Foreign policy review panel to be formed ‘soon’The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is constituting a panel to comprehensively review Nepal’s current foreign policy and suggest a new one in the changed global, regional and domestic contexts.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is constituting a panel to comprehensively review Nepal’s current foreign policy and suggest a new one in the changed global, regional and domestic contexts.
While the bureaucratic leadership at the ministry has been preparing the terms and references for the proposed panel, Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat is trying to forge a political consensus on making it a common and agreed document for all, according to ministry officials.
As well as experts in the field, the new panel will have representations from major political parties.
With the coalition partners CPN (Maoist Centre) and Nepali Congress apparently agreeing on the names already, Minister Mahat is holding meetings with senior UML leaders to get them on board. According to informed sources, Mahat is planning to have two members from each major parties on the panel.
However, the UML is reluctant to send the names, said sources at the ministry. “We hope the UML will forward the names by Tuesday,” said
Some of the conditions like ToR, secretariat, functional modality, budget and logistics are yet be decided.
At a time when Nepal lacks clear and agreed foreign policy documents, a new text is expected to provide a set of guidelines to the successive governments in the future.
Welcoming the minstry’s move, foreign policy and security expert Geja Sharma Wagle said that an expert panel should be constituted to review and redefine the foreign policy which is appropriate too.
He suggested that the panel look into five aspects—global, regional, political, economic and social—before coming up with a new text. “What we need is a country-specific foreign policy. Besides relations with immediate neighbours, Saarc countries, our new foreign policy goal should also cover relations with multilateral organisations, donors, economic diplomacy, LDCs nations, relations with major powers, labour destination countries,” said Wagle.
Nepal’s current foreign policy is defined and based on UN Charter, non-aligned, Saarc charter and Panchasheel which many considered as very vague.