Statement by Hon. Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs at the High-Level Segment of the 46th Session of Human Rights Council

Statement by Honourable Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Head of the Nepali delegation at the High-Level Segment of the 46th Session of Human Rights Council
Geneva, 23 February 2021

Madam President,
Madam High Commissioner,
Distinguished Delegates.

It is a great pleasure to represent Nepal in the 46th Session of the Human Rights Council.

At the outset, I congratulate you madam President and the Bureau of the Council, and assure you of our full support in steering the Session.

Madam President,

The world continues to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. Development of vaccines and vaccination drive that followed give a hope to every country, including Nepal.

In this context, we sincerely appreciate our neighbors India and China for the vaccine support. We are also encouraged by the recent announcement of initial vaccine delivery by COVAX. We have already rolled out vaccination programme to our priority population

Madam President,

Nepal’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights is total and unequivocal. We firmly believe in the universality, indivisibility, interdependence, interrelatedness and mutually reinforcing nature of human rights, including the right to development.

We are a party to all major international human rights instruments including seven of the nine core instruments. The values and standards enshrined in those instruments have been incorporated in our national legal, policy, and operational frameworks.

The Constitution of Nepal is founded on universally recognized human rights values and principles including equality, non-discrimination, justice, and the rule of law, among others.

Social justice is deeply embedded in our democratic system. Special measures have been taken to enable weaker sections of our society to enjoy fundamental rights and for their fair representation in all spheres of national life. Discrimination in any form is punishable by law.

Nepal has abolished death penalty. As a secular State, freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution. The religious tolerance and harmony in Nepali society has remained exemplary.

We recognize the role of civil society, human rights defenders, and the media in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Conforming to the Paris Principles and accredited as ‘A’ category, the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal monitors the human rights situation and enjoys independence in fulfilling its mandate.

Madam President,

We have incorporated Sustainable Development Goals into our national development plan with a view to realizing them by 2030. Complementing the SDGs, Nepal at present is focused in realizing the national aspiration of “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali”.

We are committed to ensuring full enjoyment of all human rights for women and girls. Nepal’s progress in terms of gender equality and empowerment is reflected in over 41 percent of federal, provincial and local elected offices being represented by women. Areas such as girls’ education, women’s representation in civil service, security agencies and other gainful employment opportunities have all recorded impressive progress.

Every woman has the right to safe motherhood and reproductive health. We have pledged to eliminate all forms of child labour and child marriage.

We are fully committed to the rights of persons with disabilities. Measures of positive discrimination have enabled their participation in political and public life.

As a major country of origin, safety, security, dignity, and welfare of migrant workers remain our utmost priority. Protection of rights of migrant workers, including women migrant workers, and combating human trafficking requires cooperation at origin, transit and destination countries.

As a mountainous least developed country, the impact of global warming is of a particular concern for us. Delivering on climate commitment at national, regional, and global level is important to enable our people fully enjoy all human rights.

Madam President,

Two independent Commissions – the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission for Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons- are investigating the incidences of conflict-era human rights violations. Nepal reaffirms its commitment to conclude the transitional justice process and remains steadfast that there would be no blanket amnesty in cases of serious violation human rights.

Last month, the third cycle of Nepal’s review under the UPR was successfully concluded. We are currently examining the recommendations received in the process.

Nepal greatly values the work of Special Procedures mandate-holders. We look forward to welcoming the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights this year.

We are committed to fulfill our reporting obligations. Preparation of the latest reports under CAT, ICCPR, ICESCR, and CRC is in progress.

Madam President,

As we work together for a shared goal of promoting and protecting human rights of all and creating a peaceful, prosperous and just world, consistent commitment to multilateralism and cooperation among the UN Member States is critically important. Only through a balanced and objective approach in the universal protection and promotion of all human rights everywhere gives credence to what we do here in the Council and how can we serve the best interests of the people that matter our work the most.

Before concluding, I want to register our profound gratitude to all UN Member States for their support to our re-elections to the Council and the CEDAW Committee as well as assure our constructive engagement with the fellow Member States of the Council to serve its purpose.

I thank you.