Statement by Hon. Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs at the High-Level Segment of the 43rd Session of Human Rights Council, Geneva

Statement by Honourable Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Head of the Nepali delegation at the High-Level Segment of the 43rd Session of Human Rights Council
Geneva, Tuesday, 25 February 2020, 16:00 hrs.

Madam President
Madam High Commissioner

I feel honoured to be back to the Council again.

This session is taking place at the beginning of the new decade marked by optimism, empowerment and equality.

With the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration, the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, and a full circle of a hundred years of multilateralism, we have come a long way towards realizing the common aspiration of ‘leaving no one behind’ by ensuring opportunity, justice and human rights for all.

These landmark events remind us of our determination to maintaining world peace, protecting human rights and fundamental freedom, and embracing socio-economic progress.

Nepal remains steadfast in those commitments, principles and values.

Nepal firmly believes in the universality, in-divisibility, inter-relatedness, inter-dependence and mutually reinforcing nature of human rights, including the right to development. We believe that the rule of law and human rights must be evenly operational at national, regional and international levels.

We are a party to all major international human rights instruments including seven of the nine core such instruments. We have internalized those values and standards into our national laws, policies and practices.

The Constitution of Nepal is founded on universally recognized human rights and such other principles as inclusive multiparty democratic polity, pluralism, the rule of law, and representative and accountable government. Independence of judiciary and full freedom of press are the salient tenets of Nepal’s Constitution.

Social justice is integral to our democratic process. The Constitution guarantees special measures for weaker sections of our society to enable them enjoy fundamental rights and receive a fair share of representation in all spheres of national life.

Nepal, as a secular State, guarantees freedom of religion as a fundamental right. The religious tolerance in Nepali society is exemplary.

We recognize the role of the grassroots community organizations, civil society, human rights defenders, and the media as the indispensable partners in the promotion and protection of human rights.

The National Human Rights Commission of Nepal conforms to the Paris Principles and stands accredited as ‘A’ category national human rights institution.

As one of the pioneer countries to implement National Human Rights Action Plan since 2004, we are now preparing the 5th National Action Plan.

Madam President,
Having achieved democratic political order and stability in the country, Nepal is now focused to realize the vision of “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali”. We have mainstreamed Sustainable Development Goals into the national development plan with a view to realize them by 2030.

We practice equality and non-discrimination and remain committed to ensuring full enjoyment of all human rights by women and girls. The progress made by Nepal in terms of gender equality and empowerment provides a reason to be proud.

Marking the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child last year, we have pledged to ending all forms of child labour, ending Child Marriage and enacted the Right to Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Act.

We are fully committed to the rights of persons with disabilities. The measures of positive discrimination that we have implemented to enable them participate in political and public life have produced good impacts. Provisioning of adequate resources and infrastructure for quality and inclusive education for children with disabilities remains our continued priority.

Madam President,
Migration has been one of the defining phenomena of our time.

Being one of the major countries of origin; safety, security, dignity and welfare of the migrant workers is a matter of paramount importance for us.

Protection of rights of migrant workers, including women migrant workers, and combating trafficking in person requires cooperative efforts at national, regional and international levels. We believe that the historic commitment expressed through Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) provides a framework of cooperation to ensuring migration benefits for all.

A clean, healthy and sustainable environment is essential for the full enjoyment of all human rights.
As a mountainous country, impact of global warming is of particular concern for us. While we support Council’s attention to human rights vis a vis climate change, Nepal has initiated a multi-stakeholder global dialogue forum- Sagarmatha Sambaad- named after the world’s tallest mountain, known as the Mt. Everest, to deliberate on the issues of common interest.

The first edition of this dialogue will be convened in Kathmandu from 2 to 4 April this year on the theme of ‘Climate Change, Mountains and the Future of the Humanity’.

Madam President
Nepal presents a uniquely successful case of nationally led and owned conflict transformation and peace process.  We are dealing with the incidences of conflict era human rights violations through two independent Commissions – the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission for Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons. The term of the Commissions has been extended to ensure the completion of their work. The newly appointed Commissioners have started functioning in full swing.

We stand firmly to our commitment to addressing remaining issues of transitional justice in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Accord, directive of the Supreme Court, relevant international commitments, concerns of the victims, and the ground realities.

Nepal appreciates the continuous goodwill and understanding of the international community.

Madam President
The Human Rights Council and its mechanisms have been playing important role in promoting universal respect for all human rights.

The UPR has successfully evolved as a transparent and fair process of promoting dialogue and cooperation and a meaningful exercise for the improvement of human rights situation everywhere.

In Nepal, we have been implementing the outcome of the second cycle of UPR in earnest under an updated plan of actions. Nepal looks forward to the Third Cycle of Review in November this year.

Nepal attaches great importance to the work of Special Procedures mandate-holders. We continue to be constructively engaged with them. We welcome country visits by Special Procedures at a mutually convenient time. We regularly respond to the Communications of the Special Procedures and treaty bodies.
We are committed to our obligation to submit periodic reports on regular basis. In 2018 alone, Nepal’s periodic reports under CRPD, CERD and CEDAW were considered. Preparation of latest reports under CAT, ICCPR, ICESCR and CRC are underway.

Our experience as a member of the Council has inspired us to consolidate democracy, advance socio-economic transformation, and promote universal respect for and observance of human rights. We have made utmost efforts to fulfil our pledges and commitments.

In this spirit, Nepal has submitted candidature for the membership of the Human Rights Council for the second term 2021 to 2023. We count on the valuable support of all UN Member States.

We have strong faith in the values of multilateralism to strengthen and sustain our common aspiration of a peaceful, prosperous and just world. We remain committed to working together in a balanced and objective manner for the universal protection and promotion of human rights.

I thank you.