OHCHR on Human Rights
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has said the existing climate of impunity in Nepal must be transformed into a culture of accountability to bring successful transition to durable peace and development.In a report, due to be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday, High Commissioner Louise Arbour has said, “Political will, lacking until now, is essential for such change.”
Arbour in the report further said the state has its obligation to protect the rights of the population to life, liberty and security.
“A coherent program to strengthen and reform security forces is urgently needed. Law enforcement agencies have a special role to play in ensuring the creation of a climate for
elections that are free of fear and intimidation,” the report said.
It said the peace process, including elections, provides a historic opportunity to create a fully inclusive and democratic state.
The report points out that progress toward strengthening national human rights system has been made through appointment of commissioners to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the signing or ratification of several international human rights instruments and promulgation of regulations providing quotas for marginalized groups and women.
“However, respect for and the protection of human rights came under increasing pressure in 2007 as a result of delays in implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), together with a worsening security situation in the Terai, resulting in increased violence,” the report states.
OHCHR-Nepal Representative Richard Bennett, said his office is ready to provide all necessary support and technical assistance to achieve necessary progress.
“Strengthening the national human rights system, including support for NHRC and national institutions, will be an essential component of the Office’s strategy to support the process of change in Nepal,” Bennett said.