KATHMANDU, Sept 29: Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha has told the international community that the Constituent Assembly (CA) was dissolved without promulgating a new constitution due to the verdict of the Supreme Court.
In his statement to the General Debate of the 67th Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in his capacity of leader of the Nepalese delegation on Friday, Shrestha said though some 90 percent of work of new constitution drafting was completed the CA was dissolved as the parties could not complete the task within the deadline set by the apex court.
“The Constituent Assembly worked for four years to draft the new constitution and completed about 80 to 90 percent of the drafting. But without finalizing the draft, it was dissolved on May 27 this year due to failure to meet its deadline and the Supreme Court´s verdict,” he said.
While underscoring the need to find consensus among parties to promulgate a new constitution through the CA, Shrestha also said that the political parties were engaged in a series of negotiations and were seriously committed to a consensus solution. “We hope we will be able to do so [forge consensus] without much delay,” he said.
Shrestha also informed that the parties have made qualitative progress on the technical side of the peace process, mainly the integration of former Maoist combatants. “There is no outstanding problem left in this regard and it has reached near the point of completion. The transitional justice mechanism is in process for ultimate peace and reconciliation process needed for the completion of the peace process,” he further said.
Shrestha also said since democracy, development, peace and national sovereignty are the major components of the change process, parties in Nepal are trying their best to ensure these at the current stage of institutionalizing change in Nepal.
Shrestha holds bilateral meetings
Meanwhile, DPM Shrestha held bilateral meetings with leaders from various countries on Friday.
According to Nepal´s Permanent Mission in New York, Shrestha held a meeting with Minister for Development and Cooperation of Denmark, Christian Friis Bach, and apprised him of the current political situation in Nepal. He also praised the Danish government for its role as one of the largest bilateral donors of Nepal.
Similarly, Shrestha also held a bilateral meeting with Hugo Swire, Minister of State at the UK´s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on the sidelines of the 67th UN General Assembly. The two leaders discussed matters of mutual interest and exchanged views on issues relating to peace and constitution making in Nepal and the establishment of a transitional justice mechanism.
Likewise, Shrestha met Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, Hor Namhong, and Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Jan Eliasson.
During the talks, they exchanged views on the peace and constitution making process and the contemporary political situation in Nepal. Discussions were also held on the promotion and protection of human rights and fresh elections to the Constituent Assembly in Nepal.