New York

07 April 2008

Secretary-General's video message for the Constituent Assembly Elections in Nepal

This Constituent Assembly election is a historic milestone for the people of Nepal. You have waited long and patiently for this day to come. It is my fervent hope that the ballot will take place in a free and fair atmosphere.

Nepal's political leaders have worked hard to reach this point, and have successfully managed many difficulties in the peace process. They now have a critical responsibility to ensure that voters can freely exercise their democratic right in a secret ballot, without fear of violence, intimidation or manipulation. So much hinges on the success of the election, and the acceptance by all of the will of the people.

This election is an opportunity not only to reinvigorate democracy, and uphold the centrality of human rights, but also to further cement the peace process in Nepal. The international community has consistently demonstrated its support for the peace process. We are closely following the conduct of the election, including through the presence of hundreds of international observers.

But the election is not the end of the road. The peace process will continue, particularly in the drafting of a new constitution for a new Nepal.

The people of Nepal deserve the lasting peace and development they yearn for. The United Nations will remain by your side, and I personally will be closely engaged. I am honoured by the kind invitation of the Government of Nepal to visit your country, and look forward to witnessing for myself the achievements of the democratic process, built on the spirit, strength and courage of the Nepalese people.

Thank you very much.