DPM Rawal stresses civilians’ security

Kathmandu, June 11

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Bhim Bahadur Rawal has stressed the importance of the safety and security of civilians as the primary responsibility of national governments.

Taking part in the United Nations Security Council open debate on “Protecting civilians in the context of peacekeeping operations”, DPM Rawal underscored the need to fully respect the principles of UN peacekeeping, namely consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate, according to a press release issued by Nepal’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

While reiterating that Nepali peacekeepers were fully oriented to protecting civilians, particularly women and girls during and after the conflict, the DPM stressed that the Nepal Army, the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force of Nepal had integrated the UN policies regarding protection of civilians, sexual exploitation and abuse, and protection of human rights into the pre-deployment training of peacekeepers, according to the release.

He also stressed the significance of close coordination between troop/police contributing countries to effectively implement the peacekeeping mandates and their civilian protection components and underlined the need to pay heed to their critical inputs.

He said the Constitution of Nepal was the most forward-looking, inclusive and democratic document, which inspired and provided for a national commitment to the cause of international peace, security and prosperity.

The open debate was organised by France as President of the Security Council for June 2016 and was presided over by Minister for Foreign Affairs of France Jean-Marc Ayrault.

DPM Rawal separately met  Jeffrey Feltman, UN Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Political Affairs and Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General of Department of Field Support. In the meeting, they discussed Nepal’s contribution to the United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Similarly, DPM Rawal inspected the Consulate General of Nepal in New York in the evening yesterday.

Leading a three-member delegation to the High Level Session of the General Assembly on HIV, Shanta Bahadur Shrestha, secretary of the Ministry of Health of Nepal, delivered a statement at the session today.

Shrestha welcomed the political declaration that was adopted on the first day of the session. He said Nepal was fully committed to controlling HIV/AIDS and the government had  accorded top priority to the fight against HIV/AIDS in its national health care policy, according to the release.

Secretary Shrestha  said Nepal had made progress in reducing the rate of new HIV infections and mother-to-child transmissions, while expanding access to HIV anti-retroviral treatment.