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FOREIGN POLICY OF NEPAL

Objective
The fundamental objective of the foreign policy is to enhance the dignity of Nepal
in the international arena by maintaining the sovereignty, integrity and
independence of the country.

Guiding Principles
the foreign policy of Nepal is guided by the abiding faith in the United Nations
and policy of nonalignment. The basic principles guiding the foreign policy of the
country include:

• Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty;


• Non-interference in each other's internal affairs
• Respect for mutual equality
• Non-aggression and the peaceful settlement of disputes
• Cooperation for mutual benefit

The foreign policy of Nepal is also guided by the international law and other
universally recognized norms governing international relations. The value of
world peace also constitutes a significant element guiding the foreign policy of
the country.

Constitutional Provisions on Foreign Policy


The Directive principle and the State Policy of the Interim Constitution of Nepal
(2007) identify the cardinal principles, parameters, and general directions of
Nepal's foreign policy. They are:

Directive Principle

• The state, in its international relations shall be guided by the objective of


enhancing the dignity of the nation in the international arena by maintaining
the sovereignty, integrity, and independence of the country (Clause 34.6 ).

State Policy

• The Foreign Policy of Nepal shall be guided by the principles of the United
Nations Charter, the Panchahseel, International law and the value of world
peace (Clause 35.21).
• The state shall pursue a policy of making continuous efforts to
institutionalize peace in Nepal through international recognition by promoting
co-operative and cordial relations in the economic, social and other spheres
on the basis of equality with neighboring and all countries of the world (Clause
35.22).

Policy
In accordance with the overriding objective and the fundamental principles
guiding the foreign policy of the country Nepal has been pursuing a policy of
making continuous efforts to institutionalize peace by promoting cooperative and
good relations in the economic, social and other spheres on the basis of equality
with neighbouring and all other countries of the world. Being desirous of
promoting cordial relations and cooperation with other countries, Nepal has
established Diplomatic Relations with 128 countries in the world. It is an active
member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the United Nations (see Nepal and the
UN), its Specialised Agencies as well as other International Organizations, and a
founding member of and active player in the South Asian Association for
Regional Cooperation (visit Nepal and the SAARC).

NEPAL-CHINA RELATIONS

1. Political Relations
Nepal-China relations have always remained good and cordial. These relations
have been marked by friendliness, mutual support and understanding and
appreciation of each other's aspirations and sensitivities. Our two countries are
abiding by the ideals of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. The history
of our relations could be traced back to the 5th century when sages and saints
engaged themselves in visiting far and wide in the pursuit of knowledge and
peace. The marriage of Bhrikuti to the Tibetan King, Song Sang Gampo, in the
7th century and the White Pagoda temple in Beijing constructed under the
guidance of Nepalese architect, Araniko have, inter alia, provided testimony to
the historical relations between Nepal and China. Nepal and the People's
Republic of China established diplomatic relations on 1 August 1955.

Nepal and China share a long border, spanning a range of about 1414
Kilometres. The two Governments resolved border issue amicably in 1961, and
have been conducting joint inspection of the border at regular intervals.

Nepal and China are supporting each other in many international forums,
including the United Nations. Nepal has always been upholding 'One China'
principle and is committed not to allow Nepalese territory to be used against
China's interests. Government, in a press release issued on 16 March 2005,
unequivocally supported the Anti-secession Legislation enacted by the National
People's Congress on 14 March 2005. At the same time, Nepal has also
appreciated 'one country two systems' principle as enunciated by China and
applied successfully in Hong Kong and Macao in the form of special
administrative regions.
Exchange of bilateral visits including at the highest level has immensely
contributed to further nurturing Nepal-China bilateral relations. Their Majesties
the King and Queen paid a State Visit to China in July 2002 and had cordial
meetings with the Chinese leaders. Their Majesties King Gyanendra Bir Bikram
Shah Dev and Queen Komal Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah visited Boao in Hainan
Province of the People's Republic of China from 23 to 26 April 2005 in
connection with the participation in the 2005 Annual Conference of the Boao
Forum for Asia. On the occasion, His Majesty, on behalf of the Nepalese people,
handed over a Buddha Statue to the Boao Buddhist Temple constructed in Boao.
Their Royal Highnesses the Crown Prince and Crown Princess paid an official
visit to China in August 2004.

Similarly, the visits to Nepal paid by Chinese President, H. E. Mr. Jiang Zemin, in
1996 and also by Premier H. E. Mr. Zhu Rongji in May 2001 have been
significant in enhancing good-neighbourly relations between the two countries.
The official visit by H. E. Mr. Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the Chinese People's
Political Consultative Conference in December 2003 has added to strengthening
these relations.

Chinese Foreign Minister, H. E. Mr. Li Zhaoxing, visited Nepal from 31 March to


01 April at the invitation of Foreign Minister, Hon. Ramesh Nath Pandey.

Apart from these visits, there have been a number of exchanges of visits to and
from Nepal at various levels, contributing immensely to further promoting the
understanding between the two countries.

2. Economic Relations
China has been assisting Nepal in its efforts for socio-economic development
since mid-50s. The first 'Agreement between China and Nepal on Economic Aid'
(20 million Indian Rupees in cash and 40 million rupees for aided projects) was
signed in October 1956. Ever since, China has been providing financial and
technical assistance to Nepal, which has greatly contributed to Nepal's
development especially in infrastructure building, establishment of industries,
human resource development, health, sports, etc.

In the early years, Chinese assistance was pledged in terms of projects and no
financial involvement therein was mentioned. From mid-90s, the Chinese
Government has been pledging grant assistance to Government under the
Economic and Technical Cooperation programme in order to implement mutually
acceptable development projects. The volume of such assistance is to the tune
of 80 million Yuan every year. Following is the list of such assistance.
Financial and Technical Assistance

Amount Equivalent
Date of
S.N. Cmmitted (In million
Agreement
(in million RMB) NRs.)
1. July 20, 1994 60 340
2. April 18, 1995 80 475
3. April 18, 1996 80 475
4. December 4, 1996 80 560
5. April 17, 1998 30 240
6. October 16, 1998 50 425
7. December 30 1999 80 679
8. February 16, 2000 30 254.6
9. August 24, 2000 50 436
10. May 12, 2001 80 750
11. July 10, 2002 80 750
12. December 3, 2003 80 750
13. August 16, 2004 50 415
Total: 830 Million

Nepal and China have established Inter-Governmental Economic and Trade


Committee (IGETC) in October 1982. The IGETC meetings have become the
main forum for discussions on Nepal-China bilateral economic and technical
cooperation. The IGETC meetings focus on economic and technical assistance,
bilateral trade and tourism.

China Aided Projects in Nepal (Completed):

A. Road and Transport


I. Arniko Highway (104 Km)
II. Arniko Highway (Rehabilitation)
III. Kathmandu Bhaktapur Road (13 Km)
IV. Prithvi Highway and Surface Pitch Paving (174 Km)
V. Narayanghat-Mugling Road (36 Km)
VI. Gorkha Narayanghat Road
VII. Kajhuwa-Gorkha-Road (24 Km)
VIII. Kathmandu-Bhaktapur Trolly Bus (14 Km)
IX. Kathmandu Ring Road (27.2 Km)
X. Pokhara-Baglung Road (65 Km)
XI. Seti River Bridge at Pokhara

B. Industries
I. Bansbari Leather and Shoes Factory
II. Hetauda Cotton Textile Mills
III. Harisidhi Brick Factory
IV. Bhaktapur Brick Factory
V. Industrial Gloves and Apron Manufacturing at Bansbari
VI. Bhrikuti Paper Mills
VII. Lumbini Sugar Mills

C. Water Resources
I. Sunkoshi Hydroelectricity Plant
II. Pokhara Water Conservancy and Irrigation Project (Multipurpose)
III. Sunkoshi Vicinity Electricity Transmission Project
IV. Sunkoshi-Kathmandu Electricity Line Transmission Project

D. Health
I. B.P. Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital, Bharatpur

E. Sports
I. Sports Complex at Kathmandu and Lalitpur
II. Construction of Sports Facilities for the 8th South Asian Federation Games in
1999
III. Repair of Lighting System in the Sports Complex (April 2005)

F. Other Construction
I. National Trading Complex
II. Warehouse at Kathmandu and Birgunj
III. City Hall in Kathmandu
IV. Birendra International Convention Centre
V. Consolidating Seti River Bridge in Pokhara
VI. A three-month arch bridge training course for 15 Nepalese engineers
VII. Pokhara Sedimentation Pond
VIII. Provision for the Television Truck for NTV
IX. Mobile X-Ray Machine for Birgunj Dryport Customs Office

Ongoing China-aided Projects:

a. Syafrubesi-Rasuagadhi Road
b. Civil Service Hospital
c. Polytechnic Institute in Banepa
d. Nepal Television Metro Channel Station Expansion and Improvement.

During the official visit to China by HRH the Crown Prince in August 2004,
Government of Nepal/N and the Chinese Government exchanged Letters on the
following projects:

a. Installation of Optical Fibre along the Araniko Highway


b. National Ayurvedic Research and Training Institute
c. An Outer Ring Road in the Kathmandu Valley

In addition, the Chinese Government has also agreed to send a team for the
feasibility study of the Conservation Research Centre for King Mahendra Trust
for Nature Conservation. Government of Nepal/N and the Chinese Government
have exchanged letters on this matter during the official visit of the Chinese
Foreign Minister H. E. Mr. Li Zhaoxing to Nepal from 31 March to 01 April 2005.

3. Education and Culture

Scholarship:
Government of Nepal appreciates the Chinese assistance in the field of
education. China has been providing 100 scholarships annually to Nepalese
students to study in China. In this way, China has been assisting Nepal to meet
the ever-increasing demand for technical manpower in the country. It has also
contributed to promoting understanding and appreciation of each other's culture
and tradition.

Cultural Cooperation:
Nepal and China have concluded an MoU on cultural cooperation in 1995.
Various activities have taken place since. Cultural programmes have been
organised in each other's territories; and visits have been exchanged. For
example, China had also organised a cultural fair in Kathmandu in 2003.
Similarly, the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu, in association with Cultural Net,
organised China Festival in Kathmandu from 1 to 7 June 2005 on the occasion of
the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Chinese
Acrobatic Show was organised among other various activities. Additionally, a
cultural troupe of 20 artistes from Guangdong Province of PRC visited Nepal and
presented cultural programmes in Kathmandu and Pokhara, coinciding with the
59th auspicious birthday of His Majesty the King.
4. Nepal-China Trade
The volume of Nepal-China trade is increasing every year. Nepal's trade with
China is largely conducted through Tibet and Hong Kong. The volume of Nepal-
China trade is given below.

Nepal-China Trade

Rs. in thousand
Fiscal Year Export Import
1253006
1999/2000 514276
2
1157387
2000/2001 528012
0
2001/2002 1040075 8744459
2002/2003 1631050 9098978
2003/2004 2348150 9299902
Source: FNCCI

The following six points along the Nepal-China border have been opened for
overland trade:

Kodari-Nyalam; Rasua-Kerung; Yari (Humla)-Purang; Olangchunggola-Riyo;


Kimathanka-Riwo; Nechung (Mustang)-Legze

5. Investment:
Chinese investment in Nepal is growing, and has potential to further growth.
Chinese investors are found interested in making investment in hotels and
restaurants, electronics, radio paging services, readymade garments (pashmina),
nursing home, hydropower, civil construction, etc. As of Baishakh 2060, there
were 25 industries operating under Chinese investment, 6 under construction
and 13 licensed. Improved law and order situation in the country and enhanced
publicity in China could further increase Chinese investment in Nepal. FNCCI,
especially under the framework of Nepal-China Non-Governmental Cooperation
Forum, is also working towards attracting Chinese investment.

6. Tourism
The Government of the People?s Republic of China has designated Nepal as
one of the tourist destinations for its people. At the same time, Nepal has made
the following arrangements to attract tourists from China:
• Chinese Yuan has been made convertible for tourists and businessmen

• Government of Nepal has waived visa fee for Chinese tourists

• Nepal's Tourism Ministry and TAR Government have formed a joint


committee to promote tourism
In addition, following agreement between Nepal and China, direct bus service
between Kathmandu and Lhasa has been in operation since 1 May 2005, which
will contribute to tourism promotion. Nepal and China have also signed Air
Services Agreement and an MoU in August 2003.

7. Fiftieth Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations


The year 2005 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic
relations between the Kingdom of Nepal and the People's Republic of China. The
important occasion is being celebrated by both sides by organising various
programmes. Government of Nepal has constituted a high-level Committee
under the Chairmanship of the Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ramesh
Nath Pandey, to plan, organize and coordinate programmes on the occasion.
Some of the programmes shall be organized jointly with the Chinese side and
some shall be organized by Government of Nepal/N. China-related organisations
in Nepal, too, are preparing and organising programmes.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic


relations, His Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and H. E. Mr. Hu
Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China, exchanged congratulatory
messages on 01 August 2005. In the messages, His Majesty the King and H. E.
the President highlighted, and expressed satisfaction at, the achievements made
in promoting Nepal-China understanding and cooperation. Similarly, Hon.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ramesh Nath Pandey, and H. E. Mr. Li Zhaoxing,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, exchanged
congratulatory messages. In their messages, the Foreign Ministers expressed
satisfaction at the expansion and consolidation of Nepal-China relations in the
last 50 years.

8. Nepal-China Non-Governmental Cooperation Forum


Nepal and China have established the Nepal-China Non-Governmental
Cooperation Forum in 1996. The Forum has been meeting regularly. The eighth
meeting of the Forum was held in Sanya, Hainan Province, from 12 to 13
January 2005. The Forum is being led by FNCCI from the Nepalese side and All
China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) from the Chinese side.

9. Ongoing Activities:
The Third Joint Inspection of Nepal China Border

As per the Border Agreement between Government of Nepal and the


Government of the People's Republic of China, the border between the two
countries has to be jointly inspected every ten years. Accordingly, the first and
the second inspections had taken place in 1979 and 1988 respectively. The
process for the Third Joint Inspection has been initiated.

The two Governments have set up a Joint Inspection Committee and agreed to
set up Joint Inspection Teams as necessary. The Joint Inspection Teams are
expected to begin field-work in the summer of 2006 and complete the work by
the end of the year.

NEPAL-INDIA RELATIONS

Nepal and India are bound together by age-old ties of history, culture, tradition
and religion. Our relations are deep and extensive pervading many aspects of
our life. There are time-honoured traditions and socio-cultural ethos common to
both our peoples. A firm commitment to the principle of peaceful coexistence and
sovereign equality of the states has characterized our relations. Both our
countries share commonality of approach in many outstanding international
issues. With the establishment of SAARC, some more areas have been added
for self-reliance within the region. Our main thrust now has been to strengthen
and broaden our neighbourly relations based on mutual understanding of each
other's aspirations and interests.

