The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organised a three day training course for the leaders of the Joint Youth and Student’s platform in co-operation with Demo Finland. Taking place in mid-December, the training aimed to develop leadership skills that value co-operation, fair and equal governance, discussion and justice as tools for good management.
“Democracy must be based on open discussion, especially in post-conflict Nepal. In this situation, we cannot take a step forward without understanding each other”, said Dinesh Prasain, one of the facilitators. One key goal of the training is to diminish the culture of confrontation by promoting open and equal communication.
“We all have a strong background that has made us headstrong and unshakable in our beliefs. During the first day, I thought this training was a waste of time, but towards the end we understood that it is easier to achieve shared goals through co-operation”, stated Mahesh Basnet, chairman of the youth front of the Communist Party of Nepal – UML.
“The lack of decisions being made on common agreement is a real challenge for democratic governance in Nepal. This has also led to chronic political unstability, since schisms in and among the parties have resulted in a new cabinet almost every year since 1990”, explained UNDP’s Laura McGrew.
The five year project was launched simultaneously in Nepal and Kenya. It aims to bulid social cohesion and co-operation on all levels of the political system and pays special attention to political minorities such as women and youths. UNDP gave support to Joint Youth and Student’s platform for the first time on the International Day of Democracy in September. Later, UNDP put forward a proposition for the leadership training. “I hope that we will be able to continue co-operation with UNDP, Joint Youth and Student’s Platform and Demo Finland also in the forthcoming years”, said a member of the youth league of the Unified CPN – Maoist party, Pushpa Gharti. “Offering this training at the local level could enhance youth co-operation and its goals”.