Ban voices concern over tensions linked to Nepal’s future federal system

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten

14 May 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is concerned at the rising tensions and disruption of daily life in parts of Nepal linked to the debate over its future federal system and at the failure, so far, of political leaders to forge a consensus on their outstanding differences in the country’s constitution-making process, according to his spokesperson.

“With time fast running out before the 28 May deadline for the Constituent Assembly to complete its work, it is imperative for the political parties of Nepal to rise above their differences and reach a consensus,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said. “Having taken important historical steps since 2005, they cannot afford to disappoint the Nepali people.”

The South Asian country has been plagued by political disputes since the civil war between Government forces and Maoists, which claimed 13,000 lives, formally ended in 2007, and its monarchy was abolished. Several deadlines to draft a new constitution have been missed.

“It is important to adhere to existing agreements to meet the aspirations of traditionally marginalized groups,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said. “At the same time, efforts should be made to assuage the concerns of communities who fear they would be disadvantaged under a federal system.”

He also noted that the Secretary-General urges all, particularly those carrying out public protests, to do so peacefully, with full respect for the rights of others and without disrupting humanitarian access across the country.

“He calls on the Government to meaningfully address the escalating tensions and respond to the situation in accordance with national and international law,” the spokesperson added.


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