CIAA instructions for appointment of ambassadors befuddle govtAt a time when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is gearing up to appoint ambassadors at 21 missions abroad, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority and other agencies have issued their own directives, including criteria, for envoy selection, which are likely to put the government in sorts of a fix.
At a time when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is gearing up to appoint ambassadors at 21 missions abroad, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority and other agencies have issued their own directives, including criteria, for envoy selection, which are likely to put the government in sorts of a fix.
Article 282 of the Constitution of Nepal also states that the President will appoint ambassadors on the basis of principle of inclusiveness.
The parliamentary Committee on International Relations and Labour last year had issued directives regarding appointment of ambassadors, to make the process more inclusive.
According to officials at the Prime Minister’s Office and MoFA, both entities are yet to prepare criteria—including allocation of seats—as per the constitutional provision and CIAA and parliamentary Committee on Internati-
onal Relations and Labour directives.
The government’s preparations seem to be quite different from what the constitutional provision says and what CIAA and the parliamentary committee have instructed, as it plans to “distribute” 21 ambassadorial posts between ruling parties and career diplomats.
If the government were to follow constitutional provision and CIAA and House panel directives, it needs to prepare fresh criteria so that it can also choose women and those from unprivileged community, Janajatis and others to make the appointment process inclusive.
Krishna Hari Pushkar, Spokesperson for the CIAA, said that the constitutional body has asked the PMO and MoFA “to abide by certain criteria” while appointing the ambassadors.
“Our concern is people with expertise on migration and labour issues should be appointed as ambassadors in Qatar, Oman, Malaysia and other countries where number of Nepali migrant workers is high,” said Pushkar.
Earlier also, the CIAA had circulated a similar kind of instructions to the PMO and MoFA, but the both the entities are yet to prepare the criteria in line with the CIAA call.
The CIAA has put in place special instructions for the concerned stakeholders to make ambassadorial appointment more fair and dignified, states CIAA’s latest set of instructions to the PMO and MoFA.
But what has been practiced so far is the government divides the number of vacant ambassadorial positions between parties, often called political appointment, and career diplomats.
It is not clear whether the CIAA instructions apply for political appointments only or for both.
“As per the standard practice and international norms, such criteria should not be imposed for appointing career diplomats as ambassadors,” said a MoFA official, calling for appointing ambassadors more from among career diplomats. “We have understood that the CIAA instructions are aimed at setting criteria for political appointees,” said of the official.
Nepali missions in 11 countries are currently headless.