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Sixteen delegates from the Nepalese government scaled new aid and development heights thanks to a specialised three-week course at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.
Run by the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy (APCD), the course provided participants with new skills in effective aid management, policy development and international negotiations.
The course ran from 3-21 August, supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs through the Australia Awards initiative. This provides scholarships for Nepalese students, researchers and professionals to study in Australia.
The three-week course included presentations on a wide range of aid and development issues, a mock international conference and visits to the Australian Electoral Commission and to Parliament House. During the latter, participants watched Question Time and met the Foreign Minister, the Hon Julie Bishop MP.
APCD head Dr Jochen Prantl said that the course helped to build knowledge and professional skills on matters vital for Nepal’s economic progress.
“With the transition from UN Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals policymakers face dramatic new challenges and opportunities which demand high-level analytical, policy-making, leadership and negotiation skills. Developing these skills lay at the heart of our program.”
“As the only centre in the Southern Hemisphere dedicated to transnational diplomacy, the APCD can make a real impact through helping other nations negotiate change in an increasingly globalised world.”
One of the course participants, Mr Ramesh Kumar from Nepal’s Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Government, commented “I will never forget such a wonderful experience which systematically met our needs”.
Another participant, Ms Susma Mahata from the Ministry of Finance, noted that the course “kept us busy on different practical issues which we’ll use to make recommendations to our government”. Mr Fadindra Acharya, also from the Finance Ministry, highlighted the importance of the course, “especially the international negotiations exercise, in building our self-confidence”.