Symposium on 70th Anniversary of US-Nepal Bilateral Relationship (Oct 16-17, 2017)

Symposium on 70th Anniversary of US-Nepal Bilateral Relationship

Oct. 16-17, 2017

Washington, DC

DRAFT CONCEPT

This year, 2017, marks a milestone for US and Nepal relations as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between our two nations. Over the last seven decades, our relationship has blossomed into a strong and vibrant partnership rooted in shared values and aspirations and reflecting our commitment to sustainable and inclusive development.

The International Development Institute in collaboration with Nepalese Embassy in Washington DC, The Consulate General of Nepal in New York, and US Embassy in Nepal will organize a two-day symposium on “The USA – Nepal Bilateral Partnership” to mark the occasion.

The program will be conducted in Washington, D.C. on 16-17 October, 2017 and will bring together a select group of invitees who will be able to offer audiences a deeper understanding US policy towards Nepal, of the challenges of socio-economic development, and of the opportunities for investment in and engagement with Nepal in the years ahead. Most importantly, the expert panels and speakers will be able to set the context for discussions ensuring that audiences will better appreciate the complexity of the social and political dynamic in Nepal and in the region as well as the challenges of integrating effective disaster management planning into the development and investment framework.

Hon. Finance Minister of Nepal, Mr Gyanendra Bahadur Karki will be the chief guest of the symposium. The participants will have opportunity to listen from the Hon. Minister Nepal’s policies and potentials on the range of the areas of trade, investment, and economic cooperation. The speakers will shed light on the context of the 70th anniversary and the prospective areas of scaled up cooperation. The three workshop segments will be bookended by opening and closing speeches that capture the core elements of the discussion and provide a basis for further engagement.

The program will seek to reinvigorate existing partnerships and be a catalyst for new ones as we assess the strong relationship between our two countries over the last seven decades. Throughout the event we will draw on the expertise of the parties to produce paper and recommendations that will serve as a framework for efforts to develop a blueprint for a better, stronger and more strategic relationship with Nepal in terms of policy, development, and economic engagement.

Topics:

The workshop will focus on the following topics:

  1. Bilateral policies
    1. Emerging geopolitics of South Asia
    2. US Foreign Policy in Nepal in the past; the key drivers
    3. People-to-People relationship (art, educational, cultural, music, sports etc)
    4. Future trajectory of US-Nepal Relationship
  2. S.- Nepal Development Partnership
    1. Role of US Government in Nepal’s development efforts
    2. Role of Nepalese Diaspora to strengthen bilateral relationship
    3. Integrated disaster management as part of core development strategy
  3. The Road Ahead
    1. Investment successes and prospect (panel)
    2. Trade Preference Act of 2015 – how Nepal can maximize its potential
    3. The Y factor – the youth demographic (panel)      
    4. Between China and India: The Opportunities for Nepal                                                                                  

Invitees/Participants:

Former Ambassadors, current/former State Department/USAID officials, Returned Peace Corp Volunteers (RPCVs), representatives of consulting firms/NGOs working in Nepal, representatives from various Diaspora organizations in the US, Nepal/South Asia experts from think tanks/academia and friends of Nepal.

Output:

The paper presented and the proceedings will be published jointly by the organizing committee.

Host Committee:

International Development Institute (IDI) and Embassy of Nepal will co-chair the symposium. IDI will provide secretarial service and well as symposium implementation plan. Embassy of Nepal and the Consulate General, New York and Soarway Foundation will partner in finalizing participants and ensuring right participants are invited and engaged.