Sumario: February 28, 2005: Declaration by the European Union on the situation in Nepal (Brussels)
The EU Presidency issued a statement on 2 February expressing deep concern about the dissolution of the multi-party government in Nepal and the assumption by the King of executive powers, and calling for the speedy restoration of multi-party democracy. Later all EU Member States with ambassadors in Nepal separately recalled their ambassadors for consultations in view of the seriousness of developments there. The ambassadors of France, Germany, United Kingdom and the charge d'affaires e.p. of
Denmark have now returned to Kathmandu.
The EU continues to believe that the action taken by the King is a serious setback to the prospects for a negotiated and democratically based solution to the conflict in Nepal. The EU calls upon the King to take early measures to restore democratic freedoms and civil liberties, and to lift the emergency powers he introduced following the takeover of power on 1 February.
In particular, the EU calls for the restoration of representative democracy; the fast release of all political and other prisoners detained under emergency ordinances; for unrestricted access without the need for prior notice to all detainees to be given to the NHRC and its representatives; for political parties and civil society organisations to be granted the freedom to organise and operate; for the lifting of reporting restrictions on the media; assurances of CIAA continued independence and for the restoration of the right to assembly and other fundamental rights. The EU further calls on the King to undertake the necessary steps to make sure that the representatives of the NHRC will be able to carry out their mandate independently, effectively and without fear for their personal safety.
The EU views with particular concern the current human rights crisis in Nepal, and the serious and systematic human rights violations by both sides in the conflict. The EU believes that there is a clear and real danger that intensified conflict and the restrictions on democratic freedoms will lead to levels of human rights abuse rising. The EU calls for respect for human rights of the Nepalese people and compliance with international human rights norms and obligations.
The EU is mindful of the impact the new political situation might have on security conditions in the country and on donors' ability to provide development assistance to poor people in Nepal. The EU is concerned that intensified conflict could make it more difficult to deliver effective assistance and sustain development programmes. EU donors are therefore reviewing the development effectiveness of existing and planned activities in the new context. The EU calls in particular for all involved in the conflict to respect and publicly express commitment to donors' Basic Operating Guidelines, to ensure the safety of all those working for and with development agencies, and to allow them to continue to carry out their assistance activities without interference.
The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey and Croatia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.
* Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process