HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: With the resignation of Gyan Chandra Acharya as the Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations, in New York, the most challenging diplomatic mission is sure to be headless for an unspecified period.
It is not sure when Acharya’s successor will be picked as there is no Parliament, and hence no parliamentary hearing, a constitutionally mandatory provision to appoint someone to the diplomatic post.
The Cabinet today accepted the resignation of Acharya who was last week appointed as the UN Under Secretary General and High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Islands Developing States by UNSG Ban Ki-moon.
“The resignation tendered by Acharya has been approved with effect from September 1,” said Education Minister Dina Nath Sharma. Senior officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the mission would be ‘handicapped’ if the vacuum continued for long.
Even though Acharya’s resignation has been accepted with effect from September 1, a source at Nepal’s Permanent Mission in New York informed that Acharya would vacate his office on September 3, after his participation at the 16th Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran, Iran next week. Acharya is scheduled to reach Tehran on August 25 to attend NAM’s senior officers’ meeting.
“Deputy Chief of Mission, Sheva Lamsal Adhikari, will, however, serve as the chargé d’affaires until a new permanent representative is appointed,” said DPM and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha.
A source added that nothing can be said as of now regarding the appointment of a new permanent representative unless there is a headway on breaking the constitutional crisis. Appointments of ambassadors, judges and chiefs and commissioners to constitutional bodies are in a state of limbo in the absence of mandatory parliamentary hearing.
Though the government is planning to address the pressing issues through ordinances, it is yet to take a final decision to this effect in the wake of President Ram Baran Yadav’s recent move to reject two election related ordinances.
The Permanent Representative at the UN Mission in New York is considered one of the most coveted diplomatic posts. If the recent tradition is anything to go by, the foreign secretary usually assumes the post.
Besides the UN mission, Nepali Embassy in India is headless for over 18 months whereas ambassadors to Malaysia and Thailand are also yet to be appointed.