EU and Nepal strengthen bilateral ties in 15th joint commission meeting

KATHMANDU: The European Union and Nepal held their 15th meeting of the Joint Commission (JC) in Kathmandu on 19 March. They discussed a broad range of issues of mutual interest during the meeting. The EU and Nepal are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations this year.

The EU and Nepal reiterated their commitment to work together in upholding democracy and human rights, promoting good governance, realizing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), promoting investment, and coping against global challenges such as climate change. Nepal highlighted achievements and bottlenecks in the realization of SDGs.

The EU welcomed Nepal’s Transition Strategy to graduate from LDC status and expressed their commitment to continue their cooperation through the Multi-Annual Indicative Programme (MIP).

The EU and Nepal reviewed the progress of EU’s development cooperation in various sectors. The meeting acknowledged the Sub-commission meeting on development cooperation held on 6 March. Nepal welcomed the EU’s MIP for the term 2021-2027. Nepal also appreciated the MIP for aligning with the plans and priorities of the Government of Nepal.

On regional and multilateral processes, the EU and Nepal discussed about SAARC and BIMSTEC. They underlined the importance of effective multilateral cooperation. The EU praised Nepal’s contributions to UN Peacekeeping Operations.

The EU and Nepal reaffirmed their commitments to cooperate within the United Nations, World Trade Organization, and other global fora to promote effective multilateralism and the rules-based international order.

Human rights including social inclusion were also discussed at the meeting. Nepal reaffirmed its commitment to upholding human rights and concluding transitional justice as soon as possible. The EU expressed hope on the early conclusion of Nepal’s peace process.

They both unanimously agreed that corruption, including money laundering and financing of terrorism, is a major impediment to sustainable development. The EU took note of Nepal’s ongoing legislative efforts and underlined the importance of compliance and enforcement.

The EU commended Nepal’s remarkable strides on inclusive participation and women empowerment. Both sides praised the EU flagship action “Empowered Women, Prosperous Nepal”, launched last year by the EU and the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens of Nepal. The EU commended Nepal for the child grant schemes and encouraged its expansion.

The EU appreciated the achievements made by Nepal in its socio-economic transformation. The EU and Nepal appraised the recent developments in upholding the democratic processes and institutions, and stressed the important role of civil society and media for strengthening democracy and good governance.

Nepal underlined their multiple vulnerabilities of natural disasters, exacerbated by the impacts of climate change, and discussed climate adaptation finance. The EU complimented Nepal for its position on Climate Change and the ‘Mountain Agenda’ during COP28 and also on its ambitious goal of reaching net zero carbon status by 2045.

The Nepali side expressed gratitude for the EU’s generous assistance following the Jajarkot earthquake, in post-earthquake resilient reconstruction and recovery efforts, and appreciated the cooperative partnership in disaster risk reduction.

The EU and Nepal exchanged their views on bilateral trade relations, including the criteria for acceding to the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+).

Nepal expressed appreciation for the exchanges under the Erasmus+ programme, and the scholarships offered for Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree programmes, including people-to-people contacts.

The EU and Nepal underlined that air safety remains a key priority area in their bilateral relations. Nepal assured of addressing all observations of the EU’s assessment visit in September 2023, while the EU will support Nepal in this process. Both sides agreed to follow-up at technical levels.

The next Joint Commission meeting will take place in Brussels next year.

The meeting was co-chaired by SewaLamsal, Foreign Secretary of the Government of Nepal and Paola Pampaloni, Deputy Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific of the European External Affairs Service of the EU.

Fiscal Nepal |
Saturday March 23, 2024, 05:15:12 PM |

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