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Nepal Conference Ireland 2016

posted Aug 5, 2016, 3:17 AM by Nepal Ireland Society
The Embassy of Nepal, London jointly with the Nepal Ireland Society, Action Aid and Engineers Without Borders Ireland organized Nepal Conference 2016 in Dublin Ireland on Saturday, 30th April 2016. The conference was organized in Dublin to mark one year of devastating Nepal earthquake. 

Welcoming the participants of the conference, Mr. Deepesh Man Shakya, President of the Nepal Ireland Society and Honorary Public Relations Representative of Nepal Tourism Board for Ireland said that the conference is being organized to bring NGOs and individuals in Ireland, who are working on different projects in Nepal, to a common networking platform. 

At the onset of the conference, a minute silence was observed in the memory of nearly 9000 people who lost their lives to the earthquake on 25th April 2015. 

The Conference had more than 25 speakers representing different INGOs and Charity organizations. The reconstruction phase of Nepal, slow response of Government of Nepal, difficulties for International Volunteer in obtaining volunteer visa was discussed during the Conference. Speaking as the guest of honor Ms. Siobhan McGee, CEO of Action Aid Ireland, said her organization is extremely delighted to be a part of the historic Nepal Conference in Ireland. She vowed to support NIS future activities and work in collaboration to accomplish the objectives behind the formation of Nepal Ireland Alliance, a platform that was formed last year to integrate all Irish organizations, interested in Nepal. 

Likewise, speaking at the Conference, the Chargé d’ Affaires a.i., Mr. Tej Bahadur Chhetri informed the participants regarding the progress made by Government of Nepal so far in the earthquake reconstruction effort. On behalf of the Nepalese government, he also thanked the Irish government, Irish NGOs, and Irish people for their immense help and support after the earthquake. Likewise, he also encouraged participants to involve in Nepal Trade and Investment by shedding light on fertile area of Nepal Trade and investment ranging from Hydropower to Agro-based industries. At the end of his speech, Chargé d’ Affaires a.i., Mr. Tej Bahadur Chhetri also requested Irish Government to lift travel restriction fully and urged the participants and Irish citizen to visit beautiful Nepal mentioning that it is already safe to visit, for helping country to flourish its leading tourism business. 

The chief guest of the conference, Mr. Joe Costello, former Irish Minister of State for Trade and Development specified about the Nepal and Ireland special relationship which was established in 1999 and reassured his commitment to strengthen this relationship further in future for the mutual benefits of both countries. He insisted on importance to encourage high-level visits between Nepal and Ireland and assured that he will do the best he can to materialize such visits and also work on the formation of an Inter-Parliamentary friendship group between the two countries. During the conference, Mr. Joe Costello also assured the participants that he will put the request to Irish Government for putting Nepal in priority list for Irish Aid. Furthermore, he also mentioned that the Irish Government will provide needed support and help to Nepal for flourishing Tourism and country’s reconstruction effort.

Irish Mt. Everest Summiteer Mr. Derek J. Mahon talked about his experience and the unforgettable time he had in Nepal during his Everest Expedition. Speaking at the conference, Mr. Som Nath Sapkota, Nepal Tourism Board Honorary Public Relations Representative for Denmark, requested Irish public to visit Nepal. 

The President of Nepal Ireland Society and Honorary Public Relations Representative of Nepal Tourism Board in Ireland Mr. Deepeshman Shakya, Honorary Public Relations Representative of Nepal Tourism Board in UK Mr. Pashupati Bhandari, UK social worker Dr. Kapil Rijal, representative from Irish Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Plan International, Concern Worldwide and various other representatives from several INGOs and Charity Organization were presented in the Conference. The representatives from various Ireland based NGOs - Action Aid Ireland (Ms. Triona Pender) , Sarah Bird Foundation (Ms. Naomi Gould and Paul O’Connor), Engineers Without Borders (Mr. Declan Alcock), Irish Nepalese Educational Trust (INET) (Ms. Valerie Burris), Comhlamh (Mr. Phillipe Mudge), Concern Worldwide (Mr. Ros O’Sullivan), Nagarhope Ireland (Ms. Niamh Clandillon), Tear Fund (Ms. Emma Lynch), Nepal Leprosy Turst (Mr. Mike Winterburn), Trocaire (Mr. Conor O'Loughlin), Plan International (Ms.Linda Fuhrmann), Habitat for Humanity Ireland (Mr. Vinnie Cunnigham), Umbrella Foundation (Ms. Ciara Close), Droaicht (Ms. Sarah O’Connell and Ms. Siabhra Medley) and Touch Ireland (Mr. Shiva Gautam) presented the details of the projects their organizations have been involved in Nepal after the earthquake. They also expressed their thoughts regarding possible future projects their organization can carry out jointly in Nepal. 

During the Ireland visit for Conference, the Chargé d’ Affaires a.i., Mr. Tej Bahadur Chhetri attended a meeting with Asia-Pacific Deputy Director Mr. Brian O’Brien and Desk Officer Ms. Maria at Ireland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 29 April 2016. In the meeting the Chargé d’ Affaires a.i., Mr. Tej Bahadur Chhetri urged Ireland to fully relax travel restriction on Nepal which was imposed by Irish Government one year ago with the devastating earthquake. Though UK and US lifted the travel warnings to their citizens to visit earthquake affected regions of Nepal, Ireland had only lifted the restrictions partially. They also discussed about the bilateral relation between Nepal and Ireland, trade and investment and the possibility of high level visits to Nepal and vice versa. Similarly, they also discussed on need for the forming Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group both in Nepal and Ireland and on setting up consultation mechanism between Nepal and Ireland.