What is Nepal’s Foreign Policy?

    Foreign policy is a set of policies pursued by a nation in its dealings with other nations and international organizations. Hence it is the external behavior of the states. Foreign policies are designed to help protect a country’s national interests, national security, ideological goals, and economic prosperity.

    The foreign policy of a state is the ratified legal policy aimed at establishing good mutual relationships with other states and international organizations. It is an extension of a nation’s domestic policy. A nation-state formulates its foreign policy to enhance the national interest and promote good relations with other states.

    The fundamental objective of Nepal’s foreign policy is to enhance the dignity of the nation by safeguarding sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence, and promoting economic well-being and prosperity of Nepal. It also aims to contribute to global peace, harmony and security.

    What are the Guiding Principles of Nepal’s Foreign Policy?

      1. Safeguarding sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, and national interest, and enhancement of the dignity and prestige of the nation.
      1. Sovereign equality
      1. Five principles of Panchasheel
      1. Charter of the United Nations
      1. Non-alignment
      1. Mutual respect and gain
      1. Value of international law and world peace
      1. Peaceful settlement of disputes
      1. International cooperation
      1. Justice, equality, and responsibility
      1. Mutual friendship, cooperation, and coordination
      1. Democracy, human rights, and rule of law
      1. Economic progress and prosperity
      1. Balance of nature, protection of mankind and the earth

    Determinants of Nepal’s Foreign Policy

    The foreign policy of Nepal is determined by various internal as well as external elements. They are:

      • Geopolitical position
      • Historical background
      • Political situation
      • Socio-cultural factors
      • Economic strength
      • National and military capacity
      • World peace and disarmament
      • Trade and commercial interest
      • Multilateralism and regionalism

    Nepal’s Foreign Policy in the Present Context

    Nepal’s foreign policy is directed towards safeguarding the national interest and security thereby enhancing the dignity and prestige of Nepal internationally. Nepal has been strengthening and expanding its relationship with its neighbors and other countries based on sovereign equality and mutual respect and gain with the motto of “friendship with all, enmity with none.”

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    Nepal has established diplomatic relationships with most of the countries of the world. It has maintained a friendly and cooperative relationship with neighboring countries, South Asian countries, powerful nations, and development partners alike. It has also strengthened mutual friendship and institutionalized cooperation and coordination through the exchange of high-profile visits, bilateral joint commissions, regional mechanisms, and inter-governmental mechanisms.

    Furthermore, Nepal has obtained memberships in most international organizations and has become a party to important international treaties. The south Asian country has been relentlessly contributing to the UN effort to maintain world peace and security for more than six decades.

    What Are the Objectives of Nepal’s Foreign Policy?

    The followings are the major objectives of Nepal’s foreign policy:

    1. To expand and strengthen bilateral relations with neighbors and all other countries on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual respect and gain.
    2. To promote the national interest by enhancing the identity and representation of Nepal in the international and regional forums.
    3. To play effective roles in the establishment of world peace, disarmament, protection, and promotion of human rights, achievement of sustainable development goals, reducing the impacts of climate change, controlling pandemics, terrorism and cybercrimes, safe emigration, and the rights of landlocked countries.
    4. To coordinate for creating a just, inclusive and unbiased world system based on rule of law.
    5. To promote regional cooperation, peace, and coordination.
    6. To contribute to the socio-economic transformation of the nation through economic diplomacy.
    7. To promote Nepal’s soft power by means of natural beauty, civilization, culture, lifestyle, art, language, literature, sports, diversity, etc.

    What are the Challenges for Nepal’s Foreign Policy?

    The challenges for Nepal’s foreign policy can be explained through the following points:

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      • to protect and promote the national interest,
      • to protect the international border of Nepal,
      • forming a joint national perspective regarding foreign relations by coordinating and cooperating with all factors,
      • to guarantee foreign aid for achieving the aims of sustainable development and periodic plans,
      • to mobilize foreign investment for the socioeconomic development of Nepal as per the national needs,
      • to strengthen multilateralism for the protection of the national interest of small and developing nations,
      • to gather external assistance while safeguarding the national interest during uncomfortable situations caused by global pandemics and natural disasters,
      • to give continuity to trade facilities by enhancing competitiveness after graduating from the least developed country’s list.

    Opportunities for Nepal’s Foreign Policy

      • Provision of guiding principles of foreign policy in the Constitution of Nepal.
      • National consensus and unity on issues relating to the national interest, economic prosperity, and border.
      • Nepal has been acknowledged internationally for its contribution to the establishment of world peace.
      • Possibility of mobilizing the knowledge, skills, money, and networks of the Nepalese diaspora in the nation’s development.
      • Possibility of gains from the rapidly developing neighbors.
      • Nepal has gained credibility and respect internationally due to its independent, balanced unbiased, and fixed perspective.
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    What are the Roles of the Foreign Ministry in Foreign Policy Implementation?

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal in particular, and the foreign ministry of any country in general, can and have to play the following roles:

      • Formulation and implementation of Nepal’s foreign policy.
      • Maintenance and promotion of friendly relations with foreign countries.
      • Representation of Nepal in foreign countries and international forums.
      • Projection and promotion of Nepal’s image in foreign countries.
      • Protection and promotion of rights, interests and security of Nepalese nationals living abroad.
      • Coordination of incoming and outgoing high-level visits.
      • Engagement with the United Nations and other international and regional organizations.
      • Coordination with Nepalese missions abroad and foreign diplomatic missions in Nepal.
      • Negotiations and agreements with foreign governments and at regional and multilateral forums.
      • Providing policy inputs and reporting on matters of national interest to competent authorities of Nepal.
      • Operation of Nepal’s foreign service.
      • Delivery of passport and consular services.
      • Dealing with non-residential Nepalese affairs
      • Handling protocol matters.
      • Management of diplomatic immunities and privileges.
      • Providing consular services to foreign nationals.

    What is Nepal’s National Interest?

    As maintained in Article-5 of the Constitution of Nepal, the basic elements of the national interest of Nepal shall be “safeguarding of the freedom, sovereignty, territorial integrity, nationality, independence and dignity of Nepal, the rights of the Nepali people, border security, economic wellbeing, and prosperity.”


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