A. Exchange of Visits
The exchange of visits by the leaders of the two countries at different levels have
helped to bring the peoples of our two countries much closer. The visits at the
apex-level have served to place Nepal's age-old and multi-dimensional relations
of friendship and cooperation with India on a more mature and pragmatic footing.

During the interim Government period, Prime Minister Mr. K.P. Bhattarai visited
India from 8 to 10 June 1990 at the invitation of Prime Minister V. P. Singh of
India. The Joint Communiqu 頩 ssued at the end of this visit reaffirmed the two
0Governments' adherence to and respect for the principles of sovereign equality,
territorial integrity, national independence, non-use of force, non-interference in
each other's internal affairs and peaceful settlement of all disputes. During the
visit, the impasse on Nepal-India trade and transit was broken by restoring the
status quo ante before the expiry of the relevant treaties.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala paid an official visit to India from 5 to 10
December 1991 at the invitation of Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao. A new
Indo-Nepal Treaty of Trade, valid for five years and renewable, was concluded.
Likewise, a separate Treaty of Transit valid for 7 years was also signed on that
occasion.
Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikari paid an official visit to India at the invitation
of Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao from 10 to 14 April 1995. During the visit
the two Prime Ministers held extensive talks on wide ranging issues existing
between Nepal and India.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba paid an official goodwill visit to India from 11
to 17 February 1996 at the invitation of Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao.
During the visit the two Prime Ministers signed a landmark and historic treaty
concerning Integrated Development of the Mahakali River.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala paid an official goodwill visit to India from 31
July to 6 August 2000 at the friendly invitation of Prime Minister Atal Behari
Vajpayee. The visit helped to clear the atmosphere and restore the relations of
the two countries which were adversely affected in the wake of events such as
the hijacking of IC 814, the Rhitik Roshan incident etc.

Their Majesties King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and Queen Komal Rajya
Laxmi Devi Shah paid a State Visit to India at the invitation of President K. R.
Narayanan in June 2002. This was the first visit abroad by Their Majesties since
accession to the throne in June 2001.

The Visit of Their Majesties the King and Queen to India in March 2003 gave a
further fillip to our quest for greater mutual understanding and consolidation of
bilateral relations.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba paid an official goodwill visit to India from 20
to 25 March 2002, for the second time in six years. During the visit, India has
greed to undertake a feasibility study of the East West Railway in Nepal and to
extend cooperation in establishing a Technology Institute in the Far Western
Development Region of Nepal.

Prime Minster Sher Bahadur Deuba paid an official working visit to India from
September 8 to 12, 2004 at the invitation of Prime Minister of India Dr.
Manmohan Singh.

During the corresponding period, quite a number of visits have taken place from
the Indian side also.

The President of India H.E. Mr. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy paid an official visit to
Nepal in 1981. President Giani Zail Singh visited Nepal in July 1986. Mr. K. R.
Narayanan, President of India and Madame Narayanan paid a State Visit to
Nepal from 28 to 30 May 1998. The President of India addressed a meeting of
the Nepal Council of World Affairs and was awarded an honorary degree of
Doctor of Literature by the Tribhuvan University. The President was given a civic
reception and met with intellectuals and eminent persons of Nepal. The
President's visit was characterized as vision-setting visit to a friendly neighbour
by the Indian side and is taken to have served its purpose of not only
consolidating the existing friendship between the two countries but also in putting
forward a vision of a more mature and mutually beneficial relations in the years
ahead.

The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Chandra Shekhar visited Nepal on 13-15
February 1991. During this visit, the two Prime Ministers agreed, inter alia, to
form a High-level Task Force for the purpose of preparing a program of
cooperation between the two countries under the umbrella of Nepal-India Joint
Commission.

Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao paid an official goodwill visit to Nepal from
19 to 21 October 1992 at the invitation of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala.
The B. P. Koirala Nepal-India Foundation was inaugurated by the two Prime
Ministers on 21 October 1992. The Foundation provides an institutional
framework for promoting academic, cultural and technical exchanges and
cooperation between India and Nepal, the specific thrust areas being agricultural
research, science and technology, health, technical training, developmental and
area studies and women's studies. The activities funded by the BPKIF are
financed through revenues/interests generated from a Trust Fund which has
been set up principally through grants made available by the governments of the
two countries. Both the secretariats maintain the Trust Fund contributed by their
respective Governments. Currently Government of Nepal has contributed IRs.3
corore for the Trust Fund and GOI has contributed IRs. 8 corore. The Foundation
also accepts unconditional grants from other agencies, both public and private.
Its focus is on higher studies, research, in-service training of teachers, research
scholars, technocrats etc. During the visit, the two countries had also reached
understandings for accelerating joint ventures and investigating and preparing
reports on a number of projects on flood protection, power exchange, water
resources etc.

Prime Minister I. K. Gujral visited Nepal from 5 to 7 June 1997. Prime Minister
Lokendra Bahadur Chand and Prime Minster I. K. Gujral held extensive
discussions on all aspects of bilateral relations and the status of Nepal-India
cooperation was also reviewed in detail. The Joint Press Statement issued at the
end of the visit set a time bound calendar for examination and discussion of all
major issues of bilateral interests including the opening of the Kakarbhitta-
Phulbari-Banglaband transit route.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee visited Kathmandu in January 2002 to


attend the 11th SAARC Summit meeting. Other Important Visits

a. Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mr. B. Shankarananda paid
an official visit to Nepal from 18-20 October 1994. During the visit he
attended the foundation laying ceremony of Academy and 350 Bed
Hospital Complex of the B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Science in Dharan
to be constructed jointly by the governments of the two countries.
b. India's then Minister for External Affairs Mr. Pranab Mukharjee paid a 3
day official goodwill visit to Nepal from January 26 to 29, 1996. During his
visit, extensive discussions were held regarding the development
Mahakali river including Tanakpur issues between the high officials of the
two Governments. And the two Foreign Ministers initialed a treaty for the
'Integrated Development of Mahakali River including Pancheswor and
Sarada Barrage'.

c. Foreign Minister Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohani paid an official visit to India
in August 1996. The major highlight of the visit was the agreement to set
up a Joint Working Group to evolve modalities to monitor movement
across the Nepal-India border.

d. Foreign Minster Mr. Kamal Thapa visited India from 10-14 September
1997 and held extensive discussion on all issues of bilateral interest with
Prime Minister Gujral. At the meeting with Prime Minister Gujral as well as
at the official meeting at the Ministry of External Affairs, Foreign Minister
Thapa put forward Nepal's proposal for a new Treaty of Friendship and
Cooperation with India that would reflect the present realities while
ensuring continuation of the traditional bonds of friendship and
cooperation between Nepal and India.

e. Indian Minister for Commerce Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde paid an official visit
to Nepal from January 5-6, 1999. During the visit the renewed and
modified Treaty of Transit was signed on 5 January 1999 in Kathmandu by
Commerce Ministers Mr. Purna Bahadur Khadka and Mr. Ramakrishna
Hegde.

f. Foreign Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat paid a consultation visit to India
from 17-19 August 1999 in connection with the 11th SAARC summit which
was scheduled to be held in Kathmandu in November 1999.

g. Foreign Minister Chakra Prasad Bastola paid an official visit to India on 7-


10 May 2000, at a time when Nepal-India relations were marked by mutual
suspicion in the wake of IC 814 hijacking and the Rhitik Roshan incident.
The visit helped to clear the air in bilateral relations.

h. After the Royal Palace incident of 1 June 2001, Indian External Affairs
Minister Mr. Jaswant Singh came on a goodwill visit to Nepal on 18-19
August 2001.

i. Indian External Affairs Minister Mr. K Natwar Singh paid an official visit to
Nepal in June 2004 as the first of his foreign visit after the UPA
Government took over the helm of the Government in India.

j. Nepalese Foreign Affairs Ramesh Nath Pandey paid working visit to India
from March 7 to 9, 2005.
k. Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Mr. Rao Inderjit Singh visited
Nepal from July 21 to 23, 2005 in connection with garnering support of
Nepal on India's bid for permanent seat in the expanded UN Security
Council. This was the first high-level visit to Nepal from India after the
February 1, 2005.

B. Nepal-India Cooperation:
India has been extending cooperation to Nepal in diverse areas for more than
fifty years. Following is a glimpse of the on-going Indian aided projects as well as
those decided to be taken up by the Government of India after the 5th meeting of
the High Level Task Force (HLTF). The HLTF periodically meets to identify and
prioritize such cooperation projects. The 5th meeting of the HLTF was held in
Kathmandu from 5-7 June 2000. The Chief Secretary of Nepal and Principal
Secretary to the Prime Minister of India lead the respective delegations to the
HLTF.

1. BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan:


It was established on 8 January 1998 under a bilateral agreement
between Nepal and India. Since then, consecutive batches of MBBS
courses are being conducted smoothly. The Institute has also started the
B. Sc. Nursing course. The Government of India handed over the BPKIHS
to Nepal during the visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Mr. Jaswant
Singh to Nepal in September 1999. During the fifth HLTF meeting held in
Kathmandu on 5-7 June 2000, the Indian side confirmed that the
cooperation of the Government of India would continue, including the
faculty support to the BPKIHS, up to the year 2009.

2. Bir Hospital Expansion Project:


Prime Minister I.K. Gujral laid the foundation stone of Trauma and
Emergency Centre during his visit to Nepal in June 1997. An expert team
from India visited Kathmandu and held discussions with the concerned
Nepalese authorities on 1-3 June 2000 on the preparation of the Detailed
Project Report of the proposed Emergency and Trauma Centre. Another
expert level meeting was held in Kathmandu on 5-6 October 2001. A MOU
on this project has been signed between the two countries and DPR of the
same has been completed. The construction works of the project was to
be started from the beginning of October 2004 and completed by 2007.

3. Paropakar Indra Rajya Laxmi Maternity Hospital:


The work on the setting up of the Maternal and Neo-Natal Intensive Care
Units at Paropakar Indra Rajya Laxmi Maternity Hospital including training
of the personnel has been completed and the GOI has agreed to continue
its association with this hospital.

4. Construction of 22 bridges on Kohalpur-Mahakali Highway Sector:


The construction work of the 22 bridges on Kohalpur-Mahakali Highway
sector under Indian cooperation has been completed and already handed
over to Nepal in 2001.

5. Raxaul-Sirsiya Broad-Gauge Rail Link Project:


The Construction of Inland Clearance Depot (ICD) at Sirsiya, Birgunj, in
cooperation with the World Bank, under 'Nepal Multimodal Transit and
Trade Facilitation Project', has already been completed. A 5.3 km. rail line
from Raxaul to Sirsiya (ICD) has also been laid under Indian cooperation.
Nepal and India have concluded Rail Services Agreement on May 21,
2004 for the operation of the ICD Birgunj. Accordingly, the ICD has been
operated since July 16, 2004 for the third country transit traffic. Bilateral
cargo trade has also been operationalized from ICD Birgunj since March
2006.

6. Greater Janakpur Development Project:


Yatri Niwas: A traveler's rest house (Yatri Niwas) was constructed at a
cost of Rs.10 million. The facility was handed over to the Greater
Janakpur Development Project after its completion.

7. (a) Rangeli-Bhadrapur Road, (b) Chatara-Birpur Road, and (c)


Janakpur Outer Ring Road

A consultant would be appointed to draw up a plan of action and assess


the viability of the development of infrastructure, including transportation
and communication links at the adjoining border districts - the Bhadrapur-
Rangeli-Biratnagar Road, Birpur-Chatara road, and the Janakpur outer
ring road, subject to the availability of resources.

8. Mahendranagar-Tanakpur Link Road Project:


The DPR of the project has been finalized. Land acquisition by the
Government of Nepal is in progress. Discussions on the draft Letter of
Exchange were held in Kathmandu in April 2002, and it is now in the
process of being finalized. The construction work would start after the
Letter of Exchange is signed between the two Governments.

9. Embankments along Bagmati, Kamala, Khando and Lal Bakaiya


Rivers:
The construction work on the extension of the right embankment on the
Lalbakaiya river in Nepal has commenced and that the construction of
embankments on Kamala, Bagmati and Khando rivers would be finalized
thereafter. It was agreed that the proposed Nepal-India Task Force on
Flood Control and Flood Forecasting would be constituted shortly to
review cooperation in this area and recommend short term and long term
measures. The first meeting of the Nepal-India Committee on Flood
Forecasting was held in New Delhi on 26-27 April 2001. The Committee
held its second meeting in Kathmandu from 6 to 8 May 2002.
10. Implementation of the provisions of the Treaty on Integrated
Development of the Mahakali Treaty:
So far, 18 meetings of the Joint Expert Group have been held for the
purpose of preparing Detailed Project Report of the Pancheswor
Multipurpose Project. The DPR is being prepared. The JEG is scheduled
to meet soon in Kathmandu.

11. Cooperation under the Umbrella Agreement


As per the agreement signed between the two governments on 7
November 2003, the Government of India has been providing financial
assistance for the implementation of more than 60 small development
projects in different parts of the country. Such development projects range
from construction of school building to provision of ambulance to the
hospitals to implementation of drinking water projects.

Proposals put forward at the Fifth HLTF Meeting (June 5-7, 2000):
1. Infrastructure Development:
To improve the physical facilities and infrastructure development at
important border crossings - Birgung/Raxaul, Bhairahawa/Sunauli and
Biratnagar/Jogbani, a consultant would be appointed shortly to prepare a
blue print in consultation with the concerned authorities of two
Governments. The Government of India has appointed M/s RITES as
consultant for undertaking a study on this project.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nepal and India has


been signed in Kathmandu on August 3, 2005 to provide technical and
financial support for the development of infrastructures at four border
check points (Biratnagar, Birgunj, Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj) along
Nepal-India border. Infrastructure development at these points includes
link roads, administrative blocks for custom offices, laboratories, staff
quarters, security posts, quarantine check posts and other facilities. It is
estimated that Rs. 5060 million will be required for the development of
infrastructures in these four border points.

The Government of India has supplied 2 diesel engines and 12 coaches


for the narrow-gauge Janakpur-Jayanagar Railway. The request to
convert the narrow-gauge railway to broad gauge is still pending. At the
fifth HLTF meeting, India has agreed to see its economic viability for the
conversion of the Janakpur-Jayanagar Railway and extension of Janakpur
broad-gauge Rail Route to Bardibas.

2. Pilot Projects in Nepal:


Nepal and India agreed to launch jointly developed pilot projects in Nepal
in the field of rural and community development. Two districts - Doti and
Nawalparasi - have been selected. The National Planning Commission is
handling the matter.

3. Run-of-the-river Hydropower project:


India has proposed to jointly set up a small/medium sized run-of-the-river
hydropower project during the fifth HLTF meeting. An Indian team visited
Nepal in February 2001 and held preliminary discussions with the
Nepalese authorities in this regard. The two sides are yet to moot the
projects.

4. Dairy Development:
The Indian side has agreed to cooperate in developing dairy industry in
Nepal with the involvement of the National Dairy Development Boards of
Nepal and India.

