UN Secretary-General lauds Nepal's effort to hold three-tier elections

NEW YORK: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guteress has lauded Nepal's efforts for concluding the local level elections in the recent days and wished for the success of upcoming elections.

In a high level meeting between Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Secretary-General Guteress on Saturday, the latter expressed happiness over Nepal's ongoing process to institutionalise democracy, informed PM Deuba's Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr Dinesh Bhattarai.

In the meeting held at the office of UN Secretary-General, both Deuba and Guteress exchanged views on various issues including the implementation of the Constitution to Nepal’s role in UN peacekeeping operations and from Nepal-UN cooperation to the evolving challenges to development.

On the occasion, PM Deuba also updated the Secretary-General on recent development including the preparations for holding provincial and federal level elections.

Reiterating Nepal’s commitment to peacekeeping, the Prime Minister called the United Nations for making best use of Nepal’s Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre, oldest in region, and help develop it as a regional center of excellence for peacekeeping training.

The Prime Minister also underlined the need to increase the number of Nepali nationals in higher positions commensurate with Nepal’s contribution as the sixth largest troop and police contributing country, Dr Bhattarai further shared.

Deuba further drew the attention of the Secretary-General to the need for placing the LDC and LLDC issues at the centre of the work of the United Nations.

During the meeting, the Secretary-General also appreciated Nepal’s contribution to peacekeeping operations. He expressed condolences on the loss of lives and property caused by recent floods in Nepal.

Prime Minister Deuba also congratulated the Secretary-General on his appointment and wished him a successful tenure. He also extended an invitation to Guteress to visit Nepal.

Also present in the meeting were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara , Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare Asha Koirala; Foreign Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister Dr Dinesh Bhattarai; Foreign Affairs Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi and Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations Durga Prasad Bhattarai.

Likewise, Senior officials including Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support and Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs were present in the meeting.