The Kathmandu Post, 18 April 2018
The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenca lauded Nepal’s reforms, political transformation and peace process on Monday, the concluding day of his visit to country.
The UN official on Monday met with the Speaker of House of Representatives Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, and the Chief of Army Staff General Rajendra Chhetri, former Prime Ministers Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Sher Bahadur Deuba, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission Arup Sharma, and leaders of other political parties, women and civil society representatives.
In his meetings, Jenca commended the government and the Nepali people on the success of the homegrown peace process as laid out in the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and the political transformation Nepal has undergone over the last two decades, according to a statement issued by UN Office in Kathmandu.
He also congratulated the government on holding the local, state and federal elections last year in line with Nepal’s new Constitution.
He called Nepal’s home grown peace process supported by international community an example in making the aims of sustaining peace a reality, and reaffirmed the United Nations commitment to continue building peace through working with all stakeholders in realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Jenca, according to the statement highlighted the importance of Nepal’s membership in the Human Rights Council and welcomed the government’s expressed commitment to amend the Transitional Justice legislation to bring it in line with the Supreme Court judgment of 2015 and international standards. He also expressed appreciation for the long-established and close partnership between the UN and Nepal, particularly in peace operations.
Jenca also met with the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Secretary-General Amjad Hussain and discussed issues related to strengthening the partnership between the UN and regional organisations.
UN-Women elects Nepal as board member
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) has elected Nepal as a member of the Executive Board for the term 2019-2021.
Nepal’ Permanent Mission to the United Nations said the country would serve in this panel for the first time since its creation in 2010.
The UN body also elected India, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and Mongolia from the Asia-Pacific region. It elected 17 countries from different geographical regions, by acclamation at the Co-ordination and Management Meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Monday in New York. The seats would be vacant from January 1, 2019, a UN statement said.
The UN General Assembly established UN-Women in 2010 vide resolution 64/289 to improve the co-ordination and coherence of work on gender equality and women’s empowerment, replacing the UNIFEM or the United Nations Development Fund for Women. In January 2011, the UNIFEM merged into UN Women, a composite entity of the UN, with International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues (OSAGI), and Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW).
The UN also elected Nepal as a member of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) for the term 2019-2022. The elections were held at the same meeting of the ECOSOC on Monday.
As a member state requested for secret ballots, Nepal obtained 52 out of 53 valid votes of the 54 members of the ECOSOC. China, Thailand, and Iran were also elected to the Commission from the Asia-Pacific region.
The CSTD provides the General Assembly and the ECOSOC with high-level advice on relevant issues through analysis and policy recommendations or options in order to enable those organs to guide the future work of the UN, develop common policies and agree on appropriate actions.