Nepal’s long-standing wish of winning membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has finally come true.
The United Nations (UN), in its official release on October 16, 2017, declared Nepal’s election as a UNHRC member.
“Nepal has been elected as a member of the UNHRC for the term 2018-2020, today. Nepal will be serving in that capacity for the first time since HRC’s creation in 2006,” said UN in its official release on October 16, 2017.
UN’s announcement followed a strong pitch made by Nepal for UNHRC membership in the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, 2017.
“Nepal secured 166 votes, the highest in the Asia-Pacific Group. Together, Qatar, Pakistan and Afghanistan were elected from the Asia-Pacific, as part of a total of 15 States elected from different geographical regions, by a secret ballot at the 72nd UNGA session in New York,” noted the release.
Elated at the announcement, Ambassador Durga Prasad Bhattarai, Permanent Representative of Nepal to UN, said this election is of paramount importance for Nepal.
He added that it also reflects the international community’s acknowledgment of Nepal’s efforts and accomplishments in the field of human rights at home and globally.
“This election offers the post-conflict Nepal an unprecedented opportunity to prove its worth as an international contributor in the cause of human rights in Nepal and around the world, over and above its contribution as a UN peacekeeping and civilian protection partner since 1958,” read a statement by Bhattarai.
Following this announcement, Nepal’s term in UNHRC office would begin on January 1, 2018 and lasts till December 31, 2020.
Prior to this, Nepal had served as the member of the Commission on Human Rights during 1995-2000 and 2004-2006, wherein, the country served in Vice-chair (in 1999) and Chair (in 2000) positions.
The Commission on Human Rights was later replaced as HRC in 2006 with UNGA as its own subsidiary body.
Now, HRC is a combination of 47 member states across the geography with 13 nations from the Asia-Pacific group.