BANDANA RANA’S RE-ELECTION Nepal’s Success

The re-election of Bandana Rana to the CEDAW shows that Nepal’s Foreign Ministry officials have the capacity to work with the UN Forum

Dec. 2, 2020, 8:58 a.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL. 14 No. 07, November 27, 2020 ( Mangsir 12, 2077) Publisher: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

If Nepal’s Foreign Ministry mandarins are allowed to work, they can use their caliber to make gains for the country – they have shown this in the last major election in the UN.

With support from various countries, Nepal has been able to get a re-election as a member of United Nations Human Rights Commission. Last month, mobilizing diplomatic missions, particularly Nepal’s UN Mission, Nepal has been able to reelect Bandana Rana as a member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

As per the UN Convention, every individual needs nomination from the member country to take part in any election in UN and the vote pattern will also depend upon the country’s performance along with individual candidate’s personality.

Having worked for several years on women’s agenda globally, Bandana Rana has her own international contacts. However, Nepal has also improved its position in UN and global diplomacy recently.

Winning the second term in a global organization like United Nations in a competitive election is not easy. With strong backing of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nepalese UN Mission, Nepalese candidate Bandana Rana has made it for second term, securing a wider margin of vote.

Her victory is not only personal but also a victory of Nepal government’s stand and commitment as well. With her capacity for articulation, Rana strongly put Nepal’s progress in a global forum to become a cause to win the elections.

Nepal government backed her candidacy and used all its goodwill to gain support for her while Rana’s individual capability, as well as her modest approach contributed to the success.

Under the leadership of Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, chief secretary Shanker Das Bairagi, foreign secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal and UN Mission Chief Amrit Rai, Mani Prasad Bhattarai and Ambassador / Permanent Representative in Nepal’s Mission in Geneva, played a crucial role to reelect Rana.

On her Facebook wall, Rana acknowledged the important role played by Nepal’s Foreign Ministry, its officials and missions.

“I am so very humbled with the trust and confidence placed on me by the 137 countries who voted for me. I pledge to work with even more conviction to address discrimination against women globally. I am profoundly grateful to the Government of Nepal, Minister Pradeep Gyawali, the MOFA team, NY Mission, Geneva Mission, Delhi Embassy and all other Nepali embassies for their invaluable and tireless efforts! Sincere gratitude to all. Collectively we made it,” Rana wrote on Facebook.

Nepal’s candidate Ms. Bandana Rana has been re-elected to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) for the second term in the elections held during the 21st Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in New York.

What a coincidence, Prime Minister K.P Sharma Oli-led government is in power in both her nominations. RPP leader Kamal Thapa was the foreign minister to back her candidacy for the first tenure and Nepal Communist Party leader Pradeep Gyawali is the foreign minister now.

She obtained 137 votes, the third-highest among 19 candidates contesting the election. She was one of the eleven candidates elected for the term of 2021-2024. Experts from the Netherlands, Bahamas, Lithuania, Ghana, Australia, Mexico, Lebanon, France, Philippines and China were also elected.

Currently the Vice-chair of the CEDAW Committee, Ms. Rana is the first Nepali national serving in the Committee. She has over three-decade-long experience of working in the field of gender equality and women's rights.

Following the election, the Leader of the Nepali delegation to the 21st Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention Ambassador Amrit Bahadur Rai stated that Rana’s re-election was a recognition of her proven expertise and experience. This is also an acknowledgment by the international community of Nepal’s sincere efforts in implementing the Convention and its Optional Protocol as well as an appreciation of the achievements we have made in the promotion of women's rights in particular and human rights in general, he said.

Ambassador Rai also thanked all States Parties for their continued trust and confidence in Nepal’s candidate Ms. Rana’s capabilities.

With so many diversities and differences, blocks and groups, contesting and winning elections require a lot of effort, support and personal quality. Having been a founder member of some of the best organizations back home in Nepal and worked in a tangible way with diverse groups, Rana knows the art of living and working together.

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