Govt asks diplomats to get prior approval

  • meeting with provincial, local governments
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 24, 2018-

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked diplomatic missions, the United Nations and other international organisations in Nepal to seek its prior approval before meeting with state and local level authorities.

The ministry’s advice follows reports of meeting between members of various diplomatic missions with representatives of provincial and local governments on regular basis. In its advice, the ministry said the measures were taken in order to streamline and facilitate contact of foreign dignitaries with Nepali authorities at different layers.

All the diplomatic missions, other foreign missions, Office of the UN Resident Coordi-nator and other international organisations willing to have meetings/appointments with state and local authorities of Nepal are also advised to seek prior approval from MoFA through formal channel, the ministry stated on Thursday.

The diplomatic practice worldwide based on the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is to notify the Foreign Ministry about meeting between representatives of two nations. Though various governments in the past came up with the diplomatic code of conduct, they remain unimplemented.

Diplomatic experts say the government’s move is welcome and it should be strictly followed. “Not just in case of provincial and local governments, it should be strictly followed at the federal level as well,” said Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, former Nepali ambassador to India and a member of the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India relations. He also said that the federal government should live by examples while issuing advice to the local and provincial governments.

Nepal’s leaders, be them from the ruling parties or the opposition, continue to flout the diplomatic code in their meetings with foreign delegates. Meeting the representatives from diplomatic missions without bringing it to the notice of the Foreign Ministry has been established as a common practice. “Neither our leaders nor the foreign representatives seem to be bothered to follow the code,” Thapa added.

British Ambassador to Nepal Richard Morris and Department for International Development Nepal chief Rurik Marsden, among others, have met Province-5 Chief Minister Shankar Pokharel. Province 3 CM Dormani Poudel on February 21 met Australian Ambassador to Nepal Peter Budd. Asked about the decision, a diplomat said it would be a good move if Nepal, as an independent country, initiates note taking of diplomats’ meeting with officials here. Whoever begins, following the protocol for institutional memory would be welcome.

The constitution authorises the federal government to decide on diplomatic issues.


PM to brief int’l community on Tuesday

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is preparing to brief the international community in Kathmandu on Tuesday on the foreign policy and priorities of his government.

After the report of the European Commission mission that came for election observation in Nepal created ripples, PM Oli has decided to talk to heads of diplomatic missions in Nepal in a lunch meeting at Baluwatar, said Bishnu Rimal, PM’s chief political advisor.

Prime Minister Oli is also expected to assure the international community on the governing left alliance’s full commitment to democracy and human rights and to seek 

cooperation for development and prosperity of the country. (PR)

Published: 24-03-2018 06:42

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