Govt revisiting number of diplomatic missions

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 18, 2018-The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sought reports from all of Nepal’s 30 diplomatic missions on their nature, performance and scope of work for assessing their relevance.

In its policies and programmes and subsequently the annual budget, the government has announced to review the presence of the country’s diplomatic missions. “We’ll undertake a study to see if a mission needs strengthening. Some of them will be trimmed and some relocated,” Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali told reporters at the ministry on Monday.

Officials said Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli wants to weed out unnecessary missions. A serious review of at least nine missions will be made, according to officials. Multiple sources at the Foreign Ministry said Nepali embassies in Canada, Denmark, Spain, Brazil, South Africa, Egypt, Myanmar, Bahrain and Oman will be considered for a drawdown or relocation. There will be some sort of readjustment of the missions, said officials.

The missions have been asked to clarify how they contribute to boosting Nepal’s international relations and economic diplomacy. Based on an assessment of their reports, decisions would be taken to trim, relocate or open missions, said officials. Foreign Minister Gyawali said a huge amount of Nepal’s resources was being used to maintain the embassies in foreign capitals.

Experts contest the idea of revisiting the missions. A report titled “Investing in Diplomacy” prepared by former ambassador Madhu Raman Acharya a few years ago suggested opening more missions.

“I urge our officials to read my report. If any missions are not functioning well, we urge them to produce results but closing down or opening missions haphazardly is not the solution,” he said. “For promoting tourism and attracting investment, we need to open more missions so that our outreach can be broader,” he said.

Published: 18-07-2018 07:27

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