THT 10 years ago: Arbour seeks end to rights abuse

Kathmandu, October 19, 2006

Presenting an annual report on Nepal at the UN General Assembly yesterday, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louis Arbour said that “the political changes following the recent movement for democracy had a positive impact on the human rights situation in Nepal”.

The report mentions “continuing abuses by the Maoists, including abductions, ill treatment, killings and child recruitment, and violations by police and the Nepali Army”. “Such abuses, which undermine commitments expressed by the parties to respect human rights, must be brought to an end,” an OHCHR-Nepal statement issued today quoted Arbour as saying.

Arbour called on the parties concerned to “ensure that human rights remain central to the peace process.” “Any setback to the peace process risks a negative and potentially devastating impact on the human rights situation.” “To achieve lasting peace and justice, it is essential that the parties to the conflict translate their written commitments to human rights into effective, long lasting action,” said the report.

Arbour also stressed the need to strengthen law enforcement and administration of justice systems to establish the rule of law, protect human rights and prevent “the emergence of elements which risk undermining the peace process”. “Effective law will also ensure a free and fair electoral process for a Constituent Assembly”.

“Holding those responsible for human rights abuses to account is essential to effectively ending the current climate of impunity at the level of the state and by the CPN-Maoist, and must be a priority,” said the report.

Call to make Indo-Nepal trade treaty more beneficial

As the date for renewal of Nepal-India Trade Treaty is approaching, government officials of Nepal and India, including the businesspersons, are busy in discussing trade and economic issues to make it more beneficial for both the countries.

Rajeev Kher, joint secretary at the ministry of commerce, government of India, who is currently on Nepal visit, said that there is a need to look at opportunities and deeper economic relations between the two countries in a changed economic environment.

The potential new areas of investment could be health sector, education and energy sector for which we need to look jointly, said Kher while speaking at an interaction programme on ‘Renewal of Nepal-India Trade Treaty’ organised by Nepal India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI) in support of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI).

Kher said that they are aware of the problems faced by the Nepali business sector and are committed to resolve them amicably to boost bilateral trade.