New York

23 September 2016

Secretary-General's message to event celebrating the First Constitution Day of Nepal

[Delivered Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs]

I am pleased to send greetings on the occasion of the first Constitution Day of Nepal.  I congratulate the people and Government of Nepal for their efforts in recent years to build a stable, peaceful and prosperous nation.
The agreement reached by Nepali political leaders in June 2015 is a historic achievement.  Putting aside their differences, the leaders agreed that a new constitution, the first one since the end of the conflict in 2006, was the keystone for achieving the dream of a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Nepal.  The circumstances under which the agreement was reached – in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes earlier in 2015 – make the agreement even more remarkable.
With the constitution in place, Nepal can look toward the future.  It is important that the society being built reflects the will of all Nepalese.  I am heartened by the commitments made by Prime Minister Prachanda in his first address in parliament to amending the constitution and the transitional justice law.  I am confident the Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Prachanda, can rise to the challenge and, through broad consultations, ensure that the Constitution is amended to reflect the different views within Nepali society.  Inclusivity, flexibility and a spirit of compromise will be essential throughout this process.
I would like to take this opportunity to convey my sincere gratitude for Nepal’s contributions to United Nations peace operations.  Over more than 50 years, Nepal has contributed more than 60,000 troops and police to serve around the world.  We greatly value Nepal’s commitment to global peace.
The United Nations looks forward to continuing its close cooperation with Nepal and remains committed to assist Nepal achieve its full potential.  I congratulate all the people of Nepal on this celebration and your nation’s commitment to democracy and peaceful co-existence.