Nepal becomes UNHRC member for first time

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Kathmandu, October 17, 2017: Nepal has been elected as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) for the term 2018-2020 securing 166 votes, the highest in the Asia-Pacific Group in a secret ballot held in New York on Monday.

Nepal has been elected for the first time as member of the UNHRC since the Council came into existence in 2006 replacing the Human Rights Commission.

Qatar, Pakistan, and Afghanistan were elected from the Asia-Pacific region, along with 15 members elected from different geographical regions, by at the on-going 72nd session of the UN General Assembly (GA) in New York.

Soon after the election was over, Ambassador Durga Prasad Bhattarai, Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations, said that this election marks a humbling moment of paramount importance to Nepal since it reflects the international community’s acknowledgment of Nepal’s passionate efforts and accomplishments in the field of promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms at home and globally.

Ambassador Bhattarai further said that this election also recognizes the ability of Nepal to contribute to the work of HRC from the experience of uniquely successful home-grown and nationally-driven peace process that led to the adoption of a human rights-based constitution in 2015, and of the country’s resolve to implement the Constitution.

‘This election offers the post-conflict Nepal an unprecedented opportunity to prove its worth as an international contributor in the cause of human rights in Nepal and around the world, over and above its contribution as a UN peacekeeping and civilian protection partner since 1958,’ the Permanent Representative added.

The term of office of Nepal at the Council begins on 01 January 2018 and ends on 31 December 2020.

The HRC was established in 2006 by UN-GA as its own subsidiary body, replacing the then Commission on Human Rights. The HRC comprises 47 members representing different geographic regions, including 13 from the Asia-Pacific states. HRC is responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all; considering human rights violations and making recommendations thereof; and promoting coordination of human rights within the UN system.

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