The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has warned local levels against signing any Memorandum of Understanding with foreign counterparts to establish sister relationship without prior approval of the Government of Nepal.

A notice issued by the MoFAGA to all local levels yesterday read, “As per Section 11 (8) of the Local Government Operation Act-2017, a local level may establish sister relationship with any local government abroad in consultation with the concerned provincial government and by obtaining prior approval of the Government of Nepal.

Despite the clear legal provision, some local levels are found to have signed MoU with foreign local levels without prior approval of the Council of Ministers.”

“Therefore, we request all local levels to obtain prior approval of the Council of Ministers and sign MoU in line with the approved format compulsorily, prior to signing any such agreement.”

However, the MoFAGA has not categorically identified local levels for breaching the law. A sister relationship is formally established when mayors or top elected or appointed officials of two bodies sign MoU. The process of such relationships can be different depending on organisation and can vary from culture to culture. Identification of potential partners is the foundation to developing a successful relationship.

In case of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, it has already established sister relationship with cities like Eugene (USA), Rochester, (USA), Matsumoto (Japan), Xi’an (China), Minsk (Belarus), Yangon (Myanmar), Pyongyang (North Korea), Lhasa (China), Shenzhen (China), Varanasi (India), Lanzhou (China), Seoul (South Korea), Chengdu (China), Fredericksburg (USA), Boulder (USA) and Nanjing (China).

A version of this article appears in print on November 06, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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