1923 Nepal-UK Treaty Conference 2023


The 1923 Treaty, signed in Kathmandu towards the end of the rule of Prime Minister Chandra Shumshere, has seen sparse study by academia and is largely absent from the historical narrative of Nepal and South Asia even though it helped lay the foundation of Nepal’s international standing in the modern era. When it comes to international treaties signed by Nepal, discussion has tended to centre on the 1816 Sugauli Treaty following the Anglo-Nepal War, and the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship between newly-independent India and Nepal’s declining Rana regime.

With 21 December 2023 marking the centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between Nepal and the United Kingdom, Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya archives (MPP) and Britain Nepal Academic Council (BNAC) are jointly organising a conference on the subject on 16-17 December 2023.

The upcoming conference follows up on a workshop on the 1923 Treaty organised by the discussion platform Gyan Gosthi (21 December 2021), which delved into the geopolitical significance of the document, the drafting process as observed from the Nepali side, and the context of Rana rule.

The conference will be open to scholars, commentators, journalists and others keen on Nepal’s history, diplomacy, political economy, including policymakers interested in the study of the past for planning the future. The conference will be a hybrid event with an online and a physical event.

Interested participants are invited to submit an abstract not exceeding 500 words along with their CV to info@mpp.org.np no later than 31 October 2023 (New Deadline: 5 November 2023). The submissions can be in Nepali or English.

The presentations should be broadly under three themes:

a) Context of the Treaty: UK-Nepal bilateral relationship and Asian geopolitics leading up to the 1923 Treaty;

b) Content of the Treaty: Analysis of Treaty text in relation to contemporary and comparative issues;

c) What the Treaty means for Nepal going forward: Relating the 1923 Treaty to present-day Nepal and its future.

Selected applicants will be notified by 10 November 2023.

The evaluation will be based on criteria such as originality, relevance, clarity, and their capacity to make a substantial contribution to the current body of knowledge concerning the treaty in Nepal.

Please register here if you are keen to attend the conference. We will get in touch with you.

Programme Schedule