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UN Sets Up Human Rights Office In Nepal


UN Sets Up Human Rights Office In Nepal To Fight Abuses By All Sides In Conflict

The United Nations human rights office and the Government of Nepal today signed an agreement to set up a monitoring operation to help establish accountability for rights abuses and prevent further violations by all sides in the nine-year-old armed conflict with Maoist rebels.

The agreement, signed by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Louise Arbour and Nepalese Foreign Minister Ramesh Nath Pandey and to be implemented immediately, provides for field offices to be set up at the regional level to ensure rapid response to reports of violations.

“Breaking the cycle of serious and systematic abuses will be the first essential step toward achieving peace and reconciliation in Nepal,” Ms. Arbour said.

Under the agreement, the office will “engage all relevant actors, including non-state actors, for the purpose of ensuring the observance of relevant international human rights and humanitarian law.” Monitors will seek the cooperation of both the security forces and the Maoists to ensure that all human rights violations, wherever they occur, are investigated and reported on.

The office will “monitor the observance of human rights and international humanitarian law, bearing in mind the climate of violence and the internal armed conflict in the country” and submit periodic reports on any violations by either side to the UN Commission on Human Rights, the General Assembly and Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

It will also advise the Government on matters related to the promotion and protection of human rights and provide advisory services and human rights support to representatives of civil society, human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals.

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