International Development Minister Desmond Swayne has welcomed Nepal’s first female speaker of parliament to London.
The Rt Hon Onsari Gharti Magar led the parliamentary delegation from Nepal, who are on a five day visit to London and Belfast to celebrate 200 years of friendship between the UK and Nepal.
International Development Minister of State, Desmond Swayne said:
The UK is one of the biggest bilateral development partners in Nepal and following last year’s devastating earthquakes, we played a leading role in delivering life-saving aid to the Nepali people as well as supporting recovery and reconstruction efforts to get the country back on its feet.
I welcome this historic delegation. It’s a joyful occasion, notwithstanding the terrible events of a year ago, and given DFID’s leading role in promoting the interests of women worldwide, I am especially delighted that the delegation is led by Nepal’s first female Speaker. The UK is a good friend of Nepal and we are happy to use our bicentenary year as a platform to build an even stronger relationship.
DFID continues to monitor the humanitarian and recovery situation in Nepal, particularly for those who remain highly vulnerable because they have lost their homes or jobs. We will continue to work with the Government of Nepal to help ensure we are best addressing the needs of the Nepali people during this difficult time.
The Rt Hon Onsari Gharti Magar was accompanied by chief whips from four political parties in Nepal: Hon Chinkaji Shrestha (Nepali Congress), Hon Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal (United Marxist Lenninist), Hon Hit Raj Pandey (Maoist) and Hon Dil Nath Giri (Rastriya Prajatantra Party); the Secretary General of the Parliament Secretariat, Manohar Prasad Bhattarai, and Spoksperson for the Parliament of Nepal, Mukunda Sharma.
The delegation has already met representatives from the International Development Committee, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nepal, the British-Nepal Chamber of Commerce, the Lord Speaker, Rt Hon Baroness D’Souza CMG and Mr Speaker Rt Hon John Bercow MP.