UPR-Info Conducts Workshop on Universal Periodic Review’s Recommendations Implementation Plan in Nepal*
UPR Info, in coordination and collaboration with the UNDP-Nepal, the National Human Rights Commission-Nepal, and Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC), a Nepali non-governmental organization, conducted a workshop on the development of the CSO/NHRC UPR monitoring plan on the 23rd and 24th of August, 2022 in Lalitpur, Nepal.
Similarly, in collaboration with UNDP-Nepal, UPR Info organized a workshop on the role of government in the implementation phase of UPR recommendations on the 25th and 26th of August, 2022, in Godawari, Nepal, followed by a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the implementation of UPR recommendations.
At the start of the CSO workshop, INSEC’s Executive Director, Bijay Raj Gautam, Under-secretary of the NHRC, Ms. Manju Khatiwada, Portfolio Manager at the UNDP-Nepal, Mr. Tek Tamata, National Focal Point of the UPR-Info, Mr. Kapil Aryal, and Program Manager at the UPR Info, Ms. Nargiz Arupova, made an opening speech with their short remarks.
Mr. Bijay Raj Gautam welcomed the participants and highlighted the objectives of the event. According to him, the workshop will help to strengthen civil society organizations' capacity to contribute to the implementation of UPR recommendations and to monitor the process. Mr. Gautam requested all the participants to effectively utilize the workshop to formulate a useful monitoring plan.
Ms. Manju Khatiwada highlighted that many of the UPR recommendations have been repeated, which shows the weakness in implementation of those recommendations.
Mr. Tek Tamata emphasized the importance of civil society organizations throughout the UPR process, particularly during the implementation stage. He pointed out that CSOs should be organized in the collection of facts and data related to human rights and should be presented in the UPR report in a comprehensive and factual manner. He added that CSOs should be focused on evidence and indicator-based advocacy for the implementation of the recommendations. To improve the overall human rights implementation situation through the process of UPR, Tamata suggested strengthening mutual dialogue between the government of Nepal, national human rights organizations, and civil society organizations.
Mr. Kapil Aryal briefly highlighted the objectives of the CSO workshop as well as shared the workshop with the government and multi-stakeholder dialogue on the following day. He emphasized the importance of the active and continuous engagement of CSOs.
Ms. Nargiz Arupova said that the critical feedback and suggestions presented by civil society organizations at the international level in the process of UPR will play an important role in the suggestions received by the member states through review. Since the role of civil society organizations in each country is also important in implementing the suggestions received in the UPR, Arupova emphasized that civil organizations’ representatives should continuously participate in the process.
In the workshop, the CSOs were divided into five thematic groups (Transitional Justice, Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; Gender Rights; Child Rights; Rights of Indigenous and Marginalized Communities) as per their priority, and they re-worked on action strategies they had worked on in an earlier workshop supported by UPR-Info and made presentations in plenary.
The participants found the presentation on "How to effectively monitor the implementation of UPR recommendations" by UPR Info interesting and important. After that session, the participants had a group work on developing human rights indicators to monitor UPR progress.
The second day of the event was focused on the development of human rights indicators and advocacy during the implementation phase. The participants had an additional group on developing human rights indicators to monitor UPR progress and they presented the indicators developed.
Ms. Tenar Lorente, Programme Office at the UPR-Info, delivered presentations and provided inputs in workshops where necessary, throughout these workshops together with Nargiz. The two-day long workshop was concluded with remarks from INSEC, NHRC, UNDP, and UPR-Info. Altogether, fifty representatives of the National Coalition for UPR participated in the two-day workshop.
Workshop on the Role of Government in the Implementation Phase
On August 25, 2022, UPR Info, in collaboration with UNDP, held a workshop in Godawari, Nepal, on the role of government in the implementation phase of the UPR recommendations with the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM).
The object of the workshop was to have a constructive dialogue between the government officials, NHRIs, UNDP, and UPR Info and to share experiences on the action plan for the implementation of UPR recommendations.
Mr. Vijay Kumar Dutta, Chairman of the Madhesi Commission; Ms. Aabha Singh 'Setu,' Member of the Madhesi Commission; Mr. Murari Prasad Kharel, Acting Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal; Ms. Ayshanie Medagangoda-Labé, Resident Representative of the UNDP; Ms. Aruna Joshi, Joint Secretary from the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers and Ms. Nargiz Arupova, Program Manager of UPR-Info made opening remarks before the regular sessions.
Ms. Aruna Joshi from the OPMCM shared the UPR Implementation Action Plan developed by her office. After Aruna’s presentation, Nargiz gave a presentation on things to be considered during UPR documentation, monitoring, and reporting. As per the request of the participants, issues of the UPR mechanism and its complementarity with other international human rights mechanisms focused on treaty-body recommendations were included in the session, and this session was conducted online by the Center for Civil and Political Rights, Geneva.
The first day’s sessions were wrapped up by the presentation by Mr. Murari Kharel on the role of NHRI in the implementation of UPR recommendations and NHRC’s action plan.
The last day of the event was a multi-stakeholder dialogue between the government, CSOs, NHRIs, and UNDP on the 26th of August, 2022. The event was organized at the same venue where the workshop with the government had taken place. CSO members and representatives of ten thematic groups joined the dialogue. These were the same thematic groups that had participated in pre-session advocacy before Nepal’s review in 2021.
These 10 thematic groups and organizations were: (1) Beyond Beijing Committee – Gender Justice (2) Blue Diamond Society – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (3) Collective Campaign for Peace (COCAP) – Protection of HRDs (4) Conflict Victim’s Common Platform (CVCP) – Rights of Conflict Victims (5) Children Zones of Peace (CZOP) – Children’s Rights (6) Dalit NGO Federation (DNF) – Dalits' rights (7) Durban Review Conference and Follow-up Committee (DRCFC) - Marginalized Community Rights (8) NGO Coalition of UPR - Transitional Justice (9) NHRC and 10) Women's Rehabilitation Center - Women's Rights
Out of these thematic groups, only groups representing transitional justice, women’s rights, children’s rights, rights of Dalit people, and the rights of marginalized communities made presentations on their UPR recommendation implementation action strategies.
Before the CSOs made presentations on their action strategies, the Under-secretary from the OPMCM, Ms. Shradha Poudel, shared the implementation plan prepared by the OPMCM.
During the event, Manju Khatiwada from the NHRC, Nepal also discussed their work and plans for implementing UPR recommendations.
The two-day workshop was concluded by a speech from Nargiz Arupova.
*This article has been authored by UPR Info's National Focal Point for Nepal, Mr Kapil Aryal.