|EU Delegation Holds Info Day For Partners
The Delegation of the European Union to Nepal organized an 'Information Day' for 25 partners who freshly signed contracts to run different development programmes on health, vocational training, good governance, promotion of democracy and human rights, solid waste management, issues related to migration and tourism promotion under different thematic budget lines.
The thematic budget lines come under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) and European Instrument for Democracy and Human
Rights (EIDHR) of the European Commission.
The total EU assistance for the 25 projects is approximately Euros 15 million (NPR 1.5 billion). The projects fall under three different programmes: the EIDHR, Non-State Actors (NSA) and Investing in People.
These sectors have been receiving top priority in Nepal with the non-state actors actively working with the European Union to achieve
the goals related to the preservation and promotion of human rights, promotion of vocational skills in backward and marginalized
populations and preservation of the language and culture of indigenous communities.
"The European Union joins hands with its partners to bring about substantive changes in the quality of life of the Nepalese people
through projects encompassing a broad spectrum of activities related to skill development, preservation of human rights, conservation of
the environment and protection of language and culture of the indigenous groups," Dr, Alexander Spachis, Ambassador, Head of the
European Union Delegation to Nepal said.
Recalling the recent voice echoed by Europeans to honour the EU commitment to increase aid to 0.7% of gross national income by 2015,
Dr. Spachis said the existing aid along with any possible increases in the near future are aimed at assisting developing countries like Nepal to achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which have set global targets for reducing poverty by 2015.
Project partners were given information on different contractual obligations, various aspects of project management and visibility
along with an introduction to tools on financial and technical reporting, accounts and record keeping on the occasion. Maintaining
transparency, accountability and complementarities were highlighted during the information session.
Indian Aid For Jhapa School
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on February 7, 2011 by Embassy of India, Kathmandu, District Development Committee, Jhapa and Shree Shanti Adarsha Secondary School, Jhapa for providing an Indian grant assistance worth NRs. 1.15 crores for construction of double storied building and provision of furniture for the school under Nepal-India Economic Cooperation Programme.
This is the eighteenth development project in the Jhapa District being undertaken with the assistance of India under Small Development Projects.
Shree Shanti Adarsha Secondary School is one of the oldest schools in Jhapa.
The current infrastructure of the school is old and inadequate to cope with the expanding requirements of the school. The new infrastructure being constructed with the grant assistance would cater to the educational needs of over 1000 students, would create an improved environment for learning and contribute to the development of education in the area. The project will be implemented by the District Development Committee, Jhapa as per Nepal government’s norms and regulations. The committee will also be responsible for the quality and timely completion the project, a statement of the Embassy said.
Sri Lanka Marks National Day
The Sri Lankan Embassy in Kathmandu celebrated Sri Lanka’s 63rd National Day on 4th February 2011.
Morning celebrations were held at the Embassy premises. Thosapala Hewage, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Nepal, hoisted the national flag and participated in singing the national anthem, followed by the traditional lighting of the lamp ceremony.
Sri Lankan community in Nepal took part in the event.
National Day messages from the Sri Lankan President, Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs were also read and a two minute silence was observed in honor of all the national heroes who sacrificed their lives for the country.
An alms giving (Dana Pooja) was organized at the Chancery for nearly 15 religious leaders who were present at the event.
A dinner- reception was organized at Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu in the evening for prominent politicians of Nepal, resident Ambassadors and members of the Diplomatic corps, members of business community and other prominent personalities.
Chairman of Constituent Assembly Subas Chandra Nembang graced the event as the Chief Guest.
As a British crown colony, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon and it achieved independence in 1948. In the year 1972, the official name of the country was changed to "Republic of Sri Lanka" and in 1978 the official name was changed to the "Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka".
In May 2009, Sri Lanka was liberated from the clutches of terrorism by the present Government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The National Day holds much significance for the people of Sri Lanka as it reflects the history of great sacrifices made by many Sri Lankans in the attainment of its freedom over the years in various struggles to save its sovereignty from threats.
It has also become a day to pay tributes to the armed forces that played a major role in the country's freedom struggle against terrorism.
Rights Review Held In Geneva
The human rights situation of Nepal was reviewed for the first time under the Universal Periodic Review mechanism and the draft report was released last week.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal) commended all actors who participated in the UPR process thus far for their commitment to this important review and noted the positive spirit of collaboration and mutual understanding among all stakeholders in Geneva.
Particularly, noteworthy was that the high level Government delegation was well-prepared for this review, a statement obtained here said.
"OHCHR is encouraged that the Government of Nepal has voluntarily expressed its commitments to continue its holistic and comprehensive approach to the promotion and protection of human rights and to put in practice a rights-based approach to development of all sectors,” said Jyoti Sanghera, the Head of OHCHR-Nepal. "The Office commends the Government for its expressed commitment to engage the civil society and stakeholders in the promotion of protection of human rights.”
Sanghera stated, “At the same time, my Office is concerned that the Government did not accept recommendations including with regard to the ratification of a few important international human rights instruments and those related to the investigations into allegations of extra-judicial killings in the Terai as set out in OHCHR’s September 2010 public report," further adding, "The Office will continue discussions on these recommendations as part of its efforts to strengthen human rights protection in Nepal.”
