The first day eventually ended with a heritage walk along Patan Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Lalitpur….reports Asian Lite News
United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, met Nepali politicians and ministers on the first day of his visit on Sunday. The first day eventually ended with a heritage walk along Patan Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Lalitpur.
“I see that it is important for Nepali people to understand that a country that has this tradition, this culture, and these monuments is a country that is spiritual. Based on these rules, which are wonderful culture and well-known architecture, I am seeing Nepal–the peace process being completed and graduation to not be the least developed country–have a future for the upcoming generation,” said the Secretary-General after touring the ancient palace built before the unification of modern Nepal.
Though devastated by the earthquake of April 2015, Patan Dubar Square has stood back quickly in comparison to other heritage sites in Nepal. The visiting Secretary General congratulated the authorities for being able to restore the temples and monuments as he stood next to the Mayor of Lalitpur, Chiribabu Maharjan.
“I want to congratulate you on the way you restored this complex after the earthquake. This restoration is a masterpiece in itself. Temples are masterpieces; the efforts that have been made to stand up are another masterpiece,” applauded Guterres.
The Secretary-General arrived in Kathmandu in the early hours of Sunday at the invitation of Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal. After hours of rest, the UNSG (United Nations Secretary-General) called on Nepali Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud and Defence Minister Purna Bahadur Khadka at their offices.
The Secretary-General then called on Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, aka Prachanda, at his office to hold a joint Press conference where he condemned the attacks on Gaza by Israel and hostage situation by Hamas. He called on all the parties to end the ongoing escalation, which, as per him, has invited a humanitarian catastrophe.
“These are difficult and tense times. I know that even though the conflict in the Middle East is thousands of miles away, it has hit very close to home for the people of Nepal. I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the ten Nepali students killed in the terror attacks by Hamas in Israel on October 7 and my best wishes for the safe return of Bipin Joshi, who is missing,” Guterres said
Reiterating calls for ceasefire and peace in the region, the chief of the world body called on all parties to sit at the table and end the ongoing crisis.
“I have just arrived here from Qatar and will continue to insist on the immediate and unconditional release of all the hostages in Gaza. I repeat my utter condemnation of the appalling attacks perpetrated by Hamas. There is no justification, ever, for the killing, injuring, and abduction of civilians. The situation in Gaza is growing more desperate by the hour. I regret that instead of a critically needed humanitarian pause, supported by the international community, Israel has intensified its military operations. The number of civilians who have been killed and injured is totally unacceptable. All parties must respect their obligations under International Humanitarian Law,” Guterres stressed.
Warning that the world is on the brink of collapse, he called on the warring sides for a ceasefire.
Soon after the media briefing, Guterres held a separate meeting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is also the President of the Nepali Congress and the chairman of the main opposition CPN-Unified Marxist Leninists, KP Sharma Oli.
Later in the evening, the visiting chief of the United Nations called on Nepali President Ram Chandra Paudel. (By Binod Prasad Adhikari/ANI)
Prachanda Seeks UN Role in Nepal Peace Process
Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, widely known as ‘Prachanda,’ met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the latter’s four-day visit to Kathmandu. Prachanda sought the UN’s role in concluding Nepal’s peace and transitional justice process, a move likely to spark discussions within the country’s political spheres.
Guterres assured the UN’s assistance but outlined specific conditions. He emphasised that the process must align with international standards, comply with Nepal Supreme Court rulings, and address the fundamental needs of victims from the decade-long conflict involving Maoists, which claimed the lives of 17,000 people.
Guterres’ conditions followed Prachanda’s efforts both domestically and internationally to secure a general amnesty for himself and Maoist combatants for human rights violations. A draft bill advocating blanket amnesty was rejected by a House committee about six weeks ago.
Guterres will address the Joint Session of the Federal Parliament on October 31, 2023, as well as have first-hand observation of the impacts of climate change on Nepal and meet affected communities as he travels the Himalayan nation.