Kathmandu, February 27
“Nepal represents a unique case study of a successful peace process from armed conflict”
Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi addressed the High-level Segment of the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday.
In his address, Bairagi said the Universal Declaration of Human Rights remained the source of aspiration of mankind as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. In the context of the 70th year of the adoption of the UDHR and 25th year of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the foreign secretary said all human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent and mutually reinforcing.
Highlighting the profound meaning the right to development bears for many developing countries like Nepal, Bairagi reminded that the promise made by the Vienna Declaration to realise the universal and inalienable right to development still remained unfulfilled.
He also stressed that democracy, development and respect for human rights must remain balanced and operational at national, regional and international levels, and underscored the centrality of the faithful implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and other internationally agreed development frameworks through enhanced partnership and collaboration, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Reiterating Nepal’s total commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights, Bairagi said the Constitution of Nepal consolidated inclusive democratic polity, pluralism, the rule of law, representative and accountable government, social and economic justice, and universally recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to fully addressing the issue of transitional justice. “Nepal represents a unique case study of a successful peace process from an armed conflict into a democratic political transformation, at the heart of which lies the aspiration and strong national commitment to ensure equal rights to all of our people,” said Bairagi.
He further stated that with the successful conclusion of the elections for local level, provincial assemblies and federal parliament and formation of Government in each tier of federal structure, Nepal’s Constitution had come into full implementation.
He further said that the elections had brought a transformative effect in the empowerment of women, indigenous people, Dalits, Madhesis, persons with disabilities, and they were now at the forefront of political and development process.
The foreign secretary stated that the Universal Periodic Review mechanism had successfully evolved to become a hallmark of positive international cooperation in the realm of human rights. He stated that Nepal remained constructively engaged with the UN Human Rights mechanisms, and mentioned that the recommendations received during Nepal’s second cycle of review under the UPR two years ago were now being implemented in earnest.
Nepal is participating in the 37th session of the Human Rights Council (February 26 to March 23) as a member of the council for the first time.
The Nepali delegation led by Bairagi include Rajib Gautam, secretary, Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers; Deepak Dhital, ambassador/permanent representative of Nepal to the UN in Geneva; and officials from Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Permanent Mission of Nepal in Geneva.
A version of this article appears in print on February 28, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.