Bhattarai sends official invite to Ban
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 17, 2012
By Anil Giri
Ban will take stock of the peace process and hold discussions on the development of Lumbini during his stay here.
“The government has extended an invitation to Secretary General Ban to attend an international conference on Lumbini development to be held in Lumbini on April 29. Ban’s visit has been fixed for the last week of April,” spokesperson of the Lumbini Development Steering Committee and Nepali Congress leader Minendra Rijal said on Friday after a meeting of the committee. The invitation, a personal note in nature, signed by Bhattarai has been forwarded to Nepal’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Gyan Chandra Acharya. Acharya is likely to hand over the invitation to Ban on Friday or early next week in New York.
The invitation contains a specific request to attend the high-level international meeting on Lumbini, multiple sources at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said. This would be Ban’s second trip to the country in capacity of the UN Secretary General. He was in Nepal in 2009.
Officials said the government will pitch its agendas to the UN headquarters after a series of comprehensive consultations with all major political stakeholders.
“We were particularly concerned about some targeted campaigns against his visit. As such, we decided to send the invitation as soon as possible,” a senior government official privy to the developments said. A senior MoFA official said there is nothing “negative” in New York regarding Ban’s visit and that “everything is well in place.”
Ban’s visit, which will be part of his regional tour, will help build pressure on major political stakeholders to complete the peace and constitution drafting processes, said a PMO official.