Summary: Nepal: EU Commission supports restoration of peace and democracy (3 January 2006: Brussels)
The European Commission is underlining its support to restore peace and democracy to Nepal by providing € 12 million in assistance to address human rights issues and to contribute to a settlement of the conflict. €7 million has been approved for a 'conflict mitigation' project that will strengthen the National Human Rights Commission and the Supreme Court. This will increase the institutional capacity to protect people's rights and to uphold the rule of law in the
conflict-affected country. The funding will also help provide legal support to those who need it, through the Nepal Bar Association. An additional € 5 million is being allocated to an international human rights monitoring mission. This will raise awareness of, and capacity to implement, national and international humanitarian law, and provide an independent investigation into any abuses of human rights. The monitoring mission, which will rely on over 100 international and local
observers, based throughout the country, is supported by the international community and will be managed by the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood policy, said: "To break the cycle of escalating violence in Nepal, it is essential that we boost human rights - and end impunity for those who commit human rights abuses. Today's announcement shows the EU is committed to help pave the way for a brighter future for the country."
The three-year project on conflict mitigation is part of the overall strategy to support peace, rule of law and human rights in Nepal and is part of the 2004 European Commission (EC) Co-operation Agreement signed with His Majesty's Government of Nepal. The project links concerns about the political and security situation with initiatives to promote improved respect for human rights. Judicial reform and improvement in access to legal representation will also be encouraged. It will be underpinned by a Financing Agreement signed between the EC and the Nepal government. An international technical assistance team will support the National Human Rights Commission, The Nepal Bar Association, and the Supreme Court in implementing the project.
The human rights monitoring mission is being managed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and governed by a Memorandum of Understanding signed between OHCHR and His Majesty's Government of Nepal. The mandate of OHCHR in Nepal is to monitor the observance of the human rights and international humanitarian law, with a view to advising the authorities in Nepal of the formulation and implementation of policies, programmes and measures for the promotion and protection of human rights in Nepal. Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK are also backing the monitoring mission with generous contributions on top of the EC funding. Canada, US, Switzerland and Norway are also contributing.
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The EU's relations with Nepal: