Kathmandu, Nepal, July 12, 2019: The government has made a mandatory provision that all the office bearers and other officials of provincial and local governments have to receive permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), regardless of official or personal, prior to holding meetings with the representatives of foreign governments, diplomatic missions and INGOs.
The directives, which is published in the Nepal Gazette states that the office bearers and other officials of the provincial and local governments must write to the MoFA in advance while giving details about the agenda of their meeting if they wish to hold meetings with foreign governments, missions, representatives and international organizations.
The government has issued such a directive concerning over the rampant meetings with the representatives of foreign governments, diplomatic missions and INGOs. There was a growing tendency of provincial chief ministers and other officials of making visits abroad without informing the federal government.
As per the Constitution of Nepal, the jurisdictions over the country’s foreign policy and foreign engagements rest with the federal government. As per the constitutional provision, the government has made the provision to regulate external contacts of provincial and local government officials rather than intending to limit them, an official of the MoFA said.
As per the directives, the office bearers and other officials of the concerned provincial or local governments would receive permission within 15 days to hold meetings with foreign governments, missions, representatives and international organizations.
However, the directives have not authorized the provincial and local government officials to make any commitment or statement going against the Nepal’s relations with its neighbors and Nepal’s regional and international commitments.
Likewise, the directives have also provisioned that the officials of the provincial and local governments cannot make foreign visits without prior permission from the MoFA.
Similarly, the officials, who engage in the meeting with foreign governments, missions, representatives and international organizations, must be in proper uniform and follow proper diplomatic etiquette. However, the directive has not specified about the so-called proper uniform and proper diplomatic etiquette.