Foreign policy means the policy adopted by the states or nation for the protection and promotion of national interest by conducting external and foreign affairs of state ensuring maximum welfare of national interest in the international arena. In other words it is an interaction of one state with another state or a group of stats or international organizations in order to maintain mutual help and understanding. Merriam Webster defines foreign policy as “The policy of sovereign states in its interaction with other sovereign state”.
Foreign policy is such a medium which promotes national prestige preserving national security, independences and indivisibility. Its main means and resources is diplomacy and the concept of the foreign policy adopted by the country is declared to the world through diplomacy. Foreign policy is always subjected to national welfare and national interest. It is possible to present the national interest to the international sector through foreign policy. Every nation has its own social, economic, political, cultural, religious and geographical conditions. Due to difference on these aspects among the countries, they have their own problems.It is indispensable for Nepal to adopt a balanced non-aligned foreign policy because of its geographical situation,social and cultural relationship,industrial and financial trend and practical relationship to be maintained with the neighbouring countries.Due to this reality,it is necessary to make Nepal’s foreign policy more
realistic with India and promote the level of relationship with China and other nations on the basis of trust,friendship and understanding.
Basics of Foreign Policy
What kind of foreign policy should be adopted,should the international relationship and relationship with neighbouring countries be kept in the equal distance or how to lead it ahead practically,how to present onself to the international forum and what kind of foreign policy should be adopted protecting national unity,indivisibility and independence considering national security is determined by any country on the basis of different grounds.In short,generally basics of foreign policy are as follows:
- Geographical situation
- Population situation of the country
- Size of the country
- Natural resources available in the country
- Economic condition of the country
- Social and cultural condition of the country
- State of industrialisation]
- Level of development in science and technology
- Political leadership,etc.
Forms of Foreign Policy
Before 1950s the world’s foreign policy was run on the basis of power.The First World War and the second World War broke into because of this reason.There was competition of power among the nations to extend the state and make colonies.But the foreign policy changed after the end of world wars and establishment of United Nations Organization.In this process,the form of foreign policy in the world came to develop in the following way-
3.1. Foreign Policy based on Military Union
The foreign policy of the world was divided into two poles when America and former USSR led North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO) established in 1949 and Warsa Pact established in 1954 respectively.These opposite groups had competition in managing weapons and military power.After the end of communism and division of USSR Warsa Pact was dissolved in 1991 and since then the foreign policy of the world has been directly based on the two poled military union.However,the world communities have been making an effort in one way or other to extend and strengthen their own groups.
3.2. Non-Aligned Foreign Policy
Non-aligned foreign policy was originated by the effort of the third world countries which were united to run the foreign policy independently remaining nuetral without following any super power states during the cold war raised between the east and the West in reaction of the foreign policy based on the military union spread in 1950s.
Having experienced the bitterness of collonialism and emperialism, the third world countries have been making futher effort of adopting non-aligned foreign policy. In this process, at first the indian council of world issue organized a convention of the asian relationship council in 1947 in which 28 countries including nepal had participated.After that Delhi Conference in 1949, Round Table Conference 1954, Indonesian Boger Conference 1954 and Bangdung Conference 1955 were held one after another. Finally, according to the decision of Belgrade Preparation committee 1961, the Afro-Asian relationship conference succeeded to bring all the non-aligned countries into a single group. Consequently, Non-Aligned Foreign policy was established as an organization through the first convention of non-aligned countries held at Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1961.
In this context, the following five points principles were propounded for non-alignment by Belgrade preparation committee:
- Such country should have adopted independent foreign policy based on font absolutism or peaceful coexistence.
- The country which has accepted the continuous struggle for the achievement of freedom from collonialism.
- the country which has not been the member of any military union related to the cold war.
- The country which has not done bilateral treaty with the super powers like Russia and America.
- There should not be military camp of any nation within that country.
The principles of non-alignment mentioned in the political document approved by Belgrade conference 1961 and Cairo conference 1964 are as follows:
- Peaceful coexistence.
- Self decision and freedom.
- Respect to Sovereign equality and regional indivisibility.
- Protection of human rights.
- Confronting military union.
- Disjoint from military union.
- Confronting imperialism, colonialism and world-chauvinism.
Neutral Foreign Policy
The foreign policy of that country which behaves equally and fairly with all the countries not keeping military relationship with any country at any time either in peace or war is called neutral foreign policy. In the context to run neutral foreign policy, the signature in international treaty of the responsibility which should be undertaken in that regard, constitutional provision and necessary legal provision should be also managed. If neutral policy is adopted, security expenditure in military and military goods can be saved. There will not be the need of keeping millitary in the country. Peace, security, law and order can be managed only through the police union. Some countries of the world have been adopting neutral foreign policy. If neutral foreign policy is adopted, a large amount of military expenditures can be used for development works.
According to the supporters of neutral foreign policy, the country gets national security by declared itself the vstate during foreign invasion or war than the national security given by national military. Small countries cannot be secure by military. In contrast, according to those who have their arguments against neutral policy, it is not suitable to adopt neutral policy for the independent nation. It arises questions on the capability and strength of the nation. They forward their logic that it hurts the national prestige and self-respect.