5. Technology Institute
India has agreed to extend cooperation in establishing a technology
institute at the Far Western Development Region of Nepal. Both sides are
yet to identify the appropriate location of the proposed institute.

6. East-West Railway Project:


Indian has agreed to undertake a feasibility study of the East West
Railway project. The project is still at the inception phase. Detailed studies
and preparation of the feasibility studies is yet to be done.

7. East West Highway Optical Fibre Project


India provided grant assistance for the laying of optical fiber cable network
and its associated technical structures along the East West Highway in
accordance with the technical scope and specifications as mutually
agreed. First phase of the project has been completed with laying of
optical-fiber from Jhapa to Kohalpur section of east-west highway and has
already been inaugurated in 2005. Nepal has asked India to consider
support for the second phase of the project to connect the network in the
remaining section of the east west highway.

During the official visit of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala to India in August
2000, the recommendations of the HLTF were endorsed and directions given to
expeditiously implement the following new projects:
• improving infrastructure and physical facilities at important border customs
stations;
• development of infrastructure including transportation and
communications links in the adjoining districts of Nepal and India;
• launching a rural and community development pilot project;
• setting up a small/medium hydropower project in Nepal;
• setting up an EPZ near the ICD in Birgunj;
• cooperation in dairy development, and
• cooperation in establishing a Technology Institute in Nepal with
information technology as one of its key components.

During Prime Minster Sher Bahadur Deuba's official working visit to India from
September 8 to 12, 2004, the following agreements were concluded:

•Agreement between Nepal Oil Corporation and Indian Oil Corporation


was reached for a joint venture regarding construction of an oil pipeline
between Amlekhgunj (Nepal) and Raxual (India).
• Agreement between Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology and
Bureau of Indian Standards,
• Agreement on Cooperation in the fields of Culture and Sports,
• Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Weather
Forecasting,

Also, the Government of India agreed to consider the ulitization of Jawahar Lal
Nehru Port in Mumbai for Nepal's use of its transit cargo.

During the visit, directions were given to expeditiously complete the following
projects and welcomed the following new proposals:
• completing the remaining mandated tasks of Joint Technical Level
Boundary Committee by June 2005.
• the proposed Institute of Technology in the Far-Western Region of Nepal
• projects on Pancheshwar and Upper Karnali and preparation of the DPR
of Budhi Gandaki project

New Proposals

• cooperation for development of road network in the Terai, including the


development of identified stretches of Hulaki Rajmarg.
• cooperation for conservation and development of Churia range in Nepal
• establishment of the Joint Project Office for Sapta Koshi Multipurpose
Project and Sun Koshi Storage cum Diversion Scheme.

Government of India has expressed its support to the reinstatement of the House
of Representatives on April 24, 2006 and the handing over of political power to
the representatives of the people of Nepal. In a statement issued on 25 April
2006, the Government of India stated that "as a close friend and neighbour, India
has all along stood by the people of Nepal in their unrelenting struggle for the
restoration of their democratic rights. We are ready to render unstinted support to
the people of Nepal in whatever manner they wish...".
India has recently released about Nrs. 1.2 billion to Nepal under the DRP
scheme that it had withhold since June 2005 and, expressed willingness to
extend assistance as per the need and wish of the Nepalese Government.

NEPAL-UNITED STATES OF AMERICA RELATIONS

Historical Background
The relations between Nepal and the United States of America (USA) date back
to the fag end of the Rana regime. The USA is the second country after the
United Kingdom with which Nepal entered into diplomatic relations on 25 April
1947. In 1953 the relations between the two countries were upgraded to
Ambassadorial level. General Shanker Shumsher, Royal Nepalese Ambassador
resident in London presented his Letters of Credence as the first Royal Nepalese
Ambassador to the United State on February 24, 1953, while Mr. Chester
Bowles, Ambassador of the USA resident in New Delhi became the first
American Ambassador to Nepal. Mr. Bowles presented his Letters of Credence
to His Majesty the King on February 16, 1952.

Nepal established its Embassy in Washington D.C. on 3 February 1958. Mr.


Rishikesh Shah became the first resident Royal Nepalese Ambassador to the
USA. Mr. Shah presented his Letter of Credence on October 27, 1958. The US
government opened its Embassy in Kathmandu on 6 August 1959. H.E. Mr.
Henry E. Stebbins was the first resident US Ambassador to Nepal. Mr. Stebbins
presented his Letter of Credence on November 25, 1959.

Over the period of time the relations between the two countries have been
widened, diversified and deepened. Growing cooperation, high level visits to and
from both countries, and exchange and sharing of views on various issues of
mutual concern at bilateral, regional and international levels have further
strengthened to our mutual satisfaction. US assistance in development
endeavours of Nepal has been instrumental. The American development
assistance is concentrated on the sectors of education, health, environment and
agriculture. US assistance also comes through other Non-Governmental
Organisations for the development activities of Nepal. The social service of the
Peace Corps Volunteers in the remote parts of Nepal is instrumental to enhance
people-to- people contacts and understanding.

Exchange of Visits
Exchange of high level visits has significantly contributed to strengthen the
Nepal-US relations.

Important visit to Nepal from the US side


• US First Lady Hillary R. Clinton and Chelsea Clinton visited Nepal in 1995.

• US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, Mr. Karl Indurfurth
visited Nepal from 9 to10 September 1997.
• US Senator Charles Robb visited Nepal on Nov 27, 1997 and called on
the then Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa. During this visit, Senator Robb
also met Chief of Army Staff Gen. Dharmapal Bar Singh Thapa.

• Senator Thomas A. Dachle, Minority Leader of the US Senate visited


Nepal from 12 to13 January 2000 leading a delegation of Senators.

• Senator Thomas A. Brownback, Chairman of the South Asian


Subcommittee paid a visit to Nepal in January 2000 and discussed regional
situation as well as bilateral relations. Likewise Commander of the US Pacific
Command participated in the Multi-platoon training event organized by the Royal
Nepal Army at Panchkhal in January 2000.

• US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Mr. Karl F.


Inderfurth and US Assistant Secretary of State for Refugees and Migration Ms.
Julia V. Taft paid a visit to Nepal from November 30 to December 3, 2000. The
Assistant Secretaries paid a courtesy call on the then Prime Minister and the
then Foreign Minister. On those occasions, issues of bilateral interests and
regional and international situation were discussed.

• Mr. Alan W. Eastham, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian
Affairs, visited Nepal in April 2001 and held discussions with high-level officials of
Government of Nepal on bilateral relations.

• The US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Mrs. Christina
B. Rocca paid a visit to Nepal at the end of July 2001 and held discussions with
high-ranking officials of Government of Nepal. She was granted an audience by
His Majesty the King. She also paid a courtesy call on the then Prime Minister
Sher Bahadur Deuba. She also visited Nepal in January 2000, December 2002,
December 2003, and May 2005.

• The US Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs
Mr. Donald Camp paid a visit to Nepal in December 2001 and October 2002. In
the capacity of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and
Central Asian Affairs of the State Department Mr. Camp visited Nepal from
October 7 to 9, 2004, June 26 -28, 2005 and March 8-9, 2006.

• U.S. Secretary of State Gen. Colin L. Powell paid an Official Visit to Nepal
from 18 to 19 January 2002. He was accompanied by Mr. Alan Larson, Under
Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Mr. Richard Boucher, Assistant
Secretary of State for Public Affairs, Ms. Christina B. Rocca, Assistant Secretary
of State for South Asia and Vice Admiral Walter Doran, Assistant to the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Secretary of State had an audience
with His Majesty the King. He held official talks with the then Prime Minister and
Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba. He also had a meeting with
the then Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Prajwolla Shumshere J. B. Rana. During
the meetings both sides reviewed the status of bilateral relations and ways of
further strengthening and expanding the friendly ties between the two countries.
The two sides exchanged views on economic cooperation, commercial
interaction, and contacts as well as current trends on international relations.

• Ms. Michael Sisson, Principal Deputy Assistant For South Asia Bureau,
US Department of State visited Nepal in February, 2004 and had a meeting with
Dr. Bhekh B. Thapa, Ambassador-at-Large.

• Ambassador J. Cofer Black, US Coordinator, Office of the Counter


Terrorism, Department of State visited Nepal in March, 2004 and held meetings
with Dr. Bhekh B. Thapa, Ambassador-at-Large, Foreign Secretary, and Royal
Nepalese Army and Police officials.

• Mr. Torkel Patterson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs,
Department of State paid a visit to Nepal in March, 2004. He had an audience
with His Majesty the King and he paid call on to the then Prime Minister Mr.
Surya Bahadur Thapa, and Foreign Minister Dr. Bhekh B. Thapa.

• A three-member congressional delegation comprised of Congressman Mr.


David Dreier (Republican), Chairman of the House Rules Committee,
Congresswoman Mr. Karen McCarthy (Democrat), member of Energy &
Commerce Committee, and Congresswoman Ms. Grace Napolitano (Democrat),
member of the Resources Committee, Small Business Committee, and House
International Relations Committee visited Nepal from 8 to 10 April, 2004. During
their visit, they had an audience with His Majesty the King, and called on the then
Prime Minister Mr. Surya Bahadur Thapa and Foreign Minister Dr. Bhekh B.
Thapa.

• US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees


and Migration, Arthur E. Gene Dewey visited Nepal from October 18 to 20, 2004
to take stock of the situation of the Bhutanese refugees and ask Nepal and
Bhutan to move towards a solution.

• Former Senator and Minority Leader of United States Mr. Thomas Andrew
Daschle also known as Tom Daschle paid a visit of Nepal from July 21-27, 2005.
During the visit Mr. Daschle met Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon'ble Mr. Ramesh
Nath Pandey at his office. Mr. Daschle also met the agitating political leaders. Mr.
Daschle was granted an audience by His Majesty the King.

• The commander of the US Pacific Command (PACOM), Admiral William J.


Fallon, visited Nepal from February 1 to 2, 2006. His Majesty the King granted
audience to him at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace. During the visit, Admiral Fallon
called on Hon'ble Ramesh Nath Pandey, Minister for Foreign Affairs at Shital
Niwas and held discussion on bilateral relations. He also met Hon'ble Kamal
Thapa, Minister for Home Affairs and Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Pyar Jung
Thapa, at their respective offices.
Important visits to USA from Nepalese Side
• Their Late Majesties King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya paid a State Visit to
the USA in December 1983.

• The then HRH the Crown Prince Dipendra visited the USA in July-August 1996
during the Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

• The then Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba paid a visit to the USA from May
6 to 11, 2002. During the visit, the Prime Minister was received by H. E. Mr.
George W. Bush, President of the USA at the Oval Office on May 7, 2002. The
two leaders held discussions on bilateral relations and ongoing cooperation
against terrorism as well as regional and international matters of common
interest. While in Washington, D.C., the then Prime Minister also met the US
Secretary of States Mr. Colin L. Powell, National Security Advisor Dr. (Ms)
Condoleezza Rice, and Congressmen and Senators at the Capitol Hill. He also
delivered a speech on the Nepalese perspectives on War against Terrorism at
the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

• The then Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat visited
Washington, DC from 22 to 25 Sep 2004 to request the US officials, Senators
and Congressmen for their support for early passage of Nepal textile bill laying
at both the Houses of US Congress.

US Development Cooperation to Nepal


The USA is one of the first countries to provide development assistance to
Nepal. It has been assisting Nepal in its economic development programs since
the beginning of 1951. The USA has contributed more than $ 1 billion bilaterally
and multilaterally since 1951. In more than four decades, the United States has
provided assistance to Nepal in various sectors such as transport,
communication, public health, family planning, malaria eradication, agriculture,
forestry etc. The US cooperation has been helpful also in the fields of
manpower development and institution building.

On bilateral basis, annual grant assistance from the US is in the form of


training, equipment, expert services and program cost financing. In addition, it
also contributes through multilateral channels like IDA, ADB and the UN
specialized agencies. At present the US assistance encompasses sectors like
rural development, agriculture (research, extension and education) irrigation,
population, health, forestry, natural resources conservation and manpower
development. The major ongoing development projects being implemented with
the US assistance are:

Nepal-US Trade Relations


The US is one of the important sources of hard currency for Nepal. From the
export of garments and carpets to the US as well as from US tourist, Nepal
earnes about US$90 to 100 million every year.

After the end of the quota system under Multi-fibre Agreement in 2005, export
of the Nepalese Readymade Garments to the United States of America has
declined. The trade figure of the Garments Association of Nepal has revealed
41 percent decline in the month of March 2005 in comparison to the previous
year. In terms of value, garments worth US dollar 3.19 million was exported
during the first three months of the last year in comparison to US dollar 1.68
million for the same period of this year.

Major export products from Nepal to the US are ready-made garments, woollen
carpets, handicrafts, silver jewellery and leather goods. On the other hand,
Nepal imports mainly industrial machinery, telecommunication and electrical
equipment, processed food and photographic goods from the US. The trade
balance has so far remained in Nepal's favour and there exists a tremendous
scope and opportunity for the expansion our trade with the US being the largest
market in the world.

US tourists visiting Nepal


The numbers of tourist arrival from the US to Nepal in the past five years are as
follows:

Number of
Year
Tourist
2000 40,442
2001 32,052
2002 17,518
2003 18,838
2004 20,584

US Peace Corps Volunteers


Since 1962, more than 4000 Peace Corps volunteers have served in a wide
variety of capacities, helping Government of Nepal, USAID and Private Voluntary
Organizations (PVO) to provide development service to the people of Nepal. The
programs of Peace Corps with over 100 volunteers are well integrated with the
plans and programs of Government of Nepal. The Peace Corps is collaborating
with USAID in its agriculture Research and Production and Rapti Rural
Development Projects. Additionally, the Peace Corps/Nepal collaborates with
various UN organizations to promote water systems, rural income generation,
urban planning, community forestry, appropriate technology and education.

The Peace Corps volunteers programme has played an important role in bringing
the people of both countries together. The programme, which was temporarily
suspended since September 2004 due to Maoist threat in Nepal, has officially
closed from January 18, 2006. However, the Country Agreement between
Government of Nepal and the Peace Corps remains active in order to restart the
programme as soon as possible.

Europe America Division


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Nepal
Last updated on April 3, 2006

NEPAL-RUSSIA RELATIONS

Political
Nepal and the then Soviet Union had established diplomatic relations in 1956.
Soon after the collapse of the former Soviet Union, Government extended full
and formal diplomatic recognition to the Russian Federation as a sovereign and
independent state on December 28, 1991. Foreign Ministers of Nepal and the
Russian Federation exchanged congratulatory messages in July 2001 on the
occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
They both emphasized the need for enhanced exchanges of visits and
interactions at various levels for consolidating bilateral relations.

Some Important Visits


1. In 1958, His Late Majesty King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev paid a
state visit to the Soviet Union.

2. On his way to participate in the twenty-fourth Session of UNGA in New


York, Foreign Minister Mr. Gehendra Bahadur Rajbhandari paid a friendly
visit to the Soviet Union in 1969.

