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UN rights teams wrap up assessment visits to Nepal

21 April 2005

UN rights teams wrap up assessment visits to Nepal

21 April -- Two teams of United Nations human rights experts have wrapped up separate fact-finding missions in Nepal, one looking into the needs of an expanded UN rights office in the Himalayan kingdom and the other examining the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) there.

Four experts from the Geneva-based Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights left Nepal yesterday after a visit following-up on last week’s greement with the Government to begin setting 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 an office in the capital Kathmandu and up to five regional field offices to ensure rapid responses to violations reports, and to have an advance team of 10 to 12 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.

The other expert team, 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, also finished its assessment after looking into the situation of IDPs as well as broader issues related internal displacement there.

ENDS

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