President Bidya Devi Bhandari returned home from Switzerland on Sunday after taking part on the 106th Session of International Labour Conference held in Geneva.
She had been there to address the Conference as a key note speaker.
President Bhandari was received by Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Speaker Onsari Gharti, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Gopal Man Shrestha, Chief Secretary Dr Som Lal Subedi and other high level government officials at the VVIP Lounge of Tribhuvan International Airport.
It is the first opportunity Nepal got to address the Conference by the Head of the State.
During her address, President Bhandari said no society could prosper on the ground of inequality and discrimination, so discrimination against women must come to an end, according to Nepali delegation member and Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi.
During a press conference at TIA, Secretary Bairagi said that the President stressed in the Conference on the meaningful efforts from all sides to end discrimination.
During the press meet, the President said that an equitable, judicious and peaceful society could not be imagined without political, economic, social and cultural strengthening of women.
President Bhandari said that Nepal’s commitment regarding gender equality and women empowerment made internationally after decades long efforts were not well implemented and expressed concerns for slow progress of the working class women.
She also reminded the international community about Nepal’s new constitution and its provision on women’s rights and equality.
On the occasion, the President, applauding the special contribution of the ILO to establishing the world of labour respectable, equitable and socially just, thanked all the ILO members for their support to Nepal in getting elected on the ILO Governing Body.
Prior to the Conference, ILO Director General Guy Ryder paid a courtesy call on President Bhandari. On the occasion, discussions on further extending the ILO support to Nepal were held, expressing satisfaction over the achievements of 50 years of Nepal-ILO collaboration. Following the Conference, the President put the signature on the ILO Golden Book.
The ILO Director General had hosted a luncheon in honour of the chief guests of the programme who were the heads of the states from Nepal, Malta and Mauritius.
Similarly, before the Conference, the ILO Director General had welcomed the three women heads of the states to the ILO headquarters.
Shedding light on the importance of the Conference, the Director General termed the simultaneous presence of the three women heads of the states in the Conference historic and prideful.
During her visit to Geneva, President Bhandari made a visit to the headquarters of the European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN) and took stock of the researches made in the realm of nuclear physics.
The scientists in the Council had briefed President Bhandari about the scientific researches’ contribution to the information technology and medical science.
The CERN had given a final touch to the process relating to the partnership agreement with Nepal a day before the President’s visit to the Council.
Following the agreement from both sides, the cooperation between CERN and Nepal would begin formally upon which Nepal could be benefited with the results of a number of top-notch scientific researches.
Furthermore, the Nepali scientists would be provided with exposures for training and research at CERN.
Similarly, President Bhandari also visited the headquarters of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and learned about the longstanding partnership between Nepal and the Union for the conservation of the nature besides discussing further strengthening future collaboration between Nepal and IUCN.
On the occasion, IUCN Director General Inger Andersen lauded the conservation efforts of Nepal for nature. She was of the confidence that Nepal would take the lead for the biodiversity conservation and climate-change mitigation.
Nepal had been member state since 1974.
Different programmes including controlling of soil erosion, tiger protection, and natural heritage preservation are running under the IUCN. The concerned bodies of Government of Nepal and ICUN are discussing to prepare pollution control strategy.
Meanwhile, Nepal’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative in Geneva Deepak Dhital had organized a welcome programme upon the arrival of the President Bhandari in Geneva where Presidents of Mauritius, chiefs of Geneva based diplomatic missions, representatives of different international organizations were present.
Permanent Representative Dhital also hosted the dinner in honour of the President Bhandari inviting Nepalese communities.
On the occasion, President Bhandari had briefly addressed the Nepalese communities.