It is important that the Government and all relevant counterparts now build on the momentum of the UPR through the concrete implementation of the accepted recommendations and a detailed consideration of the other recommendations, the statement said. “OHCHR is ready to continue providing support in the process and hopes that government interlocutors will pursue a constructive dialogue with all human rights partners towards this goal.”
More than 20 renowned UK institutions in Kathmandu
Dr Robert Monro, Director of the British Council, Dr Lava Awasthi, Director General, Department of Education and Mr Guy Harrison, Charge d’ Affaires, are opening the British Council’s Education UK Exhibition on 12 February at DECC (Direction Exhibition and Convention Centre), United World Trade Centre, Tripureshwor, Kathmandu.
The exhibition will be held for two days on 12 and 13 February from 1100 to 1730 hours with a view to promoting UK education and increasing the understanding of the UK's expertise in education. The event is organized in an inclusive way such that students and parents will get the chance to meet representatives from 21 renowned institutions in the UK and talk to them directly. There will also be seminars / presentations by representatives from the British Council, the British High Commission in Delhi, and UK institutions.
One of the most popular education destinations these days is the UK. British education is famous for its breadth and academic excellence, and offers outstanding opportunities to students from all over the world. Independent thinking and student centred learning are the hallmarks of British degree courses. British higher education offers shorter and more intensive courses than are available in many other countries and it is well known that UK qualifications add value to your CV, give you a competitive edge and increase your employment prospects.
His Excellency the British Ambassador, John Tucknott MBE, said.
“I am delighted that the British Council in Nepal has organised this event, and that so many top-class British higher education institutions are present. British universities are amongst the best in the world and thousands of Nepalis have benefited from the education they offer. This is a key contributing factor to the strong relationship which exists between the UK and Nepal. I believe that the “Education UK” exhibition will confirm to the current generation of Nepalis considering their options for higher education that the UK is the place to go.”
This event is the opportunity for face to face discussion and interaction with UK higher education specialists for students, parents, career advisers, agents, representatives and others from all walks of life looking to broaden their educational horizons in a modern and professional way.
In many cases students are in a dilemma about choosing the right education for the career that is right for them. This exhibition is therefore focused on providing guidance about the educational opportunities that are available in the UK for different careers and enabling students to make the right career and education choices.
Dr Robert Monro, Country Director, British Council said
“It has been recognised for many years that appropriate higher education is a key factor in both individual advancement and national development. Studying in another country is also a life changing experience as it exposes students to ideas and practices that they may not come across in their own country, equipping them better for an international career. The UK has a wealth of experience in both education and development that could be of enormous benefit to Nepal and Nepalis. I would therefore wholeheartedly encourage young Nepalis to seize any opportunity they can to visit the UK and benefit from the education available there.”
U.S. Under Secretary Maria Otero visits Nepal
U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero arrived in Kathmandu today for a three-day visit. During her visit, she will meet with political leaders, senior government officials and civil society representatives to address a disaster risk reduction symposium and discusstrafficking in persons and refugee issues.
On Monday, Otero will address the Disaster Risk Reduction Symposium entitled “Be Aware, Be Prepared: Implementing lessons learned from other earthquakes” at the Hotel Yak and Yeti. The purpose of the event, hosted by the Government of Nepal in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy and the United Nations, is to raise awareness among key decision-makers of Nepal’s vulnerability to a catastrophic earthquake; demonstrate the commitment of the Government of Nepal and the international community to disaster risk reduction, and review lessons learned from recent disasters to inform policy and planning in Nepal.
Today, she traveled to Maiti Nepal and met with survivors of trafficking where she recognized the outstanding work that Maiti Nepal is doing to help combat trafficking.
United States Support for Nepal Police
United States Under Secretary for Global Affairs Maria Otero today helped dedicate the Nepal Police Command Center, along with Chief of the Nepal Police, Inspector General Ramesh Thakuri and senior Police staff. The event marks the culmination of an $850,000 information technology improvement project that began as a joint effort between the US and the Nepal Elections Commission to improve communication around the country leading up the 2008 elections. The Command Center’s communications capabilities will help the police respond more quickly and more professionally to citizens around the country and, along with related information technology projects, will also improve the police’s ability to serve as an information and coordination leader in the event of a natural disaster in Nepal.
As Under Secretary Otero noted, “The U.S. Government has a robust partnership with the Nepal Police, because we understand that improving law and order in Nepal and protecting Nepalis’ security are essential tasks for a country coming out of the insecurity of a long conflict. A strong and professional police force can be an immeasurable benefit to Nepal.”
In addition to the Command Center and similar communication improvement projects around the country, the United States is funding the reconstruction of police posts that were destroyed during the conflict and offers a range of training programs to the Nepal Police, including airport security, natural resource protection, counter-terrorism, international peace keeping, stopping human trafficking, and respecting human rights.
In the coming years, the United States looks forward to working with Nepal Police authorities to identify areas of further collaboration.