3. Mr. Krishna Raj Aryal, then Minister for Foreign Affairs paid a visit to the
Soviet Union in 1975.

4. In 1976, Mr. Lokendra Bahadur Chand, then Deputy Chairman of the


Rastriya Panchayat, led a delegation to Moscow to participate in the 20th
anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Nepal
and the Soviet Union.

5. His Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev paid a state visit to USSR
in 1976.

6. HRH Prince Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev paid an informal visit to the
Soviet Union in 1985.
7. Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Ramesh Nath Pandey paid an official
visit to the Russian Federation from October 23 to 26, 2005.
From Russian Side
1. The Soviet Union sent its President Marshal Voroshilov on a state visit to
Nepal in 1960.

2. In May 1977 Mr. N. P. Firyubin, Deputy Foreign Minister of the USSR paid
an official visit to Nepal.

3. The First Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of


USSR Mr. V. V. Kuznetsov visited Nepal in December 1981.

4. Deputy Prime Minister of Moldavia Republic of the Soviet Union Ms. Nelly
Pavlovna Kiriyach visited Nepal in 1985. Her Majesty the Queen granted
audience to her during her visit to Nepal.

5. First Deputy Minister of Justice Mr. Yuri Dmitrievich Severin visited Nepal
in 1996 on the occasion of 30th anniversary of the establishment of
diplomatic relations between Nepal and the USSR.

6. Mr. Yuri Fokin, Secretary General of USSR Foreign Ministry visited Nepal
in August 1987 for consultation.

7. The Deputy Foreign Minister of USSR, in charge of South Asia Mr. Igor
Alexseevich Rogachyov visited Nepal on May 28 and 29, 1987 at the
invitation of Government of Nepal.

8. Mr. Georgi F. Kunadze, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, paid an official


visit to Nepal from December 24 to 26, 1992.

9. Visit of Hon'ble Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Ramesh Nath Pandey to
Russian Federation

Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Ramesh Nath Pandey visited Russia from
October 23 to 26, 2005. During the visit, Hon'ble Minister Pandey met with the
Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation H. E. Mr. Sergey Lavrov.
Both the Ministers held one-to-one meeting and shared extremely useful views
on further widening and deepening relationship and cooperation in political, trade
and economic, educational, cultural, security and technological fields. Both the
Ministers have realised the need for upgrading bilateral consultation at the level
of Foreign Minister. The discussion also covered issues of common concerns
such as terrorism, multipolar world structure, disarmament, non-proliferation and
strengthening of the United Nations.

Like Nepal, Russia also shares the views that foreign domination and
interference of any kind should not be acceptable. Russia said that it has deep
understanding of the current situation in Nepal and reaffirmed support for Nepal's
fight against terrorism and measures aimed at ending internal conflict. Russia
has also assured of its continued support towards this end. Russia shares with
Nepal the firm views that double standard and selective approach to deal with
terrorism must be stopped for the elimination of terror from the world.

Russia has also appreciated Nepal's role in UN peacekeeping and Nepal's


constructive efforts for the development of regional cooperation in South Asia.
Both the countries have expressed commitment to faithfully implement the
provisions of the Outcome Document adopted by the High Level Plenary Meeting
of the United Nations General Assembly, including the provisions relating to
terrorism and democracy.

Hon'ble Foreign Minister Mr. Pandey also exchanged constructive views with
influential lawmakers in Russia. Hon'ble Minister met the Chairman of the
Committee on International Link of the Russian Parliament, DUMA, H. E. Mr.
Konstantin I. Kosachev. This meeting proved useful in acquainting the Russian
Parliament about the importance of Nepal-Russia relationship in promoting
mutually beneficial cooperation. H. E. Kosachev expressed the views that the
Russian Parliament is eagerly waiting to establish an effective link with the
Nepalese Parliament and that the forthcoming general elections in Nepal would
provide that opportunity.

While in Russia, Hon'ble Foreign Minister Mr. Pandey also visited the State
Technical University (MADI), one of the oldest universities in Russia, and
exchanged views with the Dean and Heads of different faculties of the University.
The discussion was focussed mainly on enhancing academic cooperation
between the University and the Nepalese academic institutions. Hundreds of
Nepalese nationals have been educated in the University.

In reflection of deep respect to the institution of Monarchy and the people of


Nepal, the University has decided to confer the title of Honorary Doctorate on His
Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and to open a scientific research
hall dedicated in the name of His Majesty with inscription on illustrious and
visionary personality.

The other important event that took place during the visit of Hon'ble Foreign
Minister Mr. Pandey was the visit to the Institute of Oriental Research of the
Russian Academy of Sciences. Hon'ble Foreign Minister shared with the scholars
at the Institute the situation in Nepal and apprised them of the efforts undertaken
by Nepal to end terrorism, restore peace and stability and reenergize democratic
process.

During the visit, Hon'ble Foreign Minister Mr. Pandey attended a programme
organised by the Russia-Nepal Chamber of Commerce and held extensive
discussion with businessmen and entrepreneurs with a view to encouraging them
to increase trade between the two countries and attract investment in Nepal.
Hon'ble Foreign Minister also attended a programme organised by the Russia-
Nepal Friendship and Cooperation Society. He had an interaction with Former
Russian Ambassadors to Nepal, imminent businessman and industrialists and
friends of Nepal during the programme. They have expressed their commitment
to work for promoting Nepal-Russia relationship at people-to-people level.

Hon'ble Foreign Minister Pandey, along with the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister
H. E. Mr. Alexander U. Alekseev jointly inaugurated the first-ever Handicraft
Exhibition organized at the Royal Nepalese Embassy. A large number of people
from various strata of Russian society including senior officials from the Russian
Foreign Ministry, Chairman and office bearers from Russia Nepal Friendship
Society, leading businessman and industrialists and friends of Nepal attended
the Exhibition. The Deputy Foreign Minister and the Chairman of the Committee
on International Links of the Russian Parliament, DUMA, also spoke during the
programme. They expressed that the visit by the Foreign Minister has expanded
the scope of cooperation between the two countries.

The official visit to Russia by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal took place
after 30 years. Former Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Krishna Raj Aryal had
visited the then USSR in 1975.

Other Visits
Mr. Georgi F. Kunadze, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, paid an official visit to
Nepal from December 24 to 26, 1992. The visit contributed towards
strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries. During the official
talks, the two sides discussed ways and means of strengthening bilateral
relations between Nepal and Russia, particularly through trade and exchange in
cultural and educational fields. The two sides also agreed on the idea of annual
consultations at the Foreign Ministry level.

A Nepalese delegation led by Foreign Secretary Mr. Kedar Bhakta Shrestha


made an official visit to Moscow in September 1995. During the visit, a protocol
for bilateral consultation between the two Foreign Ministries was signed in
Moscow on September 5, 1995. The protocol is mainly aimed at broadening
exchange of views between the two Foreign Ministries on bilateral cooperation
and on global, regional and international issues of mutual interests.

The Director of the Third Asian Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Mr
Rashit Hamidullin visited Nepal from February 28 to March 2, 1997. On October
1998, Foreign Secretary Mr. Murari Raj Sharma visited Russia. During the visit
Foreign Secretary Mr. Sharma had a meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister of
the Russian Federation Mr. Grigory Karasin.

Consultation Meeting
The last round of bilateral consultation between Nepalese and Russian
delegations was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kathmandu on February
13, 2003. The Director of the Third Asian Department of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of the Russian Federation Mr. Gleb A. Ivashentsov led the Russian
delegation. Similarly, Mr. Nabin Bahadur Shrestha, Joint Secretary at the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs led the Nepalese delegation. During the consultation, both
sides reviewed current international situation and the status of Nepal-Russian
Federation bilateral relations.

Russia's position on Nepal's political development after the Royal Proclamation


of February 1, 2005

On February 2, 2005, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia issued a following


statement on events in Nepal:

"A state of emergency was declared in the Kingdom of Nepal on February 1. A


number of articles of the Constitution have been suspended in this connection
and King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev has headed up the Government
himself. The term of office of the new Cabinet has been set for three years.
During this period the King says he expects to restore peace and order in the
country. The measures undertaken by the King have been triggered by the
complicated internal political situation in Nepal, stemming from large-scale
actions by left-wing extremists for the last few years, which had blocked the
democratic processes in the country, in particular, the holding of parliamentary
elections. The efforts of the previous governments to solve problems with the
insurgents by negotiations and to return the country into the mainstream of
democracy had failed.

Moscow is watching the course of events in the Kingdom. Russian and Nepal are
bound by long-standing relations of mutual sympathies and cooperation. It is
expressing the hope that friendly Nepal will be able to independently solve the
problems facing it and the restoration of conditions of stability and security in the
country will combine with the strengthening of democracy and economic and
social progress.

In a congratulatory message sent to Hon. Mr. Ramesh Nath Pandey on his


appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs, H. E. Mr. Sergey V. Lavrov, Minister
for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation expressed hope stating, "the
friendly relations traditionally existing between Russian and Nepal will further
develop to the benefit of our nations, in the interest of peace, security and
cooperation in Asia and all over the world."

While thanking H. E. Mr. Lavrov for his congratulatory message, Hon. Foreign
Minister Mr. Pandey mentioned that Nepal and the Russian Federation enjoy the
age-old friendly relations based on mutual trust and cooperation. Hon. Pandey
further said that Government of Nepal highly appreciates the Government of the
Russian Federation's understanding and cooperation on the Nepalese efforts to
bring about peace, stability and prosperity to the Nepalese people and
institutionalization of democracy.

Economic Cooperation
The then Soviet Union had extended important economic and development
cooperation to Nepal's development efforts. Their cooperation in building physical
and industrial infrastructure also contributed to accelerate the modernization
process in Nepal in the past. Similarly, a large number of technical manpower
was trained in the then Soviet Union mainly in the engineering and industrial
fields. Entrepreneurs from the Russian Federation participated in a big way in the
Nepal Investment Forum meeting held in Kathmandu in November 1992 and a
number of letters of intent were signed between the two sides.

There are good possibilities of promoting bilateral economic co-operation


between Nepal and Russia, especially in the field of joint industrial venture.
Russian technology specially relating to hydro-power plants and accessories,
building materials, non-conventional uses of energy and small and medium-scale
labour-intensive industries, is considered to be particularly suitable for Nepal.
Private airlines have bought Russian helicopters for operating passenger and
cargo services in the remote areas of Nepal.

Trade
Balance of trade between Nepal and Russia has been remaining unfavourable to
Nepal since last several years. Nepal's major exports to the Russian Federation
consist of hand knotted carpets. Nepal mainly imports electrical equipment,
industrial raw material, parts of airplane and helicopter and newsprint from the
Russian Federation.

Tourism
Tourist arrival in Nepal from Russian Federation is gradually increasing over the
years. Aeroflot, the Russian airline closed its weekly flight to Kathmandu since
January 13, 2002 stating that the route was not commercially viable. However, it
has maintained the right of Russian airlines to operate flights to Kathmandu and
is prepared to resume flights once it decides that they are commercially viable.

Joint Venture
A joint venture in the area of gliding service has been operating with the financial
collaboration of Russian investor. License has been provided to open an industry
to produce generators under joint venture. Similarly, a firm has been licensed
under Russian joint investment to produce computer software.

Scholarship:
Since 1992, Nepalese students have been going to Russia for higher studies on
self-finance basis. Moreover, Russian Federation has been providing a limited
number of scholarships to Nepalese students in the fields of medicine and
engineering. At present, permissions granted to the students, who would like to
pursue further studies with approval of the concerned Universities or educational
institutions on self-finance basis, by the Education Ministry and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs.

Bilateral agreements
Agreement on the Abolition of Visa Requirements for the Holders of Diplomatic
and Service Passports was signed in Kathmandu on 16 April 2002. The
Agreement simplifies the official travel of diplomatic and official passport holders
of the Kingdom of Nepal to the Russian Federation and vice versa by eliminating
visa requirements for a maximum period of 180 days.

Europe America Division


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Nepal
Last updated on April 3, 2006

NEPAL-SAUDI ARABIA RELATIONS

Political Relations
The Kingdom of Nepal and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia established their
diplomatic relations on March 15, 1977. Immediately, Nepal opened its Embassy
in Saudi Arabia in 1978. Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations,
Nepal and Saudi Arabia have been enjoying best of relations with each other.

Despite Nepal being an only Hindu Kingdom in the world and the Saudi Arabia,
Holy-land of the Muslims all over the world, bilateral relations have continued to
be strengthened on the basis of five principles of peaceful co-existence,
friendship and cooperation. Both the nations have expressed avowed
commitments and loyalty to the principles of the United Nations Charter and work
together in the United Nations as well as other international for a for the common
benefit of the humankind.

Bilateral Visits
• His Majesty the King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev visited Saudi
Arabia on an official visit in 1983 at the capacity of His Royal Highness Prince.

• Their Late Majesties King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya also paid a visit
to Saudi Arabia in 1983.

• The then Minister for Labour Mr. Bal Bahadur K.C. also visited Saudi
Arabia on a official visit in 1999.

• After the killing of 12 Nepalese nationals by terrorists in Iraq, a high level


delegation headed by then Minister for Information and Communication Dr.
Mohmad Mohsin visited Saudi Arabia in 2004. The delegation included then
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat and then
Minister of State for Labour and Transport Management Mr. Urba Dutt Pant.

• Representing His Majesty the King, His Royal Highness Crown Prince
Paras visited Riyadh to express condolences on the sad demise of His
Majesty King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud in August, 2005.

• High-level visits between the two countries have greatly contributed in


enhancing the relations between the two countries. People to people relations
have grown steadily after the arrival of Nepalese labourers in the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia just a decade ago. Despite coming from a very starkly different
social, geographical and religious as well as cultural environment, Nepalese
have been welcomed by the Saudi people very much due to their dedication to
work, loyalty, sincerity and integrity.

• Every year a large number of Nepalese Muslim community pay a visit to


the holy sites Makkaha and Madina to perform Haz pilgrimage. Government of
Nepal has been facilitating to the Community so that they could perform their
time-honoured pilgrimage without any hindrance. The support and cooperation
received from the Saudi Government to Nepalese pilgrims is also noteworthy
and has greatly contributed in further cementing the bonds of friendly relations
existing between the two countries and the people.

Economic Cooperation
Economic cooperation between the two countries began in 1978 when Nepal
opened its Embassy in Saudi Arabia. The economic cooperation extended by the
Saudi Government has been primarily focused towards upliftment of Muslim
community, agricultural development and emergency assistance.

Nepal has received loan assistance from the Saudi Fund for Development for
several hydroelectric projects including Marsyngndi Project. Saudi Arabia has
also extended loans to the Bagmati Irrigation Project.

A great prospect of economic cooperation exists between the two countries.


Trade, Commerce and promotion of tourism are yet to be explored and tapped.
Saudi Arabia is a country with vast oil and mineral resources and Nepal can
explore for cooperation in this sector.

