At UN, PM Dahal says no blanket amnesty for serious human rights violationIn his address, the prime minister boasts of progress made in the peace process, and political stability while mentioning threats to Nepal from climate change and the rise in conflict between nations.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that there will be no blanket amnesty for the serious violation of human rights and that the ultimate objective of transitional justice is to establish an enduring peace in the country and foster harmony in society through peace, justice, and reconciliation.
The prime minister made the remarks while addressing the General Debate of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.
Dahal, revisiting his address at the August Assembly back in 2008, said that 15 years on, Nepal has come a long way and successfully transitioned through a nationally led peace process.
“We promulgated a democratic Constitution in 2015 by an elected constituent assembly, which has consolidated the universally recognised values of human rights, participatory democracy, periodic elections, inclusive proportional representation, full press freedom, independent judiciary, and the rule of law,” said Dahal.
Dahal, during the address, said that the successive two cycles of federal, provincial, and local elections have resulted in increased participation of women, Dalits, youths and under-represented communities at all levels of governance.
“We have been able to ensure 41 percent representation of women in local assemblies. A minimum of 33 percent representation of women is constitutionally guaranteed in the provincial assemblies and federal parliament,” Dahal said. “We have firmly established that the sovereignty lies in Nepali people, and they are the real source of state power.”
The prime minister also informed the UNGA regarding the tabling of an amendment bill related to transitional justice at the Federal Parliament to address the concerns of the victims, strike a right balance between peace, justice and reparation, and make the transitional justice process broadly owned by the Nepali society.
“The proposed bill, evolved through a wider consultative process, takes a victim-centric approach and recognises reparation as victim’s right,” said Dahal. “In the process, there will be no blanket amnesty for the serious violation of human rights. The ultimate objective is to establish an enduring peace in the country and foster harmony in society through peace, justice, and reconciliation.”
Dahal said that Nepal’s political course has taken a stable shape, and the focus is now on the agenda of economic transformation.
“We are aware that political achievements can only be sustained by socio-economic growth and development,” said Dahal adding that the government has put SDGs at the centre of the nation’s development vision and priorities.
PM Dahal said that crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, and heightened geo-political competition have threatened our hard-earned progress in SDGs.
He also called for an enhanced level of international support in the form of development assistance, foreign direct investment, export promotion, SDR allocation, technology transfer and technical assistance.
Dahal also welcomed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for an increase in SDG financing by US $ 500 billion per year.
Stating that climate-vulnerable mountainous countries like Nepal have been bearing the severe brunt of climate change, he said that the issue has assumed a crisis proportion and the clock is ticking.
Dahal said that the human and financial toll due to floods, droughts, and other extreme climate-induced events is terrifying adding that inaction or little action will surely invite disastrous consequences for humanity.
“We must, therefore, set higher ambitions and commit ourselves to achieving those ambitions in a time-bound manner,” he said.
Dahal said that Nepal remains fully committed to the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and achieving its goals and has set an ambitious target of reaching a net-zero scenario by 2045.
Dahal also remarked that easy access to climate finance will be the key to low-carbon and climate-resilient development pathways and equally crucial are the early operationalisation of the loss and damage fund, fulfilling the target of the US $ 100 billion commitment as well as doubling up of the adaptation climate finance.
“It is an irony that my country Nepal, with 45 percent of its area as forest with rich biodiversity and 15 percent of its land as high mountains, releases least Green House Gas Emission but contributes significantly to ecological preservation, has unfairly suffered from the climate crisis. This kind of mismatch must be addressed through a compensation mechanism to the countries that positively contribute to the greening of the planet,” said Dahal.
Dahal, in his address, reiterated that Nepal opposes any use or threat of use of force against the territorial integrity, political independence, and sovereignty of any country and suffering of the people of Libya, Syria and Yemen must end and the Palestinian people deserve peace ending the prolonged conflict.
“We continue to support nationally owned, peaceful, just, and lasting solutions to conflicts around the world. Peace founded on inclusion, empowerment, economic prosperity, and justice stands a better chance to last longer,” Dahal said.
During his address, PM Dahal expressed concern regarding the continued proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to threaten peace and security in the world, the constant stockpiling of nuclear arsenals, the growing arms race and ever-increasing military expenditure.
“Nepal reiterates its call for total and time-bound disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction including biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological weapons,” said Dahal.
Dahal said that Nepal’s foreign policy is guided by the principles of Panchasheel, non-alignment, the UN Charter, international law, and norms of world peace, adding that Nepal wants to promote relations with its neighbours and all other friendly countries on the basis of sovereign equality, non-interference, and mutual respect.
The prime minister also stated that Nepal remains steadfast in its commitment to multilateralism, with the United Nations at its centre and contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security through the consistent participation in the UN-mandated peacekeeping operations for the last 65 years shows Nepal’s commitment towards that end.
“Our peacekeepers have earned a distinct repute of dedication, professionalism and competence which has been widely acknowledged by the United Nations, the host governments, and societies alike,” said Dahal.
Likewise, Dahal also reiterated Nepal’s call for a fair share of leadership positions at the UN headquarters and in the field to the troops and police contributing countries.
PM Dahal, at the UNGA, said that Nepal supports the reform of the UN Security Council to make it broadly representative, democratic, transparent, and accountable and called for the revitalisation of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council with greater role to these vital organs.
“Structural reform to the international financial architecture is long overdue. The voices of the countries in special situations, including the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, must be heard. Their meaningful representation must be ensured,” said Dahal.
“Only a more democratic, inclusive, fair and representative international financial architecture can be an antidote to the deep-rooted inequities and gaps”