September 25, 2017
Nepal has raised its key concerns at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) currently being held in New York.
“As we embark upon a path of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, challenges are the litmus tests for our leadership,” said Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in his address at the 72nd annual General Debate session held at UNGA.
Addressing sessions held on the sidelines of UNGA, Deuba raised various key issues related to human rights, UNRC membership, migrants, cooperation at times of natural disaster, among others pertaining to the development of Nepal.
“Global community faces a more complex and polarized environment with multiple transnational challenges ranging from terrorism, climate change, energy deficiency, food insecurity, and mass migration to extremism. Unfortunately, our efforts have been too little, and often too late. All these challenges reinforce the role and responsibility of the United Nations,” said PM Deuba.
Nepal’s Candidature for UNHRC
Candidature in the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) has been a matter of concern for Nepal. Finally, on the occasion of UNGA, PM Deuba presented Nepal’s candidature to UNHRC for the 2018-2020 term.
In this regard, he said, “Nepal’s first-ever election to the Council would be a recognition to the country’s long commitment and contribution in the field of human rights and an encouragement to do more at national as well as global levels”.
He also pitched in on the need for improvement of human rights situation in Nepal by strengthening National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and protecting the rights of women and other disadvantaged sections of the Nepali society.
The Nepali Prime Minister also pitched in for a ‘zero case scenario’ in case of attacks on civilians, abuse, sexual exploitation and also urged for greater security in case of migrants.
A Special Request Under Peacekeeping Operations
With regard to UN peacekeeping operations, Nepali PM urged UN to ensure fair opportunity to the countries contributing troop and security personnel by placing them at leadership positions, both on-field and at headquarters.
Pitching in for Nepali participation in higher ranks of UN peacekeeping operations, Deuba made an official request to increase the number of Nepali Army deployed in UN missions for which, UN General Secretary responded positively saying that would be taken on utmost priority.
The Permanent Mission of Nepal to UN in New York expressed hope that the request would be addressed soon.
Deuba also urged UN to utilize Nepal’s Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre, the oldest in the region, and also contribute for its development as a regional center of excellence for peacekeeping training.
Nepali Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara reiterated Nepal’s commitment to peacekeeping operations.
Currently, there are more than 5,000 Nepali security personnel deployed in various UN missions globally and Nepal is the largest troop and police contributing country.
Call for Ban on Destructive Weapons
“Nepal welcomes the confidence-building measures on conventional weapons, ending nearly two decades of stalemate in the UN Disarmament Commission. Nepal has signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a step towards nuclear disarmament” said Deuba calling for complete disarmament.
He further said that Nepal, as the host to the Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament for Asia-Pacific, would call for reactivation of the regional disarmament deliberations under the Kathmandu Process.
“Nepal condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and anywhere in the world. The world must come together to address not just its symptoms but the root causes. Early conclusion of the anti-terrorism global convention is the call of our time,” Deuba added.
Migration, Need of the Hour
Stating that there is an urgent need for addressing migration-related issues, the Nepali Prime Minister said Nepal is eagerly waiting for a successful outcome of the 2018 Global Compact on Migration.
“Nepal calls for concerted efforts at the national, regional and international levels to ensure that the migration process creates a fair and win-win situation to all. We call for safety, security, dignity and well-being of all migrant workers,” said Deuba.
LLDCs and LDCs Not Getting Benefitted
“Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) have not been developing from the process of globalization,” said Deuba speaking at the UNGA session.
In this regard, he called on UN to ensure that these two groups of countries have partnerships and technology transfer and reliable and sustainable financing to overcome structural impediments.
He further said the South-South cooperation in terms of trade, investment and technology should be fully exploited.
“LDCs are the most vulnerable group of countries. They cannot be perennially equated with dehumanizing conditions of poverty and under development. They must be enabled to smoothly and sustainably graduate at an early date,” he added.
Speaking on bilateral relations with other countries, Deuba said, “Nepal believes in non-alignment. In exercise of our independent foreign policy, we judge every issue on its merit without fear or favor. We consider regional cooperation an important means for building trust and confidence among nations and making the best use of complementarities for shared prosperity.”
Permanent Representative of Nepal to UN Durga Prasad Bhattarai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Foreign Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister Dinesh Bhattarai and Foreign Affairs Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi and were among other key Nepali officials who took part in UNGA sessions.