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UN Human Rights Office In Nepal

21 April 2005

Expert Team Completes Needs Assessment Of Expanded UN Human Rights Office In Nepal

A United Nations human rights expert team has wrapped up a fact-finding mission on the needs of an expanded UN rights office in Nepal.

The group, headed by Walter Kalin, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, and Dennis McNamara, Director of the UN's Internal Displacement Division, left the Himalayan kingdom yesterday.

The experts' trip follows the signing last week of an agreement by the UN Geneva-based human rights office and the Government to set up a regional 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 UN's goal is to set up regional field offices to ensure rapid responses to violations reports, and to have an advance team of human rights monitors in Nepal by early May.

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.

ENDS

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