The trade between Nepal and Saudi Arabia has remained in favor of Saudi
Arabia. Nepal exported items of Rs. 517,616 in the period of 2003/4. The major
export items included Handbags, Carpet, CD Cassette, and Woolen Shawls. At
the same period, Nepal imported items of Rs 2,547,900,875.Major imported
items were Comin Seeds, Cardamom, Lubricating Oil, Antibiotics, Motor Sprits,
Personal Deodorants, and Polyisobutylene. The trade deficit stood at Rs
2,547,383,259. Nepal should explore the ways to fill the gap of trade deficit by
increasing export to Saudi Arabia.
NEPAL-QATAR RELATIONS

Political
The diplomatic relations between Nepal and Qatar were established on 21
January 1977. Thereafter the friendly ties between the two countries have always
remained cordial. The friendship between Nepal and Qatar are based on trust,
understanding and cordiality. Both countries have played active role in the United
Nations system and Non-Aligned Movement. At the United Nations and other
international fora Nepal and Qatar hold similar views on many issues including
promotion of peace and security in the world. The Qatari Ambassador based in
New Delhi is concurrently accredited to the Kingdom of Nepal.

Memorandum of Understanding on Consultation Mechanism between Foreign


Ministries of Government of the Kingdom of Nepal and the Government of the
State of Qatar was signed on June 16, 2005.

Visits
The exchange of visits and contacts at various levels has been instrumental in
strengthening the bonds of friendship.

• Private visits paid by His Late Majesty King Birendra in 1999 and by then
His Late Royal Highness the Crown Prince Dipendra in January 2000
generated tremendous goodwill between Nepal and Qatar.
• The then Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala paid a visit to Qatar in 1998
following the 12th NAM Summit held in Durban, South Africa.
• After the killing of 12 Nepalese nationals by terrorists in Iraq, a high level
delegation headed by then Minister for Information and Communication Dr.
Mohmad Mohsin visited Qatar in 2004. The delegation included then Minister
of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat and then Minister of
State for Labour and Transport Management Mr. Urba Dutt Pant.
• Hon. Ramesh Nath Panday, Minister for Foreign Affairs visited the State of
Qatar in March 2005. On the occasion, the much-awaited Labour Agreement
between Nepal and Qatar was signed.
• His Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and Her Majesty
Queen Komal Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah paid an official visit to the State of Qatar
in June 13-17, 2005 to participate in the Second South Summit of G-77 in
Doha. During the visit, two agreements: Memorandum of Understanding
between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Government of Nepal and the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar and Agreement on Economic,
Commercial and Technical Cooperation between Government of Nepal and
the Government of the State of Qatar were signed.
• His Majesty King Gyanendra and Her Majesty Queen Komal visited the
State of Qatar on November 14-15, 2005.
• Hon. Ramesh Nath Panday, Minister for Foreign Affairs visited the State of
Qatar in November 2005.

Economic and Commerce


Both Nepal and Qatar are endowed with natural resources. There is ample scope
of cooperation between the two countries in the fields of trade, investment and
manpower utilization. Thousands of Nepalese labourers are working in Qatar.

The trade between Nepal and Qatar has remained in favour of Qatar. Nepal
exported items of Rs 621,397 in the period of 2003/04. The major export items
included garment of textile fabric and rubberized textile fabric, CD cassette,
vegetables. Salt Trading Corporation has opened its office in Doha last year to
export vegetables. At the same period, Nepal imported items of Rs 162,000,896.
Major imported items were polyethylene, Colour Television, Polypropylene, Gold,
VCRs, and Parts of VCRs. The trade deficit stood at Rs 161,379,499. Nepal
should explore the ways to fill the gap of trade deficit by increasing export to
Qatar.

To enhance the economic cooperation between two countries, Government of


the Kingdom of Nepal and the Government of the State of Qatar have signed
following agreements:

• Memorandum of Understanding on Consultation Mechanism between the


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Government of Nepal and the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of the State of Qatar.
• Air Services Agreement
• Labour Agreement
• Agreement on Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation

Tourism Prospects
The number of tourists from Qatar visiting Nepal is still very small, because most
of the Qataris have not known much about Nepal. The direct air service linking
Kathmandu and Doha has served much in this respect. The opening of the Royal
Nepalese Embassy in Doha on 11 July 2000 has further contributed positively
towards promoting Nepal by disseminating relevant information to the Qatari
nationals and expatriates in Qatar.

NEPAL-UNITED ARAB EMIRATES RELATIONS

Political
Diplomatic relations between Nepal and the UAE were established in January
1977. The two countries maintain friendly and cordial relations. As members of
the UN and non-aligned movement, both countries share common views in major
international issues. While Nepal has maintained the Royal Nepalese Embassy
in Abu Dhabi since April 2004, the Embassy in New Delhi is accredited to Nepal.
Nepal looks forward for further strengthening its relations with the UAE. Nepal
opened its Mission in view of the increasing importance of UAE in the region.
Another important reason is a large community of Nepalese expatriates working
in the Emirates.

Bilateral Visits
• His Majesty King Gyanendra and Her Majesty Queen Komal paid a
friendly visit to the United Arab Emirates from June 18-22, 2005. Their
Majesties' visit to the UAE has further consolidated the cordial and friendly
relations between two countries.

• His Royal Highness Crown Prince Paras and Her Royal Highness Crown
Princess Himani visited United Arab Emirates in April 2006.

• Hon. Ramesh Nath Panday, Minister for Foreign Affairs visited United
Arab Emirates in March 2005.

• Then Minister for Information and Communication Dr. Mohmad Mohsin


visited United Arab Emirates in 2004. The delegation included then Minister of
State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat and then Minister of State
for Labour and Transport Management Mr. Urba Dutt Pant.

• Earlier Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat, then Minister of State for Foreign
Affairs visited United Arab Emirates in 2004 representing Government of
Nepal in the funeral of the Late President of the United Arab Emirates, His
Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who died on November 2,
2004.

Royal Nepal Airlines started its flight to Dubai in 1985 in transit to its European
destinations. It is one of the oldest foreign airlines operating in the region. At
present, the Qatar Airways and the Gulf Air are catering to the needs of the
travelers. There are now 20 scheduled weekly flights from the UAE to Nepal.

Tourism can be one of the potential areas in the development of Nepal-UAE


relations. Nepal can become a destination for the local population who visit
abroad during the summer. There is a need for increasing direct flights to Nepal
keeping in view the increasing traffic. Similarly, Nepal has tremendous scope for
eco-tourism. Family tourism for a longer duration is another way to attract the
Emirates because of its climate. Nepal took part in the ATM in May last year and
Dubai Shopping Festival this year in 2005.

Trade between the two countries is negligible and is in favour of the UAE. There
is a need for enhancing trade relations in the interest of both the countries. Nepal
imported copper scraps, machinery, electronic goods, transport equipment,
imitation jewellery, industrial raw materials and some quantity of fertilizer and
exported garments, black cardamom and refined copper wire. According to the
Trade Promotion Center, in 2003/04 Nepal exported items of Rs 81,296,812 and
imported of Rs 407,933,164, the trade deficit stood at Rs 326,636,352 in favour
of the UAE.

With the industrial development of especially in the Dubai Emirate, there is a


scope for increase in the imports from the UAE. Similarly, Nepal is exploring
market for export of organic vegetables. The Salt Trading Corporation has
recently opened its branch office in Dubai to expand its vegetable market in UAE.
The Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industry is also active in
promoting trade relations with UAE. As Nepal has become a member of WTO
recently there are possibilities to broaden the scope of imports from this country.

Remittance from the workers in UAE, estimated to be over 90,000, contributes


substantially to the economy of Nepal. The new measures taken by the Nepal
Rastra Bank to stop the illegal inflow of funds through Hawala/Hundi system has
encouraged the Nepalese workers to remit their earnings through banks and
legalized money exchange companies.

NEPAL-UNITED KINGDOM RELATIONS

Political
Nepal established diplomatic relations with Britain in 1816. Relations between the
two countries have been characterized by friendship, mutual understanding and
respect for each other's national interests and aspirations. The Treaty of Sugauli
(1816) provided for the exchange of accredited Ministers to each other's court. A
new Treaty of Friendship between Great Britain and Nepal was signed and the
status of British Representative in Kathmandu was upgraded to an Envoy. In
1934 Nepal established a legation in London. In 1947, the status of these
representatives was promoted to the level of Ambassadors, Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary.

Exchange of visits at different levels and periodic consultations between the two
sides have played major role in further promoting bilateral relations.

Some important visits:


1. His Majesty Late King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev paid a state visit to
THE United Kingdom in October 1960.

2. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by HRH Prince Philip, the
United Kingdom of Edinburgh paid a state visit to Nepal in 1960 and in
1986.

3. Their Late Majesties King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and Queen
Aishworya Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah visited the United Kingdom in 1980.
4. His Late Majesty King Birendra along with Her Late Royal Highness
Princess Shruti visited the United Kingdom in May 1995 on the occasion
of the 50th Anniversary of the Victory of the Allies in the Second World
War.

5. Diana, late Princess of Wales, paid a visit to Nepal from 2 to 6 March


1993, and visited various development projects financed by the United
Kingdom.

6. His Royal Highness Prince Charles paid an official visit to Nepal from 6 to
9 February 1998.

7. Their Majesties King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and Queen Komal
Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah paid a private visit to United Kingdom from August
27 to September 7, 2003 in connection with medical check up at Cromwell
Hospital in London.

8. Prime Minister Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba paid an official visit to the United
Kingdom from 10 to 13 November 1996. Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Deuba
paid again a visit to the United Kingdom from 12 to 14 May 2002.

9. H. E. Mr. Richard Spring MP, Member of the House of Commons and


Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs visited Nepal from 19 to 23 February
2003.

10. Mr. Gareth Thomas, British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State


(PUSS) for International Development visited Nepal from 28 to 30 July
2004.

Economic Cooperation

The British aid to Nepal in various fields of activities started in 1961. The United
Kingdom has been offering fellowships to Government of Nepal since 1950s.
British volunteers are engaged in Nepal since 1964. These programmes have
contributed to Nepal's need for specialized and trained manpower and also have
developed important links between the people of the two countries.

The assistance of British Government generally comes through an Umbrella


Agreement. The British aid to Nepal is channelled through Department for
International Development (DFID). The level of DFID aid for the year 2000/2001
was to the tune of £ 18.52 million, which was increased to £ 22 million by 2002
and to £ 35 million in 2004.

The British Government has been extending its assistance particularly in different
Socio-economic fields. Britain's development assistance programme in Nepal is
designed to reduce poverty and social exclusion and thus contribute to
establishing the basis for a lasting peace. The programme covers work to
support governance reforms; improve basic services for poor people (including
basic education, health, water and sanitation, agriculture and rural infrastructure);
and activities in support of peace building and conflict resolution. Assistance is
projected to increase from £26 million in 2003-04 to £35 million in 2004-05 and
£47 million in 2005-06.

The United Kingdom has assisted Nepal in the areas of agriculture, transport,
local development, communication, education, administration, health, water
supply and forestry

Technical cooperation agreement to strengthen the traditional cooperation


between Nepal and the United Kingdom was signed on 31st May 1994. This
agreement provides for the roles and responsibilities of the two governments
regarding the British Technical Cooperation and the British Council activities.

The DFID and its office in Nepal

The Department for International Development (DFID) is the British Government


Department responsible for promoting development with emphasis on the
reduction of poverty in the developing countries. The DFID opened its office in
Kathmandu in March 1999.

International Conference on Nepal in London and Follow up Meeting in


Kathmandu

The British Government organized International Conference on Nepal in London


on 19-20 June 2002. The meeting expressed its profound concern at the Maoist
insurgency in the country and reaffirmed the solidarity with the government's
position and its action to protecting lives and property of its citizens. The meeting
also reaffirmed the commitment of the international community to provide
development support to Nepal.

British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State His Excellency Mr. Mike O'Brien
paid a working visit to Nepal on 9-11 October 2002 to chair the follow up of the
London meeting held in Kathmandu on 11 October 2002.

Appointment of Sir Jeffery Russell James as Special Representative of British


Government to Nepal
The British Government appointed Sir Jeffrey Russell James as the United
Kingdom's Special Representative for Nepal from February 24, 2003. In an
announcement made by the Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of
the United Kingdom, the British Government committed to assisting Nepal and
identifying ways to help resolve her problems, including putting an end to a
conflict that has resulted in immense suffering for the Nepalese people. The
statement further stated that Sir Jeffrey's role would be to provide a strong focal
point for the United Kingdom policy towards Nepal and in particular to coordinate
the United Kingdom and international efforts in support of the cease-fire and the
peace process.

After his appointment, Sir Jeffrey visited Nepal several times and called on high-
ranking officials of Government of Nepal and discussed about the political and
security situations of Nepal. His visited Nepal last time as Special Representative
from 24 April 2005 to May 4, 2005.

Visit of Mr. Gareth Thomas, British Parliamentary Under


Secretary of State for DFID

Mr. Gareth Thomas, British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (PUSS) for
Department for International Development visited Nepal from 28 to 30 July 2004.
The purpose of his visit to discuss the development and political situation in
Nepal with high ranking officials of Government of Nepal/Nepal as well as to give
details of the United Kingdom support for education and health sector
programme and to meet DFID staff in Nepal.

Explaining the remarkable boost in British government aid to Nepal in recent


months, Thomas said that the British government thinks that normal development
activities should not be disturbed even in a conflict situation. "This is the reason
why we have made a remarkable increment in our assistance to Nepal in recent
years," he said, adding that since poor and rural people are the worst hit by the
ongoing conflict, British aid has been directed to addressing the problems of
those people.

He also stressed that one of the objectives of the increased assistance is to


extend support to efforts to restore peace and to accelerate development
activities in the country, and underlined that, "Concerned parties should
understand this purpose." Mr. Thomas further said that British government is
particularly interested in the country's long-term and sustainable development,
explaining, "That is why our assistance has been mainly focused on the
education and health sectors in recent years."

He also expressed his delight over the successes of the programs and projects
running under British aid, particularly in rural areas, and said that most of the
programs have been successful in achieving their goals.
Visit of Mr. Douglas Alexander, Ministry of State for Foreign and
Commonwealth Office

H. E. Mr. Douglas Alexander, Minister of State of the Foreign and


Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom visited Nepal from 8 to 10
November 2004. The purpose of his visit was to familiarise himself with the
political and economic situation in Nepal, including through meetings with high
level official of Government of Nepal and leading political figures, and also visits
to development projects funded by the British Government.

While in Nepal, H. E. Mr. Alexander said, "Our two countries have close ties. The
United Kingdom has the longest history of representation in Nepal of any foreign
state; many prominent Nepalis have studied and lived in the United Kingdom; we
have one of the largest bilateral development assistance programmes in the
country and we are all familiar with the formidable reputation of the Gurkhas and
of the valuable contribution they have long made to the British army."

