AIDIA Dialogue_Episode 5

AIDIA Dialogue_Episode 5



namaste and welcome to a Idra dry low international day of UN peacekeepers is commemorated every year on 29 May on this very day we would like to pay our tribute to all the peacekeepers for the invaluable contribution for peace in this special episode of AI di a dialogue we have invited miss Valerie Julian UN resident coordinator in Nepal as our guest and