From 1 to 3 April 2018, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, made an official visit to Nepal, which hosts the Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD). The Centre is the operational arm of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) covering 43 Member States in the region.
The High Representative met with both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal and conveyed UNODA’s appreciation for their hosting of UNRCPD. Ms. Nakamitsu also conducted meetings with other senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal to discuss further cooperation between the Government and the Regional Centre, including a revival of the “Kathmandu Process” — a dialogue among States in Asia and the Pacific on disarmament, arms control, non-proliferation and other peace and security-related issues.
Furthermore, the High Representative sought views and opinion of the senior Nepalese officials on the country’s priorities in the field of security that might be reflected in the United Nations Secretary-General’s disarmament agenda. In response, they pointed out the need to enhance dialogue among States on WMD-related issues, including the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 (2004) and strengthening the link between disarmament and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The importance of reaching out to the youth through peace and disarmament education activities was also stressed. The Nepalese officials indicated their need for assistance in building legal capacity to implement the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, UNSCR 1540, and to address the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons control.
At a meeting with the UN Country Team in Nepal, the High Representative had the opportunity to engage with the heads of UN funds, programmes and other entities in an informal manner to exchange ideas and perspectives.
The High Representative visited UNRCPD’s office premises in Kathmandu and met with the staff to discuss the Secretary-General’s disarmament agenda and UNODA’s initiatives and potential projects in the Asia and the Pacific region.