Canberra, The second meeting of the Bilateral Consultations Mechanism (BCM) between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of Australia was concluded in Canberra on 30 August. Foreign Secretary Mr. Bharat Raj Paudyal and Mr. Justin Hayhurst, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia led their respective delegations to the BCM meeting. The two sides reviewed the Nepal-Australian bilateral relations and exchanged views on further strengthening the bilateral relations and cooperation in wide-ranging sectors including education, energy, investment, trade, tourism, technology transfer, migration, cooperation in climate action, and disaster risk reduction, etc.
Both sides agreed to prioritize the exchange of high-level visits, promote people to people contacts, and facilitate trade, investment and transfer of technology. They also discussed cooperation in multilateral forums, including the exchange of experiences in UN Peacekeeping operations. While appreciating Australian cooperation to Nepal, Foreign Secretary Mr. Paudyal requested the Australian side to place Nepal as a priority country for Australian aid, support for post-COVID economic recovery, graduation from the LDC status, and realize the agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, and consider issuing visa services from the Australian Embassy in Kathmandu.
Earlier, Nepal and Australia signed MOU on Cooperation on Water Resource Management yesterday under which Australia will provide support on capacity development and training technical assistance in water resource management among others.
The Nepali delegation led by the Foreign Secretary consisted of Mr. Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, Secretary, Water and Energy Commission, H.E Mr. Kailash Raj Pokharel, Ambassador of Nepal to Australia, Mr. Lok Bahadur Thapa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Sita Basnet, Under Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Kul Bahadur Magar, Deputy Head of Mission of Embassy of Nepal. Bilateral Consultation Mechanism between Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia was established on 14 July 2017 and its first meeting was held in Kathmandu on 16 August 2018.