UNCHR pledges increased engagement in Nepal to protect, promote human rights

Kathmandu, March 2

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has pledged increased engagement of his office to protect and promote human rights in Nepal.

During a meeting with Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat in Geneva yesterday, Hussein stressed on effective implementation of the new constitution to ensure people’s human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The UN human rights body chief said addressing the rights of indigenous people, minorities and traditionally disadvantaged groups would ensure inclusive enjoyment of rights by the people, according to a press release issued by the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in Geneva.

During the meeting, Hussein also expressed hope that Nepal could set a good model in transitional justice by resolving Maoist insurgency-era rights violations cases, and ensuring justice to the victims. “He showed his willingness to strengthen relations between OHCHR and Nepal by enhancing constructive engagement,” read the press release.

Minister Mahat said Nepal was making efforts to protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms of all citizens under the wide framework of the new statute. He also informed the rights body of the dynamic nature of the constitution and its capability to address legitimate concerns of stakeholders.

Minister Mahat also emphasised on holding elections in all three tiers of the government and informed that local level election would be held on May 14.

Meanwhile, Mahat held a bilateral meeting with foreign minister of Kazakhstan, Kairat Abdrakhmanov, and discussed promoting common interests in international fora. He also appealed him to support Nepal’s candidature for Human Rights Council membership, according to the Foreign Minister Mahat’s secretariat.