Govt forming expert panel to make comprehensive review of foreign policy

Published On: December 5, 2016 11:34 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 5: The government has initiated a process to form an expert panel comprising of former diplomats and thematic experts to make comprehensive review and update Nepal's foreign policy in the changed context. 

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat said preparations are underway to form the panel to revise the foreign policy of Nepal to suit the interests of the country. 

“The panel comprising of thematic experts from various areas will make comprehensive review and recommend government what kind of foreign policy should Nepal pursue in the coming days. This is expected to provide a framework to all successive governments,” said Minister Mahat. 

Speaking at an interaction at Reporters' Club Nepal in the capital on Monday, Minister Mahat said that the expert panel will be asked to recommend country-specific and sector-specific foreign policy that Nepal needs to adopt as this Himalayan nation now seeks to embark on the path of political stability and economic development. 

“In the changed context, there is a need to make a comprehensive review and revise the traditional foreign policy of our country,” he said. 

The expert panel will be asked to submit its report within a few months' time. Although the names of those in the panel are yet to be confirmed, sources said Shreedhar Khatri, Posh Raj Pandey, Bishwambher Pyakuryal, Balananda Sharma, Kul Chandra Guatam, Madhu Raman Acharya, Dinesh Bhattarai, Geja Sharma Wagle and Mahesh Maskey are among the likely members of the body. 

Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) to be reformed 

Minister Mahat also informed that the government is preparing to bring reforms in the Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) to develop it as a robust foreign policy think tank of the government. 

The minister said the government is making a comprehensive plan to empower the body with additional financial and human resources as the body cannot function properly with the existing infrastructures. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is planning to form a committee to recommend ways to strengthen the body.

The preparation of the government to restructure IFA comes in the wake of this government body remaining almost dysfunctional. The body neither receives adequate funding nor does it have necessary human resources to carry out research works and make recommendations to the government.

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