WNO Baltimore Declaration

WNO Baltimore Declaration
27 March 2016
Towson, Maryland, USA

Since its establishment in 2011, the World Newah Organization (WNO) has been promoting, preserving, and endeavoring to conserve the unique cultural heritage, language, and legacy of the Newah people and to support the continued contribution of the Newah people to the community in Nepal and globally. Its first Convention was held in London in October 2011. Since then, WNO has successfully launched and participated in various programs in support of the preservation and promotion of Newah civilization and in relief of the devastated earthquake victims in Nepal. Particularly, after the promulgation of the Constitution in Nepal, where the values of marginalized populations and ethnicity have been undermined, WNO has become even more important and relevant by providing a single platform to bring together Newahs from all corners and walks of life.

The WNO USA Chapter with the support of US-based Newah organizations Nepa Pasa Puchah Amerikaye (NPPA) and Newah Organization of America (NOA) held the three-day Second Convention of the World Newah Organization on 25–27 March 2016 in Baltimore, MD, USA. As an outcome of various speeches, presentations, and discussions, and also in affirmation and continuation of the London Declaration, the Second Convention unanimously adopted the following World Newah Organization Baltimore Declaration on 27 March 2016:

1. Following the ILO Convention 169 Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989, which Nepal ratified in 2007, Nepal is obligated to implement its provisions within the laws of Nepal. According to its Article 28.1, it is the duty of the Government of Nepal (GON) to guarantee education in mother tongues to the children of all indigenous nationalities of Nepal. According to its Article 28.3, it is the duty of the GON to guarantee rights towards the Preservation and Development of Indigenous Languages of Nepal. We continue to urge the GON to fulfill its duties immediately to improve the status of indigenous population of Nepal by according them their rights and privileges as bound by this Convention. Furthermore, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007, recognizes that respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures, and traditional practices contribute to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment.

2. As requested by the GON during the drafting of the Constitution of Nepal, WNO and many others submitted their opinions for consideration and inclusion in the Constitution for the purpose of ascertaining justice to the rights of marginalized and various ethnic populations in Nepal. However, opinions of the millions have been ignored and the promulgated Constitution of Nepal does not incorporate these expressed concerns. For this purpose, we urge the GON to redraft the Constitution in line with the identity based federalism to ensure that these expressed concerns be duly addressed and incorporated in their totality to ascertain the common rights of the marginalized and ethnic populations into the Constitution.

3. We urge the GON to immediately take necessary steps and expedite restoring the lives of the earthquake affected and displaced population throughout Nepal with special attention to the remote hills, where physical infrastructure and communication do not exist or are poor.

4. The already deteriorated UNESCO World Heritage sites have been further destroyed and devastated by the earthquakes in April and May 2015. We demand that the GON urgently take necessary steps for reconstruction and preservation of those sites and fulfil its international duty to preserve and develop Kathmandu Valley, which has the UNESCO World Heritage sites.

5. We urge the GON to ensure gender equality provisions in all its policies, programs, and activities. In particular, it must grant equal citizenship rights to children born of either Nepalese mothers or Nepalese fathers, even children born on foreign soil.

6. While welcoming the decision of the GON in recognizing Nepal Samvat as the official calendar of Nepal, we continue urging the GON to implement the decision without any delay and to discard the use of the Vikram Samvat that was imposed on the Nepalese people a century ago.

7. This Declaration appeals to all Newahs residing in different countries across the world to organize and to support the aims and objectives of WNO.

ने.सं. ११३६ चिल्ला गाः ४ आइतबार – March 27, 2016 Sunday_