City Hall to host Saarc Summit

  • Two separate dates proposed for the summit; India, Afghanistan and Pakistan yet to confirm participation
- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu
City Hall to host Saarc Summit

Jun 18, 2014-

After weighing various options, the government has finally picked City Hall at Pradarshani Marg as the main venue for the 18th Saarc Summit. A high-level meeting chaired by Acting Prime Minister and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam on Tuesday finalised the venue for the regional jamboree scheduled for November.

The high-level Rapid Appraisal Team (RAT) had earlier suggested five possible venues—International Convention Centre (ICC) at New Baneshwor, Army Officer’s Club, Nepal Academy Hall, Gallery Hall and Fulbari Resort in Pokhara—for the event.

“Taking into account the seating arrangement, parking and security aspects, City Hall appears to be the most suitable venue for the purpose,” said the officials.

The ICC, which currently houses the Constituent Assembly, was the first choice for the Summit. But the government dropped the plan as the building would require a complete renovation for the event and it would also hamper the constitution drafting process.

The meeting, attended by ministers and high-ranking officials, also decided to revamp the Gallery Hall at Singha Durbar (old parliamentary building) and Basantapur Durbar for hosting a state banquet and a gala dinner for the dignitaries during the summit.

According to the officials, Pradarsani Marg and the surrounding areas, including the old buspark, will be sealed off for a day during the summit. Three separate holding halls will be constructed in City Hall, they said.

Nepal has forwarded two proposed dates—November 6-11 and November 22-27—for the summit to the member states for their final approval. While the Maldives, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have given their consent for Nov 22-27, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan are yet to confirm the dates, said a senior foreign ministry official.  

According to a programme pencilled in by the Foreign Ministry, the summit gets underway with a meeting of the programming committee headed by joint secretaries of the member states.

That will be followed by two-day standing committee meeting led by foreign secretaries. The next two days are allocated to a meeting of the Saarc Council of Ministers that will prepare the summit declaration, followed by the meeting of Saarc heads of state and government—also called Summit—on the final day.

Published: 19-06-2014 08:31

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