DPM Thapa highlights impending humanitarian crisis
Kathmandu, November 4
Nepal today highlighted the looming humanitarian crisis in the country due to continued obstruction of flow of essentials against land-locked Nepal during a UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
While presenting Nepal’s second Universal Periodic Review at the 23rd session of the Council, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa said Nepal’s universal rights as a land-locked country had also been curtailed due to the obstruction of essential supplies at border points.
“Lives and livelihood of the entire population have been adversely affected; schools and hospitals have also had to bear the brunt of the current circumstances exposing millions of children, elderly and sick persons to greater risks and vulnerabilities; the future of our children is at stake; our regional and international trade have been constrained; our industries are on the verge of collapse; the tourism sector has been hit hard; and our economy has suffered a huge setback,” he said.
“If the current trend is not checked, the country is likely to experience an unjust and severe humanitarian crisis. This needs to be avoided,” he added.
Saying that Nepal government was seeking to address political problems through dialogue, he stated that the continuous obstruction at border points under any pretext had severely impeded the exercise of rights and freedom that Nepal is entitled to under international law as a land-locked country.
“As a least developed country that has emerged from a decade-long armed conflict followed by protracted political transition and which is just taking steps forward on a path of recovery and reconstruction with the support of the international community in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, the challenges and pressures besetting the nation and people at present are immensely painful,” he asserted.
Stating that promulgation of the new constitution marked the conclusion of Nepal’s peace process initiated in 2006, he termed it a new journey towards peace, stability and prosperity.
Saying Nepal had the ability to resolve any conflicting issue with its own efforts and through peaceful means, Thapa warned that any disruption of this process as well as internal dynamics through any exogenous interest would only complicate matters.
The new government is engaged in dialogue with Madhes-based political parties to win their confidence and resolve differences within the constitutional framework, he added.
He highlighted the features of the new Constitution that aimed to ensure rights and participation and inclusion of each and every section of Nepali society.
The first Nepal UPR was held in 2011. Thapa said the country has been able to make many significant progresses in terms of the overall human rights situation in the country.
Reiterating the new government’s efforts to win Madhes-based parties’ confidence and resolve the differences within the constitutional framework, he said the nature and effects of continued agitation have been detrimental to our national interest and the overall well-being of the people.
After the DPM’s opening statement, UN member-states started commenting and giving feedback on Nepal’s UPR.
The initial commentators, including Portugal and Spain, have stated the need to strengthen the National Human Rights Commission in order to better improve human rights condition and check rights violation in Nepal.