Nepal has always complained about being landlocked but our bureaucrats were caught napping when the opportunity arrived to discuss their problem at an international forum. The United Nations is organising the first ever conference of landlocked developing countries in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 28-29 August but Foreign Ministry officials have made no preparations for this foreign-ministerial level meeting. It's the same story at the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
All that Arjun Bahadur Thapa, a representative of the Foreign Ministry, said at a preparatory meeting in New York last month was that Nepal enjoys excellent relations with India and Bangladesh. He added that we support the priority areas identified in the draft program of action and expressed gratitude to the international community for its efforts to improve the situation of landlocked developing countries.
The objectiveof this global event is to negotiate systemic improvements through cooperation with transit nations' donors and multilateral agencies. The Preparatory Committee elected Nepal, Iran, Japan, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Namibia, Paraguay, Peru, Armenia and Italy as its Vice-Chairmen.