Foreign Affairs creates protocol officer posts for 7 CMs’ offices

  • Plan for province division
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 8, 2018-

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recently approved seven posts of Protocol officer for the Office of the Chief Minister in all provinces.

Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi said the ministry has created seven posts of protocol officers in the office of the chief minister in every province. They will handle matters related to foreign relations and international co-operation and others relevant matters.

The  job profile of the Protocol officer (PO) includes attending meetings involving foreign officials, diplomats, ambassadors and chief ministers and reporting the proceedings to the headquarters. The PO will help in communications made by the office to various diplomatic missions or aid agencies through the Foreign Ministry.

Earlier, there was debate whether to have a large office of the foreign ministry in each province headed by joint secretary or not to have office as foreign policy comes under the jurisdiction of central government similar to India. Another point discussed was whether they should have symbolic representation of the ministry since federalism will be a new experience in Nepal.

In the past, strong lobbies within and outside the Foreign Ministry pressed for large offices in each province, but the ministry rejected it. Such a proposal was mainly to provide jobs to people close to powerful politicians. The ministry was not convinced, so we rejected it, said another official privy to the matter.

If the central government looks after international relations and foreign policy, we urge the ministry to have only symbolic representation in the provinces rather than installing full-fledged offices, he said. 

In the ministry, we are planning to set up Province Coordination Division headed by joint secretary whose structure is yet to be identified.

All seven protocol officers will report to the division once it is formed. Though the government has sanctioned the position of protocol officers, the ministry does not have adequate manpower to dispatch immediately for the POs posts.

“We don’t have additional manpower as in other services. The ones we have are already set and familiar with various offices so we are struggling to pick seven officials at one go to depute them immediately,” said Bairagi.

The decision of appointing Protocol Officers shows the ministry is committed to the new political and geographical dispensation, but the dominant factor would be the Centre, said officials.  

Published: 08-02-2018 08:21

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