Foreign policy review panel in final stages of formationThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is in final stages of forming a panel to suggest a new comprehensive foreign policy in changed global, regional and domestic contexts.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is in final stages of forming a panel to suggest a new comprehensive foreign policy in changed global, regional and domestic contexts.
The panel will be given maximum six months to come up with a report that will discuss various international emerging issues before coming up with an agreed text of Nepal’s foreign policy.
At a time when criticism is high due to lack of common and agreed foreign policy text, the new panel will try to give “a national flavour” of foreign policy that will dig on issues on global, regional, political, economic and social aspects and suggest what kind of new policy that the country requires.
A similar panel was formed in 2006 after the then CPN-Maoist agreed to join the mainstream politics. However, the panel’s report could not become relevant due to fast changing global and regional context, officials said.
What the country needs is a new document acceptable to all sides and that which can easily be executed, they added.
The new panel will suggest what kind of relations should Nepal adopt with its immediate neighbours like India and China, with the Saarc countries, relations with multilateral organisations, donor community, economic diplomacy, trade, commerce, security and defence, LDC nations, relations with major powers, labour destination countries and some country specific suggestion that has Nepal’s permanent interest.
To give it a national and creditable texture, the members and ToR of the panel will be finalised and announced by the Cabinet.
Foreign Minister will chair the panel and foreign secretary will be its member secretary, as per the ToR.
According to the sources, former foreign secretary and Nepal’s Ambassador to United Nations, Madhuraman Acharya, and former Nepali Ambassador to UN, Geneva, Shambhu Ram Simkhada, and Prof Sridhar Khatri will be the member of the panel.
The names of security expert Geja Sharma Wagle and former Nepal Army General Pawan Bahadur Pandey have also come up for the panel. Either Simkadha or Wagle will represent the Nepali Congress in the panel.
The main opposition, CPN-UML, has forwarded the names of security expert Dipak Prakash Bhatta, former Nepal Rastra Governor Yubraj Khatiwada and journalist Bishnu Rijal for the panel.
Similarly, Rishi Raj Adhikari, foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, is set to represent the CPN(Maoist Centre).
Mohan Banjade, former Secretary at Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, will represent from law and international law background. Likewise, Prof Bishwambher Pyakuryal or international trade expert Poshraj Pandey are likely to be picked as economist in the panel.
Former minister and secretary, Bidhya Dhar Mallik, is set to represent the Madhes in the panel.
Sources at the MoFA said that Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat was struggling to come up with the picks for the panel to represent women and other fringe parties, including Rastriya Prajatantra Party.