Referring to bilateral trade and investment, Mr. Alexander stated that Nepal and
the the United Kingdom are yet to tap trade potentials and opportunities.

British Gurkhas

The recruitment of Gurkha Army was organised by way of the Tripartite


Agreement of 1947 among Nepal, India and the United Kingdom. Currently the
strength of the Gurkhas in the British Army is about 3,500.

British Gurkhas is a fully integrated part of the British Armed Forces. It


constitutes an important element in Nepal-Britain relations. In recognition of their
distinguished service, the British Gurkhas servicemen from Nepal has won 13
Victoria Crosses (VC), the highest British gallantry honour.

BGN administers the Gurkhas Welfare Scheme through 24 of its Area Welfare
Centres (AWCs) located in areas where ex-servicemen live. Welfare assistance
includes grants to relieve hardships, family pensions, and scholarship for
children, medical aid and support for projects such as building potable water
systems, bridges and schools.

Compensation for Gurkha prisoners

The British Government set up a separate office in Kathmandu in March 2004 to


receive applications from the Gurkhas who were held prisoners by Japan during
the Second World War. The applications were sought following the decision of
the British High Court to award Sterling Pound 10,000 to such prisoners as
compensation. By March 2005, the British Embassy made an Ex-gratia payment
of £ 10,000.00 to those applicants whose applications were processed.
Granting of Permanent Residency to Ex-British Gurkhas

British Government announced on 29 September 2004 that the immigration rules


would be changed to let the former British Gurkha soldiers to stay in Britain.
Gurkha soldiers who have served at least four years with the British Army and
were discharged after July 1, 1997, the date at which the brigade's headquarters
was moved to the United Kingdom, will be eligible to apply to citizenship. Thus a
large number of Gurkha soldiers who want to settle in the United Kingdom with
their families would be allowed remain permanently in the United Kingdom.

Business and Commercials Relations

The United Kingdom occupies among the top ten countries in Nepal's bilateral
trade. Major Nepalese exports to the United Kingdom are goatskin, leather
goods, Nepalese paper and paper products, woollen carpets, handicrafts, ready-
made garments, silverware and jewellery. Likewise, major imports from the
United Kingdom are copper scrap, hard drinks, cosmetics, medicine and medical
equipment, textiles, copper wire rod, machinery and parts, aircraft and spare
parts, scientific research equipment, office equipment and stationery.

An agreement on promotion and protection of investment between Nepal and the


United Kingdom was signed on March 2, 1993. There are some British joint
ventures in the areas of hotel, travel & trekking, tea production, garments,
biotechnology and consultancy.

Tourism

A sizeable number of British tourists come to Nepal every year for trekking and
mountaineering and other leisurely activities. A total number of 24,644 British
tourists visited Nepal in the year 2004.
NEPAL AND UN
Nepal's role in the UN peacekeeping operations

Nepal has been regularly contributing to the UN Peacekeeping Operations since


1958. Out of the total 61 UN Peacekeeping Operations authorized by the United
Nations so far, Nepal has participated in as many as 29 such Operations with the
contribution of 50,167 Nepalese Peacekeepers. Nepalese Peacekeepers have
won acclaim for their sterling performances in guarding peace in the difficult
trouble spots of the world. 49 Nepalese peacekeepers have laid their lives in line
of their duties for serving the cause of peace in nook and corner of the world and
48 have suffered serious injuries in the process. Inclusion of a Nepalese
peacekeeper Mr. Ratna Gurung in the Entourage of the UN team that went to
receive the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in 1988 duly recognizes Nepal's
contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security. Gen. Krishna
Narayan Singh Thapa and Gen. Victory Rana of the Royal Nepalese Army
served as Force Commanders of the various UN Peacekeeping Operations. Gen.
Balananda Sharma is currently serving as the Force Commander of the United
Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in Israel-Syria Border.

Of the current 17 UN Peacekeeping Operations deployed around the world in


February 2006, Nepal has deployed 3,485 peacekeepers. Nepal was ranked 5th
largest troop contributing country in March 2006. Nepal also has a Stand-by
arrangement with the United Nations for 2000 troops. Nepal also serves as a
member of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.

Participation of Royal Nepal Army in various UN Missions


As of February 2006
S.N. Year Missions Country Participation
1973- MIDDLE
1 UNEF 571
1974 EAST
1977-
2 UNIFIL LEBANON 28,067
2002
1992-
3 UNPROFOR YUGOSLAVIA 6,342
1996
1993-
4 UNOSOM SOMALIA 622
1994
1994-
5 UNHIM HAITI 820
1995
1991-
6 UNGCI IRAQ 200
1994
2000-
7 UNTAET/UNMISET EAST TIMOR 775
2002
8 2001- UNAMSIL SIERRA 4,000
2004 LEONE
2003-
9 Till MONUC CONGO 4,532
now
2003-
10 Till UNMIL LIBERIA 160
now
2004-
11 Till ONUB BURUNDI 1,860
now
2004-
12 Till MINUSTAH HAITI 1,500
now
2005-
13 Till UNMIS SUDAN 200
now
TOTAL CONTINGENT PARTICIPATION 49,649

MILOBS, UNHQ/MSN HQ STAFF,


LIAISON/TRG OFFICER IN VARIOUS 518
MISSIONS
TOTAL PARTICIPATION 50,167
Death on duty in various UN PKO Missions 49
Disabled on duty in various UN PKO Missions 48

Participation of Nepal Police as CIVPOL and FPU Personnel


in various UN Missions
S.N. Year Missions Country Participation
Former
1 1992 UNPROFOR 245
Yugoslavia
Former
2 1996 UNTAES 44
Slovania
Former
3 1996 UNIPTF/UNMIBH 273
Bosnia
Former
4 1999 UNMIK 201
Kosovo
5 1992 UNTAC Combodia 86
6 1994 ONUMOZ Mozambique 51
7 1995 UNMIH Haiti 55
8 1995 UNICTY The 2
Netherlands
9 1995 UNICTR Rwanda 3
10 1995 UNGCI Iraq 85
11 1999 UNTAET/UNMISET East Timor 132
12 2000 UNAMSIL Sierra Leone 29
13 2001 P-4 UN DPKO 1
UN Afg.
14 2001 New York 1
Desk
15 2001 MONUC Congo 2
16 2002 Adv. SRSG Afghanistan 3
17 2003 Advisor Liberia 23
18 2004 MINUSTAH Haiti 4
19 2004 UNMIS Sudan 4
20 2004 MINUSTAH Haiti as FPU 250
Total 1,494

NEPAL AND UN

Nepal and the United Nations (1955-2006)

Nepal-UN Relations

Since her joining the United Nations on 14 December 1955, Nepal has reposed
her abiding faith in the principles and purposes enshrined in the UN Charter.
Nepal attaches great importance to the centrality of the United Nations in the
multilateral affairs, especially in the maintenance of international peace and
security and in promoting international cooperation for the economic and social
development. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal, 1990 states that the UN
Charter shall be one of the five guiding principles of Nepalese foreign policy.

Nepal firmly believes that UN should play a central role in addressing the
emerging issues of 21st century such as increasing threat of terrorism,
disarmament, human rights, sustainable development, and poverty alleviation
besides its primary responsibility of promoting collective security.

Peace and Security

Promotion of international peace and security assumes paramount importance of


the United Nations. Nepal has been consistently supporting the UN efforts in the
maintenance of international peace and security through her continuous
participation in the UN Peacekeeping operations since 1958. Nepalese
peacekeepers have won applauses for their sterling performances while keeping
peace in difficult conflict zones around the world. So far Nepal has deployed
50,167 troops in various peacekeeping missions under the aegis of the United
Nations. About 50 security personnel have laid down their lives in line of duty for
the service of the humanity. As of February 2006, Nepal's contribution remains at
a strength of 3,485 personnel in 12 peacekeeping operations, despite our own
difficult security situation at home.

Terrorism

Of late, the world has experienced increasing menace of terrorism. The


escalation of grisly terrorist attacks worldwide has brought home the grim reality
that terrorism knows no geographical boundaries and basic human values. Nepal
unequivocally condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Nepal
stresses the need for concerted international response to terrorism through
enhanced level of coordination, cooperation and support.Nepal supports
international efforts to convene an international conference to formulate a joint
response of the international community to fight terrorism in all its forms and
manifestations. Nepal also seeks special considerations of the needs to the
countries affected by terrorism.

Disarmament

Nepal stands for general and complete disarmament of all weapons of mass
destruction including nuclear, chemical, and biological and others. As a party to
Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and signatory to Comprehensive Test
Ban Treaty (CTBT), Nepal supports the nuclear weapons free zones wherever
they are established. Nepal has also supported the confidence building
measures through the establishment of regional centres for peace and
disarmament in different parts of the world. In this regard, Nepal has offered to
host the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific,
which was established in 1989 and has been functioning from New York. The
Government has expressed its reaffirmation to relocate the Centre from New
York to Kathmandu as soon as possible through the signing of host country
agreement with the UN.

Human Rights

Nepal is committed to the promotion and protection of human rights as contained


in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human
rights instruments to which Nepal is a party. Nepal holds the view that all human
rights are indivisible, interdependent and interrelated and as such they all
deserve equal emphasis. As a party to 16 human rights instruments and
signatory to three others, Government of Nelpal announced its reaffirmation on
the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law on 26
March 2004. Constituted under the Paris Principles as an independent and
statutory body, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is empowered to
monitor and investigate human rights situation in the country. In April 2005,
Government of Nepal signed an agreement with the UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights for the establishment of the High Commissioner's Office in Nepal.
OHCHR-Nepal has already commenced its operations. A three-year national
human rights action plan is under implementation. Human Rights Cells have
been established in all the security agencies. Security personnel mobilized to
maintain peace and security in the country are well sensitized to protect human
rights while fighting terrorism.

Nepal has always cooperated with the Commission on Human Rights special
procedures mandate holders and has, in principle, extended open invitations to
them to visit Nepal. In this context, Ms. Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner
for Human Rights, paid a visit to Nepal in January 2005. A team consisting of the
Chairman of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
(WGEID) Prof. Stephen J. Toope visited Nepal from 6-14 December 2004. Prof.
Walter Kaelin, UN Secretary General's Representative on the Human Rights of
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Mr. Dennis McNamara, Director, UN's
Internal Displacement Division visited Nepal in April 2005. The Special
Rapporteur on Torture Mr. Manfred Nowak visited Nepal in September 2005.

Development Issues

Nepal attaches high priority to the implementation of Millennium Declaration


especially relating to halving of the proportion of people living in extreme poverty
and special needs of the least developed countries. Nepal has underlined the
need to redouble the international efforts to realize these goals by effective
implementation of internationally agreed programme of actions. Nepal articulates
in regional and international forums the development challenges of fragile and
vulnerable countries with special challenges emanating from natural disasters
and conflict.

North-South Dialogue and South-South Cooperation


Nepal is always supportive of the idea that there should be mutual cooperation
as well as mutual understanding on international issues between the North and
South. We have always upheld the view that North should enhance its financial
and technical assistance to the South, in order to alleviate their difficulties. Nepal
has emphasized the need for increasing South-South cooperation. Nepal
reiterates that South-South cooperation should be promoted through the sharing
of development experience, transfer of technology and exploiting latent synergies
and complementarities among Non-Aligned countries. Nepal also urges the
developed countries to fulfill their commitment of providing 0.15 -0.20 of ODA to
the least developed countries as reaffirmed in the Brussels Programme of Action
adopted at the Third UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries, 2001.

International Trade and Debt Relief Measures

Nepal has followed the policies of economic liberalization, privatization and


deregulation of her economy. Nepal is the first LDC to accede to the WTO in
April 2004. WTO membership has provided Nepal with the opportunities to
integrate its economy in global economic system for greater export potentials.
The immediate challenge for a country like ours is how to make our products
more competitive. Nepal, therefore, calls for supportive measures for the
marginalized countries, including debt relief measures; increased ODA and duty
free and quota free access for the products of LDC's.

Nepal supports that the new global trading regime must be a rule based giving
equitable benefits to the developed and developing countries alike. In view of the
ever increasing debt-burden of the LDCs and LLDCs, Nepal calls for its easing
and where possible to writing-off such debts. Nepal supports the Highly Indebted
Poor Countries (HIPC) initiatives and believes that this initiative should be
extended to the LDC's as well. Nepal also notes with concern the continuing
decline of ODA and urges the developed countries to fulfill the agreed target of
0.7% of GNP as ODA to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.2. % to LDC's.

Least Developed Countries

Nepal participated in all three Conferences on the Least Developed Countries


(Paris, 1981 and 1991, and Brussels, 2001) and urged for the effective
partnership between LDCs and their development partners in order to achieve
the goals set by the Millennium Summit for development and poverty reduction.
Nepal has also taken the position that debt burden of the LDCs should be written
off; the commitments of donors to allocate 0.15 - 0.20 percent of GNP as ODA to
LDCs should be fulfilled; and the duty-free and quota free access be given to the
markets of the developed countries for the exports of LDCs. Nepal supports the
Brussels Programme of Action on LDCs, which has urged the development
partners to provide LDCs with more aid, wider debt relief and improved market
access.
Environmental Issues

Nepal participated in the World Conference on Environment and Development


held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and in the Summit on Sustainable Development
held in Johannesburg in September 2002. Nepal is committed to implementing
the strategy for sustainable development focusing on poverty alleviation and
believes that the burden of protecting the world's environment should be shared
equitably between the developed and the developing countries and that there
should be flow of resources commensurate with the consumption and production
patterns. Nepal has formulated and implemented Poverty alleviation and
Sustainable Development Strategy with a view to protecting the environment
while carrying out development activities. Nepal deposited the Instrument of
Accession on 16 September 2005 on the sidelines of the 60th UN General
Assembly, and became a party to the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.

UN Reforms and Restructuring

Nepal supports the ongoing efforts of the international community to introduce


timely reforms and necessary restructuring through preserving and promoting the
centrality and sanctity of the principles and purposes enshrined in the UN
Charter. The reform plan should give more emphasis on strengthening the role of
the UN in promoting international cooperation for the economic and social
development of the Member States, particularly the developing countries. Nepal
supports the need of reforming and restructuring the UN in view of the increase
in total membership of the UN to 191 at present from 51 members in 1945. Nepal
supports the measures for revitalizing the work of the UN General Assembly.

Security Council: Nepal believes that there is a need to reform the Security
Council and it should be done on the basis of equal geographical distribution
while giving priority to enhancing the number of representation of the developing
countries in the Security Council. Nepal also supports measures to improving the
Security Council's working method, to increasing efficiency and transparency of
its work and ensuring acceptance of opinions and views from those countries,
which are not members of the Security Council. As the reform of the Security
Council involves vital stakes of all member states, extensive and intensive
deliberations are required. General Assembly: Nepal has consistently maintained
that the UN General Assembly, as the UN's principal deliberative body needs to
be further strengthened. While Nepal supports the proposal on the working
methods of the Assembly by streamlining the agenda, it should not compromise
its key role as a policy-making and decision-making organ of the UN.

