25 Sept, New York
Nepal has expressed its concern regarding United Nations’ dealing with cases of human rights violations concerning its peacekeeping operations. Home Minister and the Head of the Nepali Delegation to the UN General Assembly Bhim Rawal along with the high officials at the Permanent Representative Office of Nepal to UN, expressed such concern during the meeting with Alain Le Roy, Chief of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations DPKO. The paper consisting of issues raised by Nepal reads ” Nepal wishes to see that the United Nations apply uniform treatment to all the member states as far as dealing with the cases of human rights violations “.
Expressing its commitment towards respect of human rights, Nepal has informed the DPKO that it has vetting mechanism in place to select peacekeepers for UN peacekeeping missions and the list of human rights violators is maintained and submitted to Human Rights Commission in Geneva. Prior to this, Nepal is said to have continuously expressed its dissatisfaction informally about deportation of Nepal Army Major Niranjan Basnet from the Chad Mission who was allegedly involved in murder of Maina Sunar in Kavre during the insurgency.
Though DPKO has still not rendered its formal reaction on Nepal’s concern, Nepali officials claimed that Under Secretary General and Chief of DPKO Le Roy has told to vet into these issues. Rawal also invited Le Roy to visit Nepal as soon as possible. Though there were reports last year that Le Roy is planning to visit Nepal very soon, still it is unclear about his visit.
During the meeting, Nepali officials also committed to fully support United Nations Zero Tolerance Policy on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse SEA and informed that Nepal government has been investigating and taking legal action against the perpetrator of SEA cases. These commitments have come amid the allegations of Nepali peacekeepers involved in murder and rape in Haiti.
Likewise, Nepal has also requested to provide recognition for its Pre-deployment training and United Nations Military Observer Course. Nepal has a well established UN training centre in Panchkhal, Kavre where peacekeepers are imparted with pre-deployment training and staff officers and observers are given various kinds of training before they get deployed in the field missions. Rawal also informed Le Roy that Nepal govt will soon be sending a formal request on this issue.
Among more than a dozen concerns expressed by Nepal, increment in salary of peacekeepers is also included. The Salary and Mission Subsistence Allowance MSA of professionals, military observers and staffers are reviewed periodically but the salary of peacekeepers who are in the front line are not given due attention by the United Nations. A peacekeeper gets 1,028 US dollars in average depending on the rank.
Nepal has also shown its interest to contribute peacekeepers further if situation demands. Currently the 6th largest peacekeepers contributor with 5,129 troops and police deployed in 13 different UN peacekeeping missions around the world, Nepal has contributed about 70,000 peacekeepers since 1958.
Nepal has also raised the issue of speedy reimbursement of death claims. It has asked the DPKO for the proportional representation at higher position in UN headquarters and in the field missions. Currently, Nepal don’t have representation in higher posts like Deputy Force Commander, Force Commander, Deputy Police Commissioner and Police Commissioner in the field missions.