Newly appointed Ambassador- Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Nepal gives full support to peace and constitution drafting

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Newly appointed Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation to Nepal Dr. Alexander Spachis presented his credentials to President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav at a special function organised at the presidential office Sunday afternoon.

Dr. Spachis is the first fully accredited Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Nepal. Until now, the Kathmandu office, established in 2002, was a Delegation of the European Commission under the supervision of a non-resident Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Commission based in New Delhi. As from now it is a fully- fledged Delegation of the European Union representing all E.U. institutions.

"I have been given this important responsibility at a historical juncture of both the European Union (EU) and Nepal. While the EU is preparing to move ahead with added cohesion on foreign policy and security matters, following the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty starting 1st December, 2009, Nepal too is confronted with the multiple task of taking the peace process to a logical end, drafting a new constitution and holding a fresh round of elections at par with international standards," Dr. Spachis said.

"Given the seriousness of the tasks in hand, I take it both as an opportunity and challenge for me and the Ambassadors of the EU Member States in Kathmandu to work together with the Nepal Government, the civil society and other stakeholders and international actors to assist the Nepali people in their ongoing efforts to achieve lasting peace, stability and prosperity," Dr. Spachis said.

Referring to the areas of development assistance that EU has been focussing in Nepal, he said that peace building, education, trade facilitation, food security, energy and environment, support for democratisation, improving human rights and health conditions through NGOs are some of the ongoing prioritised areas where yearly grants to the tune of 35 million Euros (US $ 50 million) have been allocated from the EU budget.

The European Union is a grouping of 27 democratic European countries having a unique economic and political partnership. Peace, prosperity and freedom for its half billion citizens - in a fairer and safer world are its aims.

Frontier-free travel and trade, the euro (the single European currency), safer food and consumer products and a greener environment, better living standards in poorer regions, joint action on crime and terror, lower prices for the consumers, greater opportunities to quality studies abroad are some of the EU achievements so far.

Indeed, solidarity with developing countries, especially LDCs has been prominent in the EU, which has been actively involved in lending support and technical expertise to the countries that are in need in different parts of the world. Against this backdrop, the EU has emerged as the topmost donor of development and humanitarian assistance in the world.