Govt progress on transitional justice likely in a month

November 17, 2018 06:00 AM Republica


KATHMANDU, Nov 17: Top political leaders in Nepal have informed Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina J. Mohammed, who was on two-day visit here, that the government will make some progress on resolving decade-old transitional justice issues by next month.

“They had a message to us that they want to do this in their own time and own space. The UN will continue to remain hopeful about the unfinished task. Let's hope in the coming months they will do something,” Mohammed told journalists amid a press briefing at Tribhuvan International Airport before her departure.

During her visit to Nepal to attend a world assembly on the global campaign for education, Mohammed held meetings with President Bidya Bhandari, Prime Minister K P Oli, Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali and Nepal Army Chief Purna Chandra Thapa.

“In the meetings Mohammed commended Nepal's progress in its transition to peace and to a federal system,” the UN Information Center Kathmandu tweeted on Friday. Asked about her briefings by the political leadership on their plan, she said she was hopeful the leaders will together take the issue forward and that she had a positive feedback from them. “They are beginning to talk about that politically,” she added.

She was of the view that the settlement of some issues related to transitional justice mechanisms could take time.

Mohammed's visit comes at a time when there is a fresh debate for and against the formation of a political mechanism to oversee transitional justice in Nepal. The idea of a political mechanism is backed by some ruling party leaders but stakeholders and human rights activists are divided.

During her meeting with Prime Minister Oli, Mohammed discussed 'effective implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and further strengthening Nepal-UN cooperation'. She said at the press briefing that Nepal's leadership insisted on more support from the UN and on enhancing the partnership with the world body. During her meeting with army chief Thapa, she lauded Nepal's contribution towards world peace through the deployment of its security personnel for UN peace-keeping .

She voiced concern about the climate change challenge posed by the increasing level of pollution in Nepal's mountains. Stressing that Nepal should focus on a green economy , she said it should enhance its resilience for coping with carbon emissions from the two giant neighboring economies. Mohammed also stated that China's Belt and Road initiative is both an opportunity and a challenge for Nepal.

Meanwhile, the UN's special rapporteur on violence against women, Dubravka Šimonović, is arriving in Kathmandu for a 10-day visit next week.

Šimonović's visit comes at a time when the parents of Nirmala Panta, a 13-year old schoolgirl who was raped and murdered in the far west of the country recently, have started a sit-in protest demanding the arrest of the guilty. Civil society and rights activists have been flaying the government for failing to deliver justice in the case .

According to the UN country team in Nepal, Šimonović is scheduled to hold talks with representatives from the UN system, international agencies, civil society, the National Human Rights Commission, survivors of violence and individual communities during her visit starting November 19.

“During my visit, I will consider the systemic causes of gender-based violence against women, and the situation faced by those who encounter multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence, such as indigenous women, women with disabilities, migrant and refugee women and women from remote or rural communities,” Šimonović said in a statement.


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