Economic and Social Council: Nepal attaches great importance to the Council as
a principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue on the issues of
economic and social development and stands strengthening the Council for the
effective implementation of the UN's development agenda, including the MDGs.
Human Rights Council: As a party to major human rights instruments, Nepal is
committed to its international obligations on human rights. It is our firm belief that
all human rights are indivisible, interdependent and interrelated and as such they
all deserve equal emphasis. Nepal played a supportive role to the establishment
of a Human Rights Council for the progressive enjoyment of human rights by all.
We firmly hold the view that the mechanism of the Council should be
representative and inclusive to represent the various geographic regions and to
accommodate the genuine concerns of developing countries. It should be
working in a way to overcome criticisms and difficulties faced by the earstwhile
Human Rights Commission.

The main objective of the Human Rights Council is to serve as the UN forum for
a dialogue and cooperation on human rights. A subsidiary body of the General
Assembly, it consists of 47 UN members to be elected by the GA by absolute
majority. Among the members 13 are to be selected from the Asian region. The
membership is subject to the Council's new universal review mechanism during
the term of membership. As a permanent body based in Geneva, the Council will
hold at least 3 sessions a year.

Peacebuilding Commission: Nepal has been working with the UN in the


maintenance of international peace and security through her continuous
participation in the UN Peacekeeping operations since 1958. Nepal supported
the General Assembly's decision to create an inter-governmental Peacebuilding
Commission, which could significantly contribute to the UN efforts for sustained
recovery and institutions building in the countries emerging from conflict. The
Commission aims at post-conflict recovery in countries emerging from conflict by
assembling international resources to devise integrated strategies. The
Organizational Committee of the Commission is widely representative as it
comprises, in addition to SC permanent members, 5 top financial contributors, 5
top troop contributing countries and the countries experiencing post-conflict
recovery. As one of the top 10 troops contributing countries in the UN peace
keeping missions, Nepal feels that the membership of the Commission should
have equitable geographical distribution and balanced representation among the
troops contributing countries.

Landmark Events

Nepal obtained the membership of the United Nations on 14 December 1955 at


the 10th Session of the UN General Assembly.

Nepal's First Delegation to the United Nations was led by the then Foreign
Minister Mr. Chuda Prasad Sharma in 1956, who addressed the Eleventh United
Nations General Assembly in 1956 after becoming the member of the
Organization.

Nepal had the singular privilege to lead the Commission of Investigation into the
Conditions and Circumstances resulting in the tragic death of the then Secretary-
General of the United Nations Mr. Dag Hammarskjold and of Members of the
Party accompanying him, who were killed in a Plane Crash at Ndola in Lusaka in
1961. H.E. Mr. Rishikesh Shahaa the then Leader of the Nepalese Delegation to
the 16th Session of the UN General Assembly, was entrusted to take this
onerous responsibility.

His Late Majesty King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah led the Nepalese Delegation to
the Twenty-Second Session of the UN General Assembly in 1967. His Late
Majesty the King addressed the 22nd Plenary Meeting of the UNGA on 6
November 1967.

The Nepalese delegations to the UN have been led many times by the Head of
the Government. Prime Ministers Mr. Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, Krishna
Prasad Bhattarai and Girija Prasad Koirala addressed the United Nations
General Assemblies in 1960, 1993 and 2000, 1995 and 1999 respectively.

The Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Ramesh Nath Pande led the Nepalese
Delegation to the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the 60th Session of the UN
General Assembly in September this year.

Nepal served as a member of the Special Committee on the South African


Government's Policies of Apartheid (Popularly known as Anti-Apartheid
Committee) since 1962 till Nepal was elected Vice-Chairman of the Committee in
1969. The then Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Nepal to the United
Nations continued to contribute as the Vice-Chairman of the Committee till its
dissolution in 1994 following the dismantling of apartheid regime in South Africa
and installation of popularly elected President Mr. Nelson Mandela.

Candidature for the UN Security Council: Nepal was twice elected as non-
permanent member of the powerful UN Security Council during 1969-70 and
1988-89. Nepal has again presented her candidature to the non-permanent
member of the UN Security Council for the period 2007-08.

Visits of the UN Secretary Generals: Mr. U Thant, Mr. Kurt Waldheim, Mr. Javier
Perez de Cueller and Mr. Kofi Annan visited Nepal as Secretaries-General of the
United Nations during their stints at the United Nations. Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi,
Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General of the United Nations, visited Nepal
from 10 to 15 July 2005.

Dhaka Declaration
Thirteenth SAARC Summit Dhaka
13 November 2005
The Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Her Excellency
Begum Khaleda Zia; the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bhutan, His
Excellency Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup; the Prime Minister of the Republic of India,
His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh; the President of the Republic of Maldives,
His Excellency Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom; the King of Nepal, His Majesty
Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev; the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of
Pakistan, His Excellency Mr. Shaukat Aziz; and, the President of the Democratic
Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Her Excellency Mrs. Chandrika Bandaranaike
Kumaratunga met at the Thirteenth Summit meeting of the South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 12 - 13
November 2005.

Regional cooperation

1. The Heads of State or Government noted that the Thirteenth Summit was
taking place at an important moment in the evolution of South Asia when
SAARC stood at the threshold of a new decade of its existence. They
agreed that the Summit provided a unique opportunity to consolidate the
gains made in regional cooperation during its first two decades and to
chart a forward-looking strategy to promote effective cooperation at all
levels to realize the objectives and principles set out in the Charter of the
Association.
2. The Heads of State or Government noted that cooperation and
partnership within the framework of SAARC is based on the sound
foundation of shared values, beliefs and aspirations. The objectives and
goals of SAARC, they affirmed, were of continuing relevance and
importance to all Member States. The dynamics of recent political and
economic changes in South Asia and the world highlighted the importance
of, and the compelling logic for, a more vibrant and effective process of
constructive regional cooperation. They emphasized their commitment to
making such cooperation an enduring feature and thus contribute to the
region's peace, progress and stability.
3. The Heads of State or Government noted that SAARC has evolved in a
positive direction during the first two decades of its existence and that its
agenda encompassed concerns and areas vital for the fulfillment of the
Charter objectives of promoting the welfare of the peoples of South Asia,
accelerating economic growth, social progress, cultural development and
strengthening collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia.
They stressed that realization of these objectives not only called for
continued and serious result-oriented efforts but also for consistent
endeavours to translate pledges and commitments into concrete actions,
regional initiatives and projects. They reiterated their commitment to
making SAARC an effective instrument for cooperation, which will visibly
improve the quality of life of millions in South Asia.
4. The Heads of State or Government emphasized that efforts must continue
to free South Asia from poverty, hunger and other forms of deprivation and
social injustice which present a daunting challenge. Member States
expressed determination to work towards significantly accelerating
regional cooperation in economic areas. The main emphasis will be to
secure a wider economic space, so that benefits and opportunities offered
therein can be shared by all, and that the true economic potential of South
Asia can be fully realized. Efforts will be made to create dynamic
complementarities in the development of human resources and capacity of
Member States to address their common challenges. They underlined the
need to accelerate regional cooperation through all possible means and
mechanisms, including exchange of best practices in various fields in the
Member States.
5. The Heads of State or Government reiterated that the peoples of South
Asia are the real source of strength and driving force for SAARC and
resolved to make regional cooperation more responsive to their hopes and
aspirations. They agreed that the Association should broaden its
engagement with the civil society organizations, professional groups, and
entrepreneurs. Member States should also strive to promote and assert
their South Asian identity, encourage greater people-to-people contact
and draw strength from their shared cultural heritage.
6. The Heads of State or Government emphasized the importance of
initiating project cooperation under the SAARC auspices. They
encouraged Member States to undertake projects, as per existing
provisions of the Charter. These projects may pertain to economic and
social sectors, including Human Resource Development and Poverty
Alleviation. These may be undertaken, where required, with financial or
technical assistance, from International Financial Institutions (IFIs) or, UN
Funds and Programmes or, any extra-regional State, as appropriate.

Poverty Alleviation

7. The Heads of State or Government decided to declare the decade of


2006-2015 as the SAARC Decade of Poverty Alleviation. During the
Decade, endeavours ? both at the national and regional level - will
continue to be made with a sense of commitment and urgency to free
South Asia from poverty.
8. The Heads of State or Government appreciated the valuable work of the
Independent South Asian Commission on Poverty Alleviation (ISACPA).
They also endorsed the SAARC Development Goals (SDGs), as
recommended by the Commission, and called for follow-up and
implementation of the Plan of Action on Poverty Alleviation, adopted by
the 12th SAARC Summit. They entrusted the ISACPA to continue its
advisory and advocacy role in this regard. They endorsed the priorities for
action identified in the Report of ISACPA adopted by the Twelfth SAARC
Summit. They agreed that these priorities would be duly taken into
account while working out the elements for regional initiatives in this vital
area. They decided to focus on formulation and implementation of
concrete regional programmes and projects as well as forging
partnerships among all stakeholders.
9. Underlining the need for an exclusive forum for focused and
comprehensive examination of poverty related issues, the Heads of State /
Government decided to replace the three-tier mechanism on poverty
alleviation by a two-tier one, comprising the Ministers and the Secretaries
dealing with Poverty Alleviation at the national level.

Funding Mechanisms

10. The Heads of State or Government decided to establish a SAARC Poverty


Alleviation Fund (SPAF) with contributions both voluntary and/or,
assessed, as may be agreed. They called upon the Finance Ministers to
formulate recommendations on the operational modalities of the Fund,
taking into consideration the outcome of the Meeting of the Financial
Experts. In this regard, they welcomed the offer of Pakistan to host the
next meeting of the Finance Ministers. The operational modalities of the
SPAF shall be decided by the Finance/ Planning Ministers. They agreed
that the SPAF shall function within the SADF to be reconstituted, as
SAARC Development Fund (SDF), to serve as the umbrella financial
institution for all SAARC projects and programmes and comprise three
Windows namely Social Window, Infrastructure Window and Economic
Window with a Permanent Secretariat.
11. The Heads of State or Government decided that Finance Ministers should
meet within the first quarter after every Summit and also on the sidelines
of the World Bank and ADB annual meetings, to take stock of macro-
economic developments and outlook for South Asia, achievement of
SAARC Development Goals as co-related to Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs) and to assess the investment climate, foreign capital
inflows, financial sector reforms and other areas of cooperation.

Advancing Economic Cooperation

12. The Heads of State or Government stressed that accelerating cooperation


in the core economic areas was of vital importance for the realization of
Charter objectives and also for making South Asia truly vibrant, dynamic
and secure in its robust progress. They reaffirmed their commitment to
accelerate cooperation in the economic and commercial fields, especially
in the energy sector. They noted the progress in the negotiations on
outstanding issues and directed early finalization of all the Annexes
ensuring entry into force of the SAFTA Agreement as agreed, with effect
from 1 January 2006.
13. The Heads of State or Government stressed the importance of the entry
into force of the SAFTA Agreement on the scheduled date i.e. 1 January
2006. The launching of SAFTA would mark an important milestone on the
road to a South Asian Economic Union. They directed that the
negotiations on the outstanding issues under the Agreement should be
completed by end November 2005. They further directed that the
necessary national procedures should be completed in time to facilitate
the operationalisation of the Agreement.
14. They reiterated the need to strengthen transportation and communication
links across the region for accelerated and balanced economic growth.
They directed further measures aimed at trade liberalisation, as provided
for in the SAFTA Agreement. They noted with satisfaction the ongoing
SAARC Regional Multimodal Transport Study to enhance transport
connectivity among the Member States. The Heads of State or
Government agreed to undertake trade facilitation measures, including
transit among SAARC countries, on the basis of understanding among
concerned countries, for enhancing intra-regional trade and other
economic activities. They noted the Indian proposal in this regard. They
agreed to study the proposal by India for daily air service facility by
designated airlines, on a reciprocal basis and without prejudice to existing
rights, to all the SAARC Member States and also the proposal to extend
fifth freedom rights to designated airlines from the Member States, both
intermediate and beyond, within the SAARC region on a reciprocal basis.
15. The Heads of State or Government recognized the need to take the
process of regional economic integration further by expanding the scope
of SAFTA to include trade in services, enhanced investment and
harmonized standards.
16. The Heads of State or Government welcomed the signing of the following
Agreements during the thirteenth SAARC Summit:

The Agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters


The Agreement on the Establishment of SAARC Arbitration Council
The Limited Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Mutual
Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters 18. They emphasized the need
for parallel initiatives for dismantling of non-tariff and para-tariff barriers. In
this context, they called for expeditious action on conclusion of
agreements on mutual recognition of standards, testing and
measurements with a view to facilitating intra-regional trade. They
recognized the potential of trade in services which have expanded rapidly
at the informal level. They called for a study to see how services could be
integrated into the SAFTA process.

17. The Heads of State or Government decided to encourage, where


appropriate, trade-creating investment in the Member States. They
stressed the need for closer regional cooperation in the field of Information
and Communication Technologies (ICT), including Tele-communications.
18. The Heads of State or Government welcomed the Joint Statement of the
First SAARC Energy Ministers meeting in October 2005 in Islamabad.
They agreed to the recommendation to establish the SAARC Energy
Centre in Islamabad; to promote development of energy resources,
including hydropower; and energy trade in the region; to develop
renewable and alternative energy resources; and promote energy
efficiency and conservation in the region. They underlined the need to
constitute a South Asian Energy Dialogue process, involving officials,
experts, academics, environmentalists and NGOs, to recommend
measures to tap potentials of cooperation in energy sector to provide
inputs to the Working Group on Energy.
19. The Heads of State or Government noted the proposal for the
establishment of a Regional Food Bank proposed by India and agreed to
examine the proposal.
20. With regard to paragraph 15 of the Council of Ministers Report, the Heads
of State or Government noted the offer of Nepal to host the Regional
Support Unit.

South Asia's Social Challenges

21. The Heads of State or Government reiterated their commitment to take


initiatives at national as well as regional levels for achieving the specific
objectives contained in the SAARC Social Charter. They recognized that
realization of these objectives is crucial to enable SAARC to meet the
hopes and aspirations of the common peoples of South Asia and visibly
improve the quality of their lives. They emphasized that in outlining future
actions in this regard national implementation efforts should be
complemented by regional programmes and projects in areas requiring
collective regional response. They appreciated the establishment of
National Coordination Committees (NCCs) in all Member States, decided
on annual meetings of the Heads of NCCs and directed convening of their
first meeting at the earliest for follow-up and implementation of the Social
Charter. In this regard, they noted the proposal from the Maldives to
convene an experts' group meeting on establishing a Civil Society
Resource Centre.
22. The Heads of State or Government called upon the Member States to
expeditiously complete the process of preparing their national strategy and
plan of action. They also emphasized that national implementation efforts
should be complemented by regional projects and programmes. In this
context, they directed that regional projects, particularly in health and
poverty alleviation, should be initiated.
23. The Heads of State or Government reiterated their pledge to continue to
work in the next decade and beyond to address the formidable challenges
faced by women and children, especially the girl child. They noted that
sustained efforts were needed on the part of the Member States not only
to free them from all types of deprivation but also to make them full
partners and beneficiaries of South Asian progress and development. In
this context, they decided that a mid-term review of the progress in
realizing the objectives of SAARC Decade on the Rights of the Child
(2001 ? 2010) should be undertaken in 2006.
24. The Heads of State or Government affirmed their strong resolve to
continue to work together to address the problem posed by trafficking in
women and children. They expressed satisfaction at the ratification of the
SAARC Conventions relating to Trafficking in Women and Children and
Promotion of Child Welfare by all Member States and called for effective
measures for their early implementation. They noted that the civil society
organizations and the media have an important role to play in raising
awareness of the degrading and inhuman treatment faced by the victims
of trafficking. They encouraged them to continue their constructive role in
this regard. They stressed that law enforcement agencies in the Member
States should also coordinate and strengthen their efforts to address this
problem effectively.
25. The Heads of State or Government noted the achievements of the
Member States during recent years in the area of primary education
through sustained efforts and adoption of country specific innovative
approaches. They recognized that regional initiatives in this particular area
might focus on sharing of experiences and best practices. They also
called for optimal utilization of resources and identification of strategic
interventions in the area of training, management and performance
evaluation of these programmes so as to ensure sustainability, coverage
and quality of education imparted and services provided. They stressed
that freeing South Asia from the scourge of illiteracy is a major objective of
SAARC in the third decade of its activities. They called for effective
measures to realize the SDGs, in particular universal primary education in
the context of pursuing the Millennium Development Goals.
26. The Heads of State or Government stressed that to meet the challenges
of the twenty-first century Member States must make important strides in
the areas of science, technology and higher education. They decided to
give priority attention to encourage regional cooperation in these areas to
derive benefits from the synergy of collective, well-planned and focused
initiatives undertaken by Member States. They directed that a SAARC
Plan of Action for Science, ICT and Technology be elaborated for
consideration during a Meeting of SAARC Science, ICT and Technology
Ministers to be convened as soon as possible. They noted the offer of
India to establish a South Asian University and agreed to examine this
matter further.
27. The Heads of State or Government recognized the need to collaborate on
preparedness for addressing health emergencies, including prevention
and control of pandemics like avian influenza, as these pose a major
global threat with impact on health, trade and tourism involving human
mobility. They emphasized on the need to develop a regional strategy for
such emergencies as soon as possible; and identify and strengthen
collaboration within and beyond the region and establish links with other
regional organizations. They called for early establishment of a SAARC
Health Surveillance Centre and a Rapid Deployment Health Response
System, to deal with emerging and re-emerging diseases.
28. The Heads of State or Government welcomed the preparation of a
strategy for collective SAARC response to prevent the spread of
HIV/AIDS. They noted that regional response in this regard should be
further enhanced to eliminate this dreadful disease from South Asia. In
this regard, they emphasized the importance of early implementation of
the Regional Strategy of HIV/AIDS. At the same time, they underscored
the need for increasing cooperation to develop regional strategies for the
prevention and treatment of Dengue, Malaria and other infectious or
communicable diseases constituting major public health concerns.
29. The Heads of State or Government agreed to launch a regional initiative
with regard to basic healthcare services and sanitation in the rural areas
and encouraged exchange of experience and best practices within the
region. They called for expediting elaboration of a SAARC Plan of Action
for cooperation in medical expertise and pharmaceuticals, as well as
traditional medicine, and availing affordable pharmaceuticals produced in
the region, harmonization of standards and certification procedures and
production of affordable medicines. They also agreed that steps should be
taken to promote traditional medicine and to protect the intellectual
property rights related to them as a matter of regional priority.

South Asia's Environmental Challenges and Natural Disasters

30. They further decided to consider the modalities for having a Regional
Environment Treaty in furthering environmental cooperation among the
SAARC Member States. They expressed deep concern at the continuing
degradation of environment and reaffirmed the importance of concerted
action in the protection and preservation of environment. While expressing
satisfaction at the progress in implementation of the SAARC Environment
Action Plan, the Leaders welcomed the decision of the Council of
Ministers to establish a SAARC Forestry Centre in Bhutan. They
emphasized on the need for the Centre to have a coordinating role in the
field of Forestry for exchange of information, expertise, training and
formulation of regional projects with emphasis on social forestry.
31. The Heads of State or Government welcomed the Declaration of the
Special Session of the SAARC Environment Ministers in Male in June
2005 convened in the wake of the tsunami catastrophe. They endorsed
the recommendation for elaboration of regional programmes and projects
for early warning, preparedness and management of tsunami and other
natural disasters. They called for elaboration of a Comprehensive
Framework on Early Warning and Disaster Management.
32. They endorsed the decision of the Special Session of the SAARC
Environment Ministers to further enhance the capacity of the existing
SAARC Institutions namely, SAARC Meteorological Research Centre and
SAARC Coastal Zone Management Centre, to carry out their mandated
tasks. 35. In view of the extensive loss of life and colossal damage to
property as a result of earthquake and tsunami and other natural disasters
in South Asia, the Heads of State or Government underscored the
urgency to put in place a permanent regional response mechanism
dedicated to disaster preparedness, emergency relief and rehabilitation to
ensure immediate response. They directed the concerned national
authorities to coordinate their activities in such areas of disaster
management as early warning, exchange of information, training and
sharing of experiences and best practices in emergency relief efforts.
33. The Heads of State or Government underlined the need for collaborative
action in the area of environment, including water conservation, to
promote sustainable development. They decided to proclaim the Year
2007 as the "Year of Green South Asia" devoted to a region-wide
aforestation campaign. They also agreed to address the problem of
arsenic contamination of groundwater and assistance to affected peoples.

Combating Terrorism

34. The Heads of State or Government agreed that terrorism violates the
fundamental values of the SAARC Charter and the United Nations, and
constitutes one of the most critical threats to international peace and
security. The Heads of State or Government expressed their satisfaction
at the ratification of the Additional Protocol to the SAARC Convention on
Suppression of Terrorism by all Member States and called for putting in
place effective mechanisms for its implementation. They strongly
condemned terrorist violence in all its forms and manifestations, agreed
that terrorism is a challenge to all States and a threat to all of humanity,
and cannot be justified on any grounds. They underlined that there should
be no double standards in the fight against terrorism. In view of the
continuing and recent terrorist attacks in the region and their impact on
security, economic stability and social development, they expressed their
determination to unite in their efforts in preventing and combating
terrorism. They also noted the United Nations Security Council resolution
1373 (2001) in this regard.
35. They called for early and effective implementation of the Additional
Protocol to the SAARC Convention on Suppression of Terrorism. They
underscored the need for an early conclusion of a Comprehensive
Convention on International Terrorism. They also agreed that Member
States would strengthen their cooperation in such important areas as
exchange of information, coordination and cooperation among their
relevant agencies.
36. They decided that SAARC Interior/Home Ministers would meet annually
preceded by a meeting of the Interior/Home Secretaries.
37. The Heads of State or Government directed that concrete measures be
taken to enforce the provisions of the Regional Convention on Narcotic
Drugs and Psychotropic Substances through an appropriate regional
mechanism.

Security of small states

41. The Heads of State or Government noted that due to their specific
vulnerabilities, small states require special measures for support from all
concerned for safeguarding their sovereignty, independence and territorial
integrity. In this context, they stressed that protection of small states
should be firmly rooted in scrupulous adherence to the UN Charter, rule of
law and the strict adherence to universally accepted principles and norms
related to sovereign rights and territorial integrity of all States, irrespective
of their size. They committed themselves to give concrete expression to
protect the interest and security of all small states through the pursuit of
appropriate policies and actions.

People-to-people contact and cultural cooperation

38. The Heads of State or Government noted that the spirit of SAARC needed
to be sustained by efforts to promote people-to-people contact and by a
vibrant civil society throughout South Asia actively engaged in forging links
across national boundaries. They felt that the Association of SAARC
Speakers and Parliamentarians should meet at an early date to establish
a mechanism for periodic contacts among the Parliamentarians of South
Asia. They stressed that continued efforts would be made by the Member
States at all levels to promote people-to-people contact by facilitating
travel among SAARC countries, promotion of youth exchanges in culture
and sports, promotion of intra-SAARC tourism, establishment of linkages
among professional bodies and through adoption of other concrete
measures. They decided to launch 2006 as "South Asia Tourism Year."
They directed their Ministers for Tourism to meet at an early date and
elaborate a plan of activities to be undertaken during the year 2006. They
also stated that Member States would encourage initiatives by private
sector entities in promoting understanding and harmony in the region.
39. The Heads of State or Government recognized the crucial role of culture in
bringing the peoples of South Asia closer. They also stressed that
cooperation in the area of culture was vital for reinforcing and projecting
the distinct identity of South Asia. In this context, they expressed
satisfaction on the progress made in establishing the SAARC Cultural
Centre in Kandy and underlined the importance of making it operational at
the earliest. They also directed the SAARC Ministers of Culture to meet as
soon as possible to elaborate a SAARC Agenda for Culture. They noted
the offer of India to establish a SAARC Museum of Textiles and
Handicrafts inter alia to preserve designs in various crafts and related
traditions, train artisans and crafts persons, foster design skills, hold
promotional events, undertake research.

International political and economic environment

40. The Heads of State or Government reviewed international political and


economic developments since their last Summit in Islamabad. They
underscored the imperative need to ensure universal adherence to the
principles and objectives enshrined in the UN Charter. They called upon
the international community to redouble efforts to meet the commitments
of the Millennium Summit and the Monterrey consensus. They noted the
outcome of the UN World Summit 2005 and underlined the need for
meaningful reforms of the United Nations system in consonance with its
role as the central organ for the cooperative management of the global
problems and for the promotion of peace, security, development, justice
and human rights. They also reiterated their full support for a
comprehensive approach, which would facilitate implementation of the
Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in
a time bound manner.
41. The Heads of State or Government stressed that promotion of global
peace and security inter alia called for removing the existing asymmetries
in security and in ensuring undiminished security for all, at the regional
and global levels. They also emphasized the importance of pursuing
effectively the global objectives of universal disarmament and preventing
the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
42. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed their commitment to further
strengthen the multilateral trade regime of WTO. They called upon all
WTO members to demonstrate necessary understanding and
accommodation for a breakthrough at the Hong Kong Ministerial meeting
in December 2005 to pave the way for the successful conclusion of the
Doha Development Round. They underscored that the development
dimension should continue to be at the heart of the on-going negotiations
so that the legitimate concerns of the developing countries are adequately
reflected in the outcome of the current round of trade negotiations. They
agreed that the SAARC Member States would work closely together to
coordinate their positions in the on-going negotiations on trade and other
key economic issues. The Heads of State or Government directed the
Commerce Ministers to hold consultations on the sidelines of the 6th WTO
Ministerial Conference to be held in Hong Kong in December 2005, to
evolve a common SAARC Position on issues of common concern.
43. The Heads of State or Government addressed the question of electing the
Secretary-General of the United Nations in the year 2006, being aware of
the unanimous view that the well-established principle of geographical
rotation should be observed and that an Asian should be appointed as the
next Secretary-General of the United Nations. In this regard, they noted
that Sri Lanka has offered a candidate. Enhancing Political Cooperation
44. The Heads of State or Government welcomed the growing importance
being placed by all Member States to promote cooperation in an
environment of enduring peace and stability in South Asia. They reiterated
their commitment to the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity
and national independence, non-use of force, non-intervention, and non-
interference in the internal affairs of other Member States. Recognizing
the increasing interdependence and the imperative of pursuing the
objectives of peace, freedom, social justice and economic prosperity, they
re-affirmed their resolve to foster mutual understanding, good neighbourly
relations and a more meaningful cooperation through sustained
constructive engagement among Member States.

External Profile and Linkages of SAARC

45. The Heads of State or Government welcomed the observer status granted
to SAARC by the United Nations General Assembly at its Fifty-ninth
Session; and expressed the hope that this would not only enhance the
profile of SAARC in the world body but would also enable Member States
to project common positions of SAARC in various multilateral forums.
They also acknowledged the renewed interest of other regional and
international organizations, bodies and entities to cooperate with SAARC
in various collaborative endeavours in accordance with the objectives and
priorities of SAARC. The Heads of State or Government welcomed the
request by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for membership and invited
Afghanistan as a member, subject to the completion of formalities. They
also welcomed and agreed in principle with the desire of the People's
Republic of China and Japan to be associated as observers. The Council
of Ministers will decide the modalities in this regard at their twenty-seventh
meeting in July 2006.

Strengthening Institutional Mechanisms of SAARC

46. The Heads of State or Government agreed that with the incremental
broadening of the SAARC agenda and increased emphasis being placed
on implementation of plans and programmes, there was a need for a
commensurate strengthening of institutional capabilities of SAARC.
Recognizing the importance of thematic Ministerial meetings, they
emphasized that these meetings should focus on regional challenges and
priorities and contribute to the realization of the objectives of SAARC.
They agreed that on completion of twenty years of SAARC's existence, it
was essential that a comprehensive review and reform of all SAARC
institutions and mechanisms, including the Secretariat and the Regional
Centers should be undertaken. In this context, they called on the Council
of Ministers to convene a Meeting of Experts, to be nominated by each
Member State, to undertake a detailed Study and present a report to the
next Council of Ministers. They empowered the current Chairman of the
Council of Ministers to prepare within the next fifteen days a draft Terms of
Reference for the Study to be approved, if necessary, by tele-conferencing
of all SAARC Foreign Ministers.

SAARC Vision: An agenda for Third Decade of SAARC

47. The Heads of State or Government reiterated their commitment to the


realisation of the vision of South Asian Economic Union in a phased and
planned manner. They agreed that as SAARC completed its twenty years
of its existence, it was an opportune occasion to draw a roadmap for
regional cooperation in South Asia for the next decade. In view of the new
challenges facing the region, pledges and commitments made in the last
two decades should be translated into concrete actions in the form of
regional projects and programmes and innovative initiatives.
48. They directed all SAARC institutions and mechanisms to work collectively
towards a decade dedicated to implementation so that a visible and
discernible impact can be felt across South Asia. They emphasized that
while this would enable SAARC to realize its basic objectives of improving
the quality of life of all South Asian peoples, it would at the same time
create an enabling environment towards the establishment of a South
Asian Economic Union. They directed the Standing Committee to
formulate its recommendations, at its next Special Session, on a Vision for
SAARC's Third Decade and the course of action for its realization, to be
elaborated by a high-level Committee of Senior Officials.

Date and venue of the Fourteenth SAARC Summit

49. The Heads of State or Government welcomed the offer of the Government
of India to host the Fourteenth SAARC Summit in 2007.