The Honourable members of 32nd Dail Éireann(Lower House of the Irish Parliament) and 25th Seanad( Upper House of the Irish Parliament) have constituted Ireland-Nepal Parliamentary Friendship Group on June 27th, 2017. The historical launch ceremony of the Friendship Group was chaired by the Right Honourable Mr. Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD, Ceann Comhairle(Speaker of Dail Eireann). The Ireland-Nepal Friendship Group comprises of the Honourable Members of Irish Parliament, Hon. Ms. Maureen O’Sullivan TD, Hon. Senator Ms. Ivana Bacik, Hon. Mr. Sean Barett TD, Hon. Mr. Sean Crowe TD and Hon. Mr. Darragh O’Brien TD. Hon. Ms. Maureen O’Sullivan TD has been appointed as the Convenor of the Ireland-Nepal Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Speaking on the occasion, Right Honourable Mr. Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD, Ceann Comhairle(Speaker of the Irish Parliament) stated that growing links between Ireland and Nepal have been formally recognized at parliamentary level with the establishment of Friendship Group in the Irish Parliament. He further added that the Friendship Group would serve as a valuable platform to develop links between Ireland and Nepal. The Rt. Hon. Speaker said that the Irish people who had visited Nepal have been praising Nepal’s unique nature and diverse culture. He expressed his desire to visit Nepal in the near future. He also stressed the need for exchange of visits so that experiences can be shared between the two countries.
Welcoming the guests, the Convenor of the Ireland-Nepal Parliamentary Friendship Group, Hon. Ms. Maureen of Sullivan TD stated that the Ireland-Nepal Parliamentary Friendship Group would work actively to promote trade link between Ireland and Nepal, explore areas of collaboration between the two countries, extend parliamentary cooperation and arrange exchange of high-level visits.
Addressing the ceremony, Mr. Sharad Raj Aran, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Nepal in London mentioned that the Constitution of Nepal has incorporated universally accepted democratic norms and values such as multiparty democracy, pluralism, adult franchise, rule of law, representative and accountable government, social and economic justice, independent judiciary, freedom of press and human rights. Mr. Aran added that the Government of Nepal was fully committed to institutionalize democracy by holding local, provincial and parliamentary-level elections within the period of eight months. He also expressed his confidence that the formation of the Group would be instrumental in further enhancing Nepal-Ireland relations in general and in consolidating Nepal-Ireland parliamentary ties.
President of Nepal-Ireland Society, Mr. Deepesh Man Shakya said that Nepalese community in Ireland was excited and encouraged with the formation of Ireland-Nepal Parliamentary Friendship Group. He informed that the formal inauguration of the Friendship Group was finally materialized after untiring efforts by the Embassy of Nepal in London, Nepal-Ireland Society and the Irish friends of Nepal. He expressed his hope to work closely to promote tourism, trade and investment between Nepal and Ireland.
Also present in the historic inauguration of Ireland-Nepal Parliamentary Friendhip Group were Chairman of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence Committee, Honourable Mr. Brendan Smith, Honourable Senator Mr. Terry Leyden, Members of the Council of Europe, Honourable Member of Parliament, Mr. Thomas Pringle, Ms. Maeve Collins, Regional Director for Asia Pacific Region at Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Prof.Dr. Juliette Hussey, Vice-President, International Global Relations, Trinity College, Distinguished personalities from different sectors of Ireland, Irish friends of Nepal, Executive members of Nepal-Ireland Society and NRNA-Ireland, among others.
The Ireland-Nepal Parliamentary Friendship Group is the only formal Oireachtas(Irish Parliament) Group recognized by the Houses of the Oireachtas between the two countries, and would serve to strengthen relations between the two countries at parliamentary level.