Kathmandu, Dec 29 – The year 2018 was marked by the landmark political transformation in the country. The successful holding of elections of all three tiers of government not only brought the constitution into full operation but also effectively ended the protracted political transition.
The incumbent Government having robust mandate has, expanded its diplomatic outreach to 163 countries across the globe, garnering international support and goodwill for the broader benefit of Nepal.
The visits paid at the level of Head of State and the Head of Government in 2018 were instrumental in highlighting political stability attained through landslide victory and thereby ending the protracted transition to the outer world.
Guided by the Constitutional provisions and taking the national interest in mind, the Government has been consistently pursuing an independent and balanced foreign policy attaching utmost priority to enhance dignity of the nation by safeguarding sovereignty territorial integrity, independence, and promoting economic well being and prosperity of Nepal and contributing to global peace, harmony and security.
Nepal’s policy of ‘amity with all and enmity with none’ has earned tremendous goodwill and respect from the international community the Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was successful in thawing the age-old, multidimensional and extensive friendly relations with India that had been soured post promulgation of constitution in Nepal.
The exchange of visits by the Prime Ministers of Nepal and India within a month was pivotal in enhancing trust and confidence. The high level visits in both nations accelerated implementation process of previous commitments.
Though the Chinese President and Premier could not make a sojourn to Nepal, PM Oli made sincere efforts to further consolidate and expand bilateral relations with northern neighbour. Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun and Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara’s seperate visits further assisted in cementing our bilateral bond of friendship.
Nepal continued to enhance and expand cooperation with countries in the extended neighbourhood, major powers of the world, development partners, labour destination countries and other countries as well as those in special situations including Least Developed Countries, Land Locked Developing Countries.
“Apart from political content, Nepal’s engagement saw major thrust on areas of trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people contacts,” states Bharat Raj Paudyal , Spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs adding , “Our active participation in regional and multilateral affairs has been instrumental in realizing Nepal’s national interest and enhancing the country’s image globally.”
As the Chair of both SAARC and BIMSTEC, Nepal engaged constructively to provide impetus for deeper regional integration and cooperation. The successful conclusion of BIMSTEC was one of the great accomplishments of the year, however, a matter of grave concern that despite Nepal’s best efforts, the stalled 19th SAARC Summit could not take place in Pakistan
On multilateral front, Nepal engaged actively in various norm-setting deliberations within the United Nations. PM Oli’s participation in the 73rd UNGA and subsequent bilateral visit to Costa Rica was uniquely successful in sharing home-grown and nationally-led and owned peace process.
Nepal’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council and election to UN Peace Building Commission has provided Nepal with an opportunity to add values to the work of the UN System and contribution to UN peacekeeping operations as the fifth largest troops contributing country continued to demonstrate Nepal’s strong commitment to the maintenance of international peace and security.
‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’ has been the guiding mantra for the Government of Nepal, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affaires and its Missions abroad in their engagements at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels. Negotiations and engagements with international and regional financial institutions including the World Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank proved to be fruitful in pumping in financial support for the priority projects.
Nepal also saw an unparalleled growth in bilateral engagements at various levels. As a top diplomat of nation, Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali’s visit to the USA, Thailand, Japan, Mongolia, China, India, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Luxemburg, including the parleys at the European Union, NAM Ministerial Meeting and a number of high level incoming and outgoing visits from neighbourhood and beyond have provided further momentum to the growth of our bilateral relations and expansion of cooperative partnership.
Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi’s engagements in the Bilateral Consultation Mechanism Meetings with Canada, the USA, the UK, France, and China further helped in enhancing good will and understanding towards Nepal.
As in the past, conduct of economic diplomacy remained in top priority though no concrete achievement was made owing to limited resources. Promoting Nepal’s tourism prospects, encouraging foreign investments in Nepal, exploring more trading opportunities and facilitating foreign assistance in priority sectors of national economy were the top agenda taken to the international community.