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UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay – Interaction with Civil Society 19 March 2009, UN House, Kathmandu Talking Points
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I am very happy to be here today to meet with representatives of civil society. Of course I am aware of the vibrant civil society that exists in this country, and of the central role that many of you played not only in bringing OHCHR to Nepal but also in keeping the flame of human rights burning throughout the conflict and indeed in doing so much to foster the peace process. While the context has changed immensely since the conflict was raging in 2005, the partnership between yourselves and my Office is required more than ever in this post-conflict phase, and I look forward to even closer collaboration in the years ahead. In my recent annual report to the Human Rights Council on the situation in Nepal and the activities of my office, I noted the substantial progress made since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Equally, I stated that the challenges that lie ahead remain as daunting as those that have been surmounted already. I would like to reassure our colleagues in national institutions and civil society that a key concern of OHCHR-Nepal is to ensure that no ‘protection gap’ will develop and that, buttressed by strong constitutional guarantees, respect for the human rights of all Nepalis will grow. Recognizing the need to consolidate the peace and to support those working for a ‘new Nepal’, we have refocused our programmes to address fundamental human rights issues that lay at the root of the conflict, and which regrettably continue today, especially discrimination, lack of access to social, economic and cultural rights and impunity. However, we are also prepared to react appropriately – as we have in the past – in case the human rights situation suddenly deteriorates. At the moment our focus is very much on the promotion and protection of human rights defenders, including strengthening the capacity of civil society organisations and the development of effective protection mechanisms. OHCHR is undertaking training programmes for human rights defenders in all five regions of Nepal, often jointly with NGOs and the NHRC. OHCHR-Nepal also plays a lead role in the European Union’s Working Group on Human Rights Defenders, which is developing initiatives to strengthen the protection framework and is utilizing a list of emblematic cases of incidents targeting human rights defenders to identify patterns, draw-up recommendations and undertake advocacy with the Government by national and international partners. Among these human rights defenders are journalists. According to reports, respect for the work of the media and for the right to freedom of expression have decreased in recent months. OHCHR-Nepal will continue to support journalists, both to strengthen their understanding of human rights and to make their working environments more secure.
Publisher:
UNOHCHR ,   (2009 )
Type / Script:
Bulletin or Poster in English
Keywords:
HUMAN RIGHTS, INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS, HUMAN SECURITY, CIVIL SOCIETY, SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS, CONFLICT, SOCIAL CONFLICT, PEACE, PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, DISCRIMINATION, HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION
Thematic Group:
 UNOHCHR : UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Thesaurus:
14.05.03  -  Social Development
Reference Link:
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