In an interesting recent move, the Nepal Government appointed Amrit Bahadur Rai as Nepal’s Permanent Representative to United Nations in New York.
Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali confirmed Rai’s appointment as Ambassador and Nepal’s PR to United States in New York at the Cabinet meeting on January 07, 2019.
The is an important diplomatic position for Nepal and has been vacant ever since the former Nepal Permanent Representative Durga Prasad Bhattarai was sent home following his extended tenure.
Rai is a career diplomat and has served as Nepalese Ambassador to South Africa since December 2014.
Going by the usual trend, recent ambassadorial nominations have been based on the candidates seniority.
However, this appointment seems conspicuous and raises questions as to why the government chose Rai over senior-most joint secretary and Ministry spokesperson in Kathmandu, Bharat Raj Paudyal.
Meanwhile, following the trend of nominating joint secretaries as ambassadors, Nepal is going to face a crunch of joint secretaries in the coming months.
Two weeks ago, the government recommended ambassadors from among career diplomats to five countries including Canada, France, Kuwait, Thailand and Switzerland.
The cabinet meeting also decided to recall Nepali ambassadors to Bangladesh, South Korea and Spain appointed by the former Sher Bahadur Deuba-led cabinet.
Arjun Jung Bahadur Singh from South Korea, Bharat Bahadur Rayamajhi from Spain and Professor Dr Chop Lal Bhushal were recalled from Bangladesh.
New Ambassadors Present Letters of Credence to Nepal Prez
Joining the league of Ambassadors representing various countries in Nepal, four newly appointed ambassadors presented their letters of credence to President Bidya Devi Bhandari amid a special ceremony at Sheetal Nivas on January 07, 2019.
Following new ambassadors presented their credentials to President Bidya Devi Bhandari:
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Chief of Army Staff Purna Chandra Thapa, Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi, Secretary at the Office of the President Binod KC, the Chief of Protocol Deepak Adhikari were among the high government officials present at the occasion.
The ambassadors were escorted to the President’s Office in a horse-driven carriage with special honor.
Earlier in December 2018, Nepal was also preparing to send four ambassadorial candidates to India, Malaysia, United Arab and Israel. Each of the candidates had to go through a stringent hearing process before being nominated.