Keynote Speech by HE Ambassador to the UK & Ireland Dr. Suresh Chandra Chalise at 2nd Annual Interaction Programme organized by Nepal Ireland Society on 10th March, 2012 in Dublin, Ireland.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
President of Nepal-Ireland Society,
Notable Speakers, Distinguished Guests, Members of NIS, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am extremely happy being part of this interaction program to-day, organized by Nepal Ireland Society. It, indeed, has provided me an opportunity to meet and greet the friends of Ireland and Nepal relationship. Thank you so much organisers for this opportunity.
As you all know that Ireland and Nepal entered in to the diplomatic relationship only in 1999. But, the fact is that enthusiasts of adventure, heroic deeds and exploration already had developed relationship at their level. Every year a number of people from Ireland travel to Nepal as tourists, as volunteers for socio-economic empowerment of Nepalese and so on. You would be delighted to learn that one of the closest friends of past Irish president Ms. Mary McLease has been serving Nepal in the realm of child care for a long time. President had informed me about it during my credential presentation ceremony in 2010. Likewise, a number of Nepalese people have been coming to Ireland for studies, for tourism and for other business purposes as well. I believe that such visits and contacts have paved the way to have underpinned a link between them prior establishing formal bilateral relationship.
However, in order to expand and deepen our relationship, we need to do a lot- at both- government and people’s levels. I think it is imperative to mention here about the Tourism Promotion Program of embassy, that we held in Dublin last year. It was attended by all- representatives of governments of Ireland and Nepal and also by friends of our relationship. I had, at that time, great privilege to welcome Lord Mayor, TDs, ambassadors and other high level dignitaries. It was, in deed, a significant step for more such activities in future. I vividly remember what the then President of Ireland Ms. Mary McAleese had brought one more important subject to my knowledge just after I presented my letter of credence to her. She had advised me by saying “Ambassador- your frequent visits to Dublin shall help strengthening our bilateral relationship”. President had hinted me that my frequent visits to Ireland were imperative to boost our relationship. Ever since, I am trying to visit to Dublin as much as it is possible. As part of it, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, this is my third visit to Ireland. I also uphold that higher the exchange of visits of officials and high level dignitaries between two countries, deeper will be our relationship.
As I am again in Dublin, I want to let you know about two of my major objectives this time. The one is, of course, to attend this program, which is of immense significance to me. 2ndly, I am scheduled to meeting with Minister of State for Trade and Development Mr. Joe Costello. During my meeting with him, I plan to bring up and discuss as to how we could develop trade and investment relationship between Nepal and Ireland. Contemporary Nepal is fortunate to have China and India as soaring economies in the next-door. Nepal, as a next-door neighbour, is now in a strategic position. Nepal is going to be trade and transit passage for these two global economies. I strongly believe that if we collectively make efforts to bring Irish investors in to Nepal, people of both countries could reap the fortunes.
The path to this could only be possible if there are more frequent interactions, meetings and discussions between and among peoples of two countries. I am very glad to note that Nepal Ireland Society is actively working in creating such platform. It is the programs, like today’s, that help build network and provide avenues to explore different opportunities to further strengthen ties between Nepal and Ireland at all levels.
The President of Nepal-Ireland Society Mr. Deepesh Man Shakya, has informed me about a number of charity organizations, based in Ireland, that have been working in Nepal. In this connection, I am happy to note that Foundation Nepal, Nagarhope, Umbrella Foundation, Bright Future Nepal, Nepal Leprosy Trust, Social and Health Education Project, Draoicht Society, CoreChurch, Hope Foundation Ireland, Irish Nepal Education Trust, Touch Ireland and Action Aid Ireland etc. are involved in Nepal. I am interested to have a conversation with the representatives of all these organizations, who are present here today.
Last but not the least: I would like to offer my appreciation to all of you. I also, on behalf of Nepal government, thank for the priceless work that you have been carrying out in various fields and through many measures including peace process.
I would like to take opportunity to mention my full support for Nepal-Ireland Society’s endeavors to establish a platform of friendship between Nepal and Ireland. The dynamic members of this society are more than willing to help us. I can see this society could actually be a link between the peoples of Ireland and Nepal.
Thank you so much for your kind attention and look forward to know about your works.