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UN Human Rights Office To Work With New Envoy

UN Human Rights Office In Nepal To Work Very Closely With World Body’s New Envoy

Welcoming last week’s appointment of a United Nations envoy to Nepal to spearhead the world body’s efforts to bring peace, the UN’s top human rights official said today that her office in the Himalayan country would work very closely with the new appointee during what is the “most critical time” in the nation’s transition from years of conflict.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour also wished Ian Martin well in his new role as Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, adding that he had done a “tremendous job” as her representative in Nepal in terms of protecting human rights during a very difficult time.

“In the meantime, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)-Nepal will work very closely with Ian Martin in his new role and will continue to carry out its mandate to work for the protection and promotion of human rights of all Nepalis with impartiality and independence, said Ms. Arbour.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced Mr. Martin’s appointment last Friday, following recent signs by Nepal’s political parties that they are willing to negotiate an end to 10 years of fighting that have killed 15,000 people.

Earlier this month Nepal’s Government and the Communist Party (Maoist) sent letters requesting UN help in areas ranging from human rights monitoring to electoral observation. This move followed a 10-day UN assessment mission to the country, during which time the Maoists also announced they were extending a three-month ceasefire.

In his statement last Friday, Mr. Annan said he believes “it is now urgent to undertake follow-on consultations with all concerned parties in Nepal in order to build on the common understanding that now exists, so that detailed planning for UN assistance may proceed.”

Mr. Martin will be assisted in his new role by a small multi-disciplinary team of UN officials.


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