Foreign Secretary and leader of the Nepali delegation, Mr. Shanker Das Bairagi, addressed the High-level Segment of the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva this afternoon.
In his address, the Foreign Secretary said that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) remains the source of aspiration of mankind as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. In the context of the 70th year of the adoption of the UDHR and 25th year of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action, the Foreign Secretary said that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent and mutually reinforcing.
While highlighting the profound meaning the right to development bears for many developing countries like Nepal, the Foreign Secretary reminded that the promise made by the Vienna Declaration to realize the universal and inalienable right to development still remains unfulfilled. While stressing that democracy, development and respect for human rights must remain balanced and operational at national, regional and international levels, he underscored the centrality of the faithful implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and other internationally agreed development frameworks through enhanced partnership and collaboration to the protection of human rights everywhere.
Reiterating Nepal’s total commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights, the Foreign Secretary stressed that the Constitution of Nepal consolidates inclusive democratic polity, pluralism, the rule of law, representative and accountable government, social and economic justice, and universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms. He further reiterated the commitment of the Government of Nepal to fully addressing the issue of transitional justice.
The Foreign Secretary said that Nepal represents a unique case study of a successful peace process from an armed conflict into a democratic political transformation, at the heart of which lies the aspiration and strong national commitment to ensure equal rights to all of our people. He further stated that with the successful conclusion of the elections for local level, provincial assemblies and federal parliament and formation of Government in each tier of federal structure, Nepal’s Constitution has come into full implementation. He further highlighted that the elections have brought a transformative effect in the empowerment of women, indigenous people, Dalits, Madheshis, persons with disabilities, and they are now at the forefront of political and development process.
The Foreign Secretary stated that the Universal Periodic Review mechanism has successfully evolved to become a hallmark of positive international cooperation in the realm of human rights. He stated that Nepal has remained constructively engaged with the UN Human Rights mechanisms, and mentioned that the recommendations received during Nepal’s second cycle of review under the UPR two years ago are now being implemented in earnest.
The Foreign Secretary extended sincere thanks and gratitude to all UN Member States for reposting trust on Nepal and electing her to the Human Rights Council, and expressed that Nepal will constructively engage with all Member and Observer States of the Council to deliver on its mandates. For that, the Foreign Secretary stressed that the Council must be apolitical and objective and should examine human rights issues on merit basis in a spirit of openness and dialogue.
Nepal is participating in the 37th session of the Human Rights Council (26 February to 23 March 2018) as a member of the Council for the first time.
The Nepali delegation led by the Foreign Secretary include Mr. Rajib Gautam, Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, H.E. Mr. Deepak Dhital, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nepal to the UN in Geneva, and officials from Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Permanent Mission of Nepal in Geneva.
The Council’s high-level segment that started this morning will run through 28 February to be followed by regular business of the session until 23 March. Around 100 high-level dignitaries representing Member States of the Council and Observer States are participating in the high-level segment.
The President of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights also addressed the opening session of the high-level segment this morning.
Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations Office
26 February 2018