Govt decides to shut UN-DPA office

Kathmandu, June 10

The government has decided to close Kathmandu office of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs.

The DPA was set up as a liaison office at the office of the UN Resident Coordinator after the United Nations Mission in Nepal ceased operations in 2011. However, the DPA was not part of the UN System in Nepal.

According to the DPA official website, the department plays a central role in UN efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts around the world. It monitors and assesses global political developments with an eye to detecting potential crises before they erupt and devising effective responses. It provides support to the secretary-general and his envoys, besides UN political missions deployed around the world to help defuse crises or promote lasting solutions to conflict. The DPA was criticised for some of its activities in Nepal. The government has already written to the UN-DPA at the UN headquarters, with a copy to the UN office in Kathmandu, about its decision.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Bharat Raj Paudyal, who also heads the ministry’s UN division, confirmed the government’s decision. “The government has decided that the DPA is not needed after promulgation of constitution, successful completion of three phases of elections and formation of all three levels of government, which has formally ended the transition phase and has led the country towards peace and stability,” said Paudyal.

The United Nations Information Centre in Kathmandu confirmed the receipt of the letter. “The Nepal Permanent Representative in NY met DPA Assistant Secretary-General on June 7. The letter is under discussion between the government and DPA,” said Ram B Shah, National Information Officer, UNIC, in an e-mail response.