UN rights chief begins visit to Nepal and India this week

17 March 2009

The top United Nations human rights official will be visiting Nepal and India this week as she sets out on her first official visit to Asia since taking up her post last September.

Navi Pillay arrives in Nepal tomorrow for a five-day visit during which she will survey one of the largest country operations of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

She will also assess the human rights situation in the country, which endured a decade-long civil war that claimed an estimated 13,000 lives until the Government and the Maoists signed a peace accord in 2006.

Last May, following the holding of Constituent Assembly elections, the South Asian nation abolished its 240-year-old monarchy and declared itself a republic.

While in Nepal, Ms. Pillay is set to meet with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, President Ram Baran Yadav, and representatives of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and human rights defenders, as well as other UN organizations working in the country.

The High Commissioner will then begin a two-day visit to India on 22 March, during which she will meet with the Foreign Secretary and the Minister of Home Affairs, as well as with other senior Government officials and members of the judiciary. She will also give a keynote lecture, hosted by India’s National Human Rights Commission.

 

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