Universal Periodic Review 10th Session: Nepal

Sunday, February 5, 2012
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights
Justice, Rule of Law and Security Sector Reform
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding
United Nation Theme: 
UN Reports & Resolutions

Universal Periodic Review 10th Session: Nepal The Universal Periodic Review of Nepal took place on 25 January, 2011. First Deputy Prime Minister Sujota Koirala presented the National Report to the UPR Working Group, and addressed the country's recent turbulent history in the introductory remarks. In 2006, the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) was signed, ending the ten year long armed conflict between government forces and Maoist rebels. An Interim Constitution was promulgated in 2007, creating an interim Legislature-Parliament and government, and a Constituent Assembly was elected in 2008. The delegation stressed that Nepal is undergoing a profound socioeconomic and political transformation, but as a multiethnic, multilingual and multi-religious country, it stays committed to human rights and pluralism. The Prime Minister further stated Nepal's constructive engagement in the international community, as part to several international treaties such as CEDAW, CAT and CRC. The session's central issues – discrimination and impunity – were addressed already in the delegation's introductory remarks, stating the government's mission to eliminate discrimination and end impunity. Measures taken, such as the installment of Nepal's National Human Rights Commission monitoring complaints and coordinating financial remedies for victims, and antidiscriminatory actions through several National Action Plans to protect minorities, were presented. Furthermore, the delegation stated its commitment to combat trafficking and other forms of violence against women, through gender mainstreaming, commitment to the global strategy for women, and efforts such as the year-long campaign against domestic violence of 2010. Reintegration of Maoist ex-combatants into society was another central priority of the government.

During the interactive dialogue all delegates congratulated Nepal on the return of democracy, and commended the government's commitment to human rights. Several countries highlighted the struggles of Nepal as a landlocked Least Developed Country in a post-conflict stage, and their understanding of the country's constraints in this sensitive and complex transition phase. Nepal was also commended for its positive achievements in the efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDG:s). Despite the armed conflict, Nepal has seen significant social progress in recent years, especially in the areas of education and health. The country's Human Development Index has risen by 104% since the 1980s, and Nepal received the 2010 UN Millennium Development Goals Award for its exceptional progress towards reducing maternal and child mortality. While all countries emphasized this progress it was clearly stated that while great steps have been taken, Nepal faces serious challenges at this critical juncture of its history. A consensus was reached that generous, constructive assistance and support from the international community is fundamental to ensure further democratic rule and social progress in Nepal. The country was encouraged to stay in close cooperation with various UN agencies to ensure capacity building and assistance in the process of nation building, with human rights at the center of economic and social transformation. It was further agreed that Nepal needs to strengthen its human rights framework and install transitional justice mechanisms. All citizens' full enjoyment of human rights and justice was emphasized as crucial to overcome discrimination and social exclusion, and to achieve sustainable peace, security and development in Nepal.

Several issues were raised by the majority of delegations regarding poverty alleviation and the elimination of discrimination. The Nepalese government was recommended to continue its work and strengthen efforts to alleviate poverty, encourage development, and provide assistance to all people. Closely connected to poverty is the issue of discrimination. The pervasive class and caste system in Nepal remains a barrier for many people and is a strong reason for concern. Therefore, all delegates asked the government for further measures to eliminate all kinds of discrimination against marginalized groups such as women, children and Dalits. Legal measures were requested, especially steps to enact a law criminalizing discrimination, and to review the current legal framework to remove laws with discriminatory amendments. Several countries also requested the government to ensure employment, education and health services are provided to all minority groups.

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