Programs

 

Past Programs

Federalism

 

The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord by the Government of Nepal and Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) on 21 November 2006, Tripartite Agreement on the arms and army management on 29 November 2006, promulgation of interim constitution in December 2006, formation of interim government in April 2007 and the decision of the government also in April 2007 to go to federalism are the major milestone towards carving the structure of an inclusive, peaceful, democratic Nepal. The successful completion of the constituent assembly election in April 2008 has arguably built a path towards making a new democratic constitution for Nepal.

 

The second amendment of the interim constitution has defined Nepal’s future model of governance as federal. The constituent assembly is given the responsibility to design the structure of the federal system as appropriate for Nepal. The promise of federalism has made different social and identity groups, especially deprived and marginalized groups and communities, optimistic about the state restructuring process to be executed by the constituent assembly. It has been argued that federalism can be an appropriate solution for providing people with their right to self-rule which has been historically denied by the centralized unitary system.

 

The designing and establishment of federal system, however, entails numerous challenges and risks in the case of Nepal. On the one hand, the immense ethnic, geographic and economic diversity of Nepal is a challenge to create boundaries for provinces. On the other hand, the high expectations related to self-rule in different social and identity groups is a challenge to build an effective procedure for sharing power between the center and provinces. Similarly, the distribution of resources and protection of the rights of minority groups with the provinces are significant challenges, too.

 

Despite the challenges in the process of federalization, the country is posed to design a new structure. At the moment, the policy makers are in need of precise and condensed information on a range of pressing issues of the negotiations process in the Constituent Assembly, in particular on the issues related to federalism.  The primary beneficiaries of this project are the members of specific committees on federalism in the Constituent Assembly and senior leaders of major political parties. We are also curiously looking for the establishment of Commission on State Restructuring. The project is based around a series of concrete seminars and workshops, which are designed to introduce new models of federalism. All seminars will be focused on different aspects of federalism but will encompass the questions of the day in Nepal and trace their relationship to larger ideas and future implications. 


The overall objective of the project is to ensure inclusive and democratic system of governance as a successful result.

 

The specific project objectives are:

  1. To build capacities with the political leadership in order to promote federalism as a viable option for the state restructuring in the constitution making process of the CA.
  2. To engage the political leadership in conceptualizing a federal system for Nepal and to simultaneously address political differences among the parties in a constructive way.  
  3. To encourage the political leadership fostering an informed and participatory debate within the party structures.
  4. To enable the political leadership understanding diversity as an asset in a federal system and consequently to promote an inclusive constitution making process (enhancing awareness of ethno-cultural and socio-economic dimensions of federal structure).   

 

Program Activity - Federalism

Under this project, the NPC has organized following activities on Federalism and State Restructure:

  1. Intra-party Programs:
    1. Seminar on Bases of Federal State
      1. Seminar with Nepali Congress, Godawari, August 7-8, 2007
      2. Seminar with Nepali Congress (D), Dhulikhel August 10-11, 2007
    2. Seminar with Madheshi Janaadhikar Forum on components of Federal State, Godawari, September 28-30, 2007
    3. Seminar with Madheshi Janaadhikar Forum on Federalism and Constituent Assembly, Godawari, May 16-17, 2008
    4. Seminar with Women CA members of Nepali Congress, Kathmandu, June 30, 2008
    5. Seminar with State Restructure Recommending Committee of Nepali Congress, Kathmandu, February 25, 2009
  2. Inter-party Seminar on State Restructure and Peace Process, Kathmandu, December 03, 2007
  3. Inter-party Seminar on "Madhesh Movement: Problem and Solution", Godawari, February 02, 2008; Kathmandu, February 21, 2008
  4. Inter-party Seminar on Federalism, Godawari, May 7-8, 2008
  5. Seminar with Senior Politicians on "Revisiting the previous Peace Agreement and Looking towards a new Comprehensive Understanding", Kathmandu, May 11, 2009
  6. Program with CA Committee:
    1. Seminar on committee of Drafting Rules of Procedure of the CA, Kathmandu, July 11, 2008
    2. Seminar with CA Committee on the Division of Natural Resources, Financial Rights and Public Revenue, Kathmandu, January 26, 2009
    3. Seminar with CA committee on State Restructure, Godawari, February 2-3, 2009
  7. Regional Program on Federalism:
    1. Regional Seminar in Dharan, December 20-22, 2008
    2. Regional Seminar in Birtamod, December 23-25, 2008
    3. Regional Seminar in Pokhara, April 22-23, 2009
  8. Study Visit to Abroad: Federal System of Governance of Germany and Switzerland, October 11-24, 2008

 

The project is being supported by the Swiss government. Some of the activities of this project were funded by the GTZ also.