The visit to Nepal by the delegation of the UK parliamentarians from the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (BGIPU) concluded yesterday.
The delegation had meetings with President Dr. Ram Baran Yadev, Speaker Subhas Nembang, Deputy Prime Minister Bam Dev Gautam, Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat and Commerce Minister Sunil Thapa.
According to a press release issued by British Embassy, the delegation also met with senior members of all the main political parties including former Prime Minister, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, with a wide range of the business community, with academics and opinion formers, with Ex-Gurkha servicemen and with those concerned with human rights and discrimination.
Outside Kathmandu the BGIPU delegation saw a wide range of UK Government Department for International Development (DFID) and Gurkha Welfare Scheme (GWS) projects in the Kathmandu Valley and in the Pokhara area. These related to Forestry, Water, Health, Emergency Relief following natural disasters, training in skills, and women and children rights.
The Leader of the Delegation, Sir John Stanley said, "We have had an exceptionally valuable visit at an important time for Nepal.”We had extensive discussions relating to Nepal's Constitution which we wish you well in finalising at an early date. “
The delegation were deeply impressed by the improvements in the lives of people in Nepal being achieved by both the UK's Department for International Development and by the Gurkha Welfare Scheme in conjunction with the Government of Nepal.
DFID's Forestry Program is bringing both environmental and financial benefits to local communities. The program of both DFID and the GWS to bring fresh water taps to individual houses is transforming the lives of women in particular who previously had to walk considerable distances for water.The mobile GWS health teams who remove cataracts are restoring sight to those who were previously blind.
The program of both DFID and the GWS to introduce smokeless stoves will result in huge health improvements for both adults and children at a relatively small cost per stove.
And the DFID program in support of skills training is creating new employment opportunities for women as well as men, including in aluminium fabrication as we saw in Pokhara.
As the celebration of the 200 years of continuous relations between Britain and Nepal approaches we send the Parliament and people of Nepal our warmest good wishes for their country's future stability and prosperity".
The members of the British Group Inter-Parliamentary delegation were Sir John Stanley MP, Leader (Conservative Party), Chair of the Britain-Nepal All Party Group in the British Parliament, Baroness Lindsay Northover (Liberal Democrats Party), a Department for International Development Minister, Jackie Doyle-Price MP (Conservative Party), Chair of the Gurkha Welfare All Party Group in the British Parliament, Kerry McCarthy MP (Labour Party), a Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Virendra Sharma MP (Labour Party), a Vice-Chair of the Britain-Nepal All Party Group in the British Parliament.