Dr. Arjun Karki, President of Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN) and International Coordinator of LDC Watch has been awarded the ’14th Justice and Peace Award 2011′ by the Bishop Tji Hak-Soon Justice and Peace Foundation based in S. Korea for his exceptional contribution for the protection of the human rights and the development of impoverished and marginalized communities in Nepal and in other LDCs.
Commemorating the late Catholic Bishop Daniel Tji (Hak-Soon), the Award seeks to acknowledge individuals and organisations in Asia working vigorously and courageously towards democracy, human rights, justice and peace, and showing deep commitment towards poor and oppressed peoples.
Dr. Karki has been actively engaged in development politics as a youth activist, academic, human rights leader and social activist. While implementing rural infrastructure projects at the grassroots level in Nepal, he has also been deeply involved with defending human rights of all citizens and campaigning for democracy in Nepal. His extensive activism at local, national, regional and international levels embodies his belief that policy advocacy is key in producing the necessary paradigm shifts in the social and economic development system, in order to achieve genuine development from below.
In addition to his work with RRN, throughout the armed conflict, he was intensively involved in conflict mediation, conflict transformation and in defending the development space as the President of NGO Federation of Nepal and as the Regional Coordinator of the South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE). He played a noted role as a human rights defender at the national and international levels, campaigning tirelessly to the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU), especially during the ‘direct royal regime’ in 2005 and the subsequent second democracy movement or Jana Andolan II in April 2006. He is now engaged in the ongoing peace-building process focusing on and advocating a people-centred and democratic peace-building ‘from below’ in Nepal.
Deeply committed to the causes for which he works in Nepal, Dr. Karki is also active on a global policy level. He coordinates LDC Watch, a civil society alliance working in the 49 UN defined Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia. He is an international lobbyist and campaigner on the issues related to the internationally agreed development goals (IADGs) including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Brussels Programme of Action for LDCs (BPoA). In 2011 he will be coordinating the Global Civil Society Forum at the decennial UN Conference on LDCs.
Dr. Karki shall be presented the prize at a ceremony on 10 March 2011, in Seoul, South Korea, when he will also meet with local and regional NGOs and civil society actors working on issues of human rights, democracy and pro-people development.