Arbour hails peace agreement

Kathmandu, November 11:

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, today welcomed the November 8 agreement reached between the Seven-Party Alliance and the CPN (Maoist). Terming the deal a crucial step towards ending the conflict and strengthening respect for human rights, Arbour said: “The agreement sets the foundation for a peace process and democratic transition in which the protection and promotion of human rights of all Nepalis must be central,” Arbour said in a statement.

“It is essential that the parties translate their commitments into meaningful actions to end abuses”.

Saying that ending impunity remains one of the biggest human rights challenges for Nepal, Arbour welcomed the plan to form a high-level truth and reconciliation commission. “A truth and reconciliation commission can be an important mechanism to address accountability for past human rights violations, and to tackle the underlying causes of the conflict,” Arbour said. “It can also help heal wounds and social divisions, as well as to recognise the rights of victims to justice and reparation. At the same time, it is important that there also be prosecutions for serious human rights violations in order to restore community trust in the rule of law and prevent abuses in the future,” Arbour said.