KATHMANDU: Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Christian Friis Bach, concluded his two day Nepal visit (April 4-5) on Friday.
Issuing a press release, today, the embassy stated that during his stay Bach urged political stakeholders to cooperate towards concluding the peace process and writing a new democratic and inclusive constitution at the earliest, with fair and free elections taking place as soon as possible.
In the meeting the minister also urged all the political parties and groups to work together for democratic elections. During his stay he met with the Interim Election Council and major political parties.
The press release has further issued that the Danish Minister reaffirmed Denmark’s continued support to Nepal.
The Danish Minister welcomed the formation of the Interim Election Council to conduct national elections and urged all political parties and groups to take responsibility for holding elections as soon as possible.
“Free, fair and inclusive elections are vital to meeting the aspirations of the Nepali people, reviving democratic institutions, finalising the Constitution and securing lasting peace,” the visiting minister said.
The Minister raised concern about the protracted peace process and lack of implementation of peace related agreements. He stressed that all political parties should seek compromise in order to settle the outstanding issues of the peace process.
The purpose of the visit was also to discuss future cooperation. Denmark is formulating a new strategic frame for Denmark’s partnership with Nepal from 2013 to 2017.
The overall vision of the engagement is to support the Nepali people in their right to a better life characterised by peace, stability, democracy, social and economic progress and respect for human rights.
During his stay the Danish Minister went to Sindhuli district to get inspiration for future cooperation regarding renewable energy. He experienced solar home systems, improved cooking stoves, household biogas installations and a micro-hydro power plant.
Minister Christian Friis Bach further met with victims of the armed conflict and participated in a roundtable stakeholder discussion on human rights and peace issues hosted by the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal.
During the meetings the Danish Minister underlined the importance of establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in compliance with the Comprehensive Peace Accord and international standards.
The Minister further stressed that granting amnesties for certain crimes, particularly genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes is not acceptable.
“Amnesty without truth and reconciliation contributes to a culture of impunity. It weakens the foundation for a genuine and lasting peace. This is a Nepali challenge and requires a Nepali solution. Peace and progress is elusive without healing the wounds of the past,” he said.
The Minister also mentioned that it has now been two years since Nepal’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session took place.