, will interact during the session. I am convinced that each of them will bring their own perspective to our discussion. The panel will be moderated by Sujeev Shakya, Chairperson of Nepal Economic Forum with whom we have been collaborating for the past few years.There will be a Q&A at the end and I request you to actively participate.

The author is the French Ambassador to Nepal. Excerpt of the statement delivered at a talk program jointly organized by French Embassy in Nepal, Nepal Economic Forum and the Alliance Française.

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