General

Nepal files for another term at UN rights body

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Nepal will pitch for a seat in the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2021-23 term

Aug 9, 2018-The government has decided to file candidacy for a seat at the powerful United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2021-23 term as the country’s crucial transitional justice mechanism is yet to make desired progress.

As concern mounts on Nepal to complete the process on time by the international community, the government looks for another term extension that would allow it to continuously pitch its position in the global human rights policy making body and defend its position. A Cabinet meeting July 26 took the decision whose formal announcement will be made soon.

Nepal was elected a member to the UNHRC for the 2018-2020 term last year.  

The delay in Nepal’s transitional justice process is an issue for the international community since long, according to officials. They believe a seat at the human rights council allows the country to defend “our position in human rights and transitional justice”.

“This commitment is translated in our role at the UN Human Rights Council, where we remain a member for the term 2018-20 and have also announced our bid for another term at the council,” Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali recently told in a function in Kathmandu.   

“Nepal’s role at the council reflects our position for apolitical and objective examination of human rights issues on non-selective, even-handed and merit basis. We stand for a system that is transparent, accountable and embraces universally accepted democratic values.”

The government plans to announce its candidature at the earliest—three years ahead of the elections—for international lobbying ahead of the elections.

The UNHRC is responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, considering human rights violations and making recommendations thereof; and promoting coordination of human rights within the UN system.

Nepal is currently serving in that capacity for the first time since the UN’s policy-making body was formed in 2006.

Apart from contribution in policy-making in international human rights regime, officials claim, Nepal’s bid for another term also demonstrates its ability to contribute to the council’s work from the experience of uniquely successful home-grown and nationally-driven peace process.

“Our performance in last seven months has been good. We are vying for another term because we want to give continuity to the good work,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Bharta Raj Poudya said.

Published: 09-08-2018 08:28

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