10 junio 2010

New agreement enables UN to continue human rights work in Nepal

The United Nations human rights office in Nepal will continue to work out of the nation’s capital for another year, but will close down field offices outside of Kathmandu, according to an agreement announced today with the Government.

Without the extension of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), all offices in the country would have had to shut down today.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay welcomed the agreement, according to a news release which added that OHCHR acknowledges “the end of the conflict in Nepal and the process the country has made towards a peaceful political transition.

In reflection of the changed circumstances of the country, OHCHR has agreed to the Government’s request to reduce its presence in Nepal.”

The country office, which was established in the South Asian nation in 2005, has monitored and reported on human rights, including the implementation of the 2006 peace accord which ended a decade-long civil war that claimed some 13,000 lives.

Its staff were visible during the Maoist general strike in early May, which was called “largely well-organized and non-violent” in an OHCHR report issued this week.

Under the newly reached agreement with the Government of Nepal, OHCHR will continue to enjoy unrestricted freedom of movement and will continue to exercise its mandate throughout the country with access to all sectors of government and to all official documentation.

OHCHR also agreed, as part of its mandate, to continue its cooperation with the National Human Rights Commission and other national human rights institutions, and to build up civil society organizations’ ability to strengthen the national human rights protection system in the country.