New York

14 May 2012

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Nepal

 The Secretary-General is concerned at the rising tensions and disruption of daily life in parts of Nepal linked to the debate over the future federal system and at the failure, thus far, of political leaders to forge a consensus on their outstanding differences in the constitution-making process.  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.  Having taken important historical steps since 2005, they cannot afford to disappoint the Nepali people.

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

 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.