KATHMANDU, 2 Nov 2012 — The UN in Nepal commemorated the 67th UN Day on 2 November 2012 amidst a well attended programme in the UN House.
Speaking at the program, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN System in Nepal Mr. Robert Piper expressed concern over Nepal’s unstable political situation and derailed constitution-writing process.
“We recognize that the euphoria of almost 6 years ago (the year when Nepal’s decade-long civil war ended) has given way to uncertainty and concern. Concern about political and constitutional crisis…how the constitution drafting process will get back on track and how the next elections will be held. Concerns that the rule of law remains fragile,” he said in his welcome speech.
In the program attended by over 800 participants including dignitaries, high-level government officials, former UN peacekeeping force commanders, representatives from NGOs, INGOs, civil society, media and United Nations agencies working in Nepal, the UN country’s coordinator, however, lauded the achievements made in the peace process.
“There has been no resort to arms since the peace agreement was signed and Nepal has transitioned peacefully into becoming a republic.” Piper said and also urged the country’s leaders to overcome the current deadlocks and lead Nepal successfully towards the national transformation and logical conclusion of peace and statute- drafting processes.
“The cantonments have been emptied and the final integration of the Maoist army will be completed in just a few weeks time. The country has become minefield-free. These achievements need to be protected,” said he.
“This peace process, from its very beginning, has been truly Nepali-led, supported by the international community. We urge and hope that the country’s leadership will overcome the current deadlocks, reach out across political divides and lead Nepal successfully towards the national transformation envisioned in the CPA.”
Mr. Piper also informed that the UN Country Team and the Nepali government have already finalized their new UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) to frame the UN work in overall development of Nepal for the next five years. “This was a critical process at a critical juncture in Nepal’s development trajectory,” Piper added.
Mr.Piper said that Nepal’s development indicators have been impressive despite challenges. “Significant results have been achieved and Nepal’s development indicators continue to improve. These results are all the more impressive given the headwinds development efforts have faced over the last decade in this country,” Piper further said, “Nepalis from many walks of life, from civil servants to village health volunteers, from police men and women to teachers, have achieved so much. Imagine what they could have accomplished in a more conducive governance environment.”
Informing about the UN’s involvement in a number of areas in Nepal including development, governance, food security, poverty alleviation, women and children, peace process and Bhutanese refugee resettlement, Piper said the UN Country Team has continued working hard alongside its government partners, non-government actors, development partners and others to reduce poverty and accelerate Nepal’s development process.
Speaking as the Chief Guest, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal Narayan Kaji Shrestha said, “As we celebrate the UN Day, our focus should be on making the United Nations stronger, more effective and more credible organization able to address the global needs and challenges. This calls for timely adjustments and rebalancing of the way the UN works and the priorities it sets. Equal and balanced importance should be given to all pillars of UN’s mandate as they are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Without the realization of the right to development, peace, security and democracy cannot be advanced in a sustainable manner…. It should work in the collective interests of mankind with neutrality, impartiality and objectivity guiding its operations. More than others, it has the vital responsibility to safeguard the interests of the poorest and most vulnerable segment of the international community, representing the voice of the voiceless.
The UN Day event also consisted of some ‘infotainment’ in the form of a short drama on themes related with UNDAF and a musical performance by children affected by the decade long conflict in Nepal . Long-service memento to national staff members were also presented on the occasion.
Besides, the video message of the Secretary General as well as the works of the UN in Nepal were also screened on the occasion. Simultaneously, impressive stalls of various UN agencies depicting their works in Nepal also proved to be a great success.