KATHMANDU, Sept 5: Nepal´s Permanent Mission to United Nations in New York is left without head of mission just ahead of the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) scheduled to begin from September 18.
The post of the head of the mission, which has a crucial role during the UNGA, fell vacant after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed Nepal´s Permanent Representative to the UN Gyan Chandra Acharya as Under Secretary General for the Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) on August 14.
A cabinet meeting held two weeks ago has already approved Acharya´s resignation effective from September 1.
Former diplomats say the government should not leave the crucial position vacant especially during the UNGA session considering the importance the mission attaches. "This is a very important position and the government should not leave this position vacant especially during the UNGA,” said Nepal´s former ambassador and permanent representative to the UN Jayaraj Acharya.
Acharya recalled that he had reached the UN to assume the post two days after the UNGA session began“ "My credential was accepted on the same day keeping in view of the urgency," he further said“ "This shows how important the position of permanent representative is to the UN. The government should appoint new head of the mission at the earlies”."
Joint Secretary Sewa Adhikari, who is Deputy Chief of Mission, started working as Acting Chief of Mission two days ago. Sources said Minister Counsellor Amrit Rai, who was due to return home after completing his diplomatic assignment before the UNGA session, has been asked to defer his return for the UNGA.
But that alone won´t fulfill the need of Mission chief.
Officials at Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said the process to begin appointing new head of mission to the Nepal´s Permanent´s Mission in New York has not yet begun. "Nothing has happened to that effect yet. We are not aware if there is anything happening at political level," said a top official at the MoFA.
Officials said the government may not have taken any initiatives to appoint the new envoy to the UN as it requires parliamentary hearings. But since there is no parliament now, the appointment needs bringing amendments in the Interim Constitution through ordinance“ "The government should not delay the appointment just because there is legal complication. It has to do the needful," Acharya further said.
A cabinet minister told Republica that the government is mulling an ordinance that has a provision to make appointments in the constitutional bodies without having the propspective candidates to undergo parliamentary hearing. “I believe this new provision will incorporate even the appointments of ambassador,” said Minister for Land Reforms and Management Chandra Dev Joshi.
But as the ordinance will have larger consequences and there are fears from opposition parties that government could ´unilaterally´ make crucial appointments in the constitutional bodies, sources said President Ram Baran Yadav is unlikely to endorse the ordinance.
During his recent meeting with the top leaders of all major parties including UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front, the president had asked the ruling parties to forward him only urgent ordinances that have the consensus of all parties.