Govt completes preparations to host Colombo Process meetings

Kathmandu, November 12

The government has finalised the preparations to hold the fifth Senior Officials Meeting and Sixth Ministerial Consultation of the Colombo Process. The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) has said that the event is scheduled for November 15-16, in Kathmandu.

The ministerial consultation meeting is scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

The Colombo Process, established in 2003, is a regional consultative process on the management of overseas employment and contractual labour for countries of origins in Asia.

It is a forum to facilitate dialogue and cooperation on issues of common interest and concern relating to labour mobility. The Colombo Process has 12 member states and eight observer countries.

As per Mahesh Dahal, secretary at MoLESS, the main subject of meeting will be ‘How to make the foreign employment sector well-managed and addressing the present issues’.

The upcoming event will bring together ministers and senior officials from the member states — Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Of the 12 countries, eight have already confirmed their participation, as per MoLESS.

Speaking at a press conference today, Dahal informed that the meetings will also unveil the Kathmandu Declaration on labour issues.

According to MoLESS, the event, being organised by the government under technical support of the International Organisation for Migration, will also be attended by representatives from Abu Dhabi Dialogue, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, and Association of Southeast Asian Nations as observers.

During the ministerial meeting, Nepal will present a country report including its work and achievements over the past year as the chair of the Colombo Process.

Nepal had succeeded Sri Lanka as the chair of the Colombo Process on March 29, 2017 and the last meeting had formed five thematic area working groups to conduct studies on concerned priorities of various labour issues.

During the event, Sri Lanka will present a paper on ‘Skills and Qualification Recognition’; Bangladesh on ‘Fostering Ethical Recruitment’; Philippines on ‘Pre-Departure Orientation and Empowerment’; Pakistan on ‘Remittances’; and Thailand on ‘Labour Market Analysis’.