Prime Minister Shushil Koirala met with Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), at the UN Headquarters in New York. During the meeting, views were exchanged on several areas of mutual interest, with a particular focus on democracy, peace and the constitution writing process in Nepal.
While welcoming Prime Minister Koirala, the Secretary-General appreciated the contribution of Nepal to the UN peacekeeping missions in different parts of the world, and expressed his hope for its continuation. He particularly appreciated the professionalism and courage of Nepalese peacekeepers and thanked the Government of Nepal for deploying its troops in highly challenging Missions. He said that the UN is striving for gender balance in peacekeeping forces and encouraged more female peacekeepers from Nepal.
Secretary-General Ban encouraged Nepal to make use of the available UN system organs, such as the one for LDCs and LLDCs, for its economic development. Prime Minister Koirala said Nepal is determined to develop and thanked the UN system for its support to that end. He also highlighted the development potential of Nepal in the field of hydropower, tourism, agriculture and valuable herbs, and also emphasized that Nepal – both as LDC and LLDC – deserved special support of the international community in its development endeavors.
Prime Minister Koirala thanked the Secretary-General for his leadership at the UN. He reiterated the unflinching faith of Nepal in the UN ideals and assured of continued contribution to the UN peacekeeping, and of raising the number of women peacekeepers along the way. Koirala, while updating on the current political situation in Nepal, expressed his appreciation for the UN’s support to the peace process of Nepal. He said that the political process was moving positively, and underscored the importance of constitution-writing to consolidate peace, democracy and political stability. He also said that the major political parties of Nepal were committed to promulgate a new democratic constitution soon.
The Prime Minister and the Secretary-General underscored the importance of a credible transitional justice mechanism in post-conflict situations. The Prime Minister highlighted that Nepal had recently enacted instruments for truth and reconciliation and enforced disappearances. He also assured that those instruments aim at reconciliation and not mass amnesty as expressed by certain quarters.
The Secretary-General appreciated the leadership of Koirala in the ongoing political efforts in constitution drafting, highlighted the importance of reaching out in such a process and expressed his interest about a timeline for the promulgation of a new constitution. Prime Minister said that the political parties in Nepal were serious about making progress, and expressed his confidence that the new democratic constitution would be ready within the stipulated time of January 2015. He said no time will be wasted in this regard.
According to a press release issued by Nepalese Permanent Mission in New York, Koirala thanked Ban for his support and extended a warm invitation to visit Nepal at his convenience.
On the occasion, Prime Minister Koirala was accompanied by Durga Prasad Bhattarai, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations, Minister Plenipotentiary Sewa Lamsal Adhikari, and Mridula Koirala, and the Secretary-General was accompanied by Under-Secretary-General Gyan Chandra Acharya, acting head of UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and other senior officials of the UN Secretariat.