OHCHR offers support to transitional justice processUN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein has offered to provide technical advice and support to Nepal in the transitional justice process.
In a meeting with Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey on the sidelines of the 28th Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday, Hussein made the offer in keeping with its tradition of extending support to the peace process, if Nepal felt so, Nepal’s permanent mission to the United Nations in Geneva said in a statement.
According to Nepal’s permanent representative, the OHCHR officials were hinting at the technical expertise available with them if Nepal needed any kind of support. “They showed their willingness to provide it,” he said in an email response to the Post. According to a source, the minister did not provide an immediate response to the proposal.
Hussein also welcomed
the recent establishment of the two transitional justice mechanisms in Nepal and pointed out the importance
of the Supreme Court
rulings with regard to dealing with amnesty and the issue of victims. “He [Hussein] exchanged views on the drafting and promulgation of the new constitution and the centrality of human rights issues in the new constitution,” read the statement.
On April 10 2005, the government of Nepal signed an agreement with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish its office in Nepal to monitor the human rights situation and observance of international humanitarian law.
Other mandates given to the OHCHR were investigating and verifying allegations of human rights abuses; setting up regional offices for the deployment of international human rights officers throughout the country; encouraging all relevant actors to observe international human rights law and international humanitarian law; informing the competent authorities of human rights violations and other abuses; and maintaining communication with all competent government agencies and civil society organisations.
In March 2012, following the decision of the government to not renew the mandate of the Country Office, the OHCHR formally closed its operations in Nepal. Pandey and Hussein exchanged views on the situation of human rights in Nepal in broader context of the ongoing constitutional and peace process.
The minister shared how Nepal was committed to
the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all the citizens with equality, equity and justice. Referring to the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission on Investigation of Disappeared Persons, Pandey stated that the perpetrators of grave violations of human rights would now be brought to justice along with addressing the needs of the victims.
Meanwhile, Pandey had a meeting with the president of the current session of the Human Rights Council, Joachim Ruecker, on Wednesday. Matters related to the constitution writing process and the transitional justice mechanisms are said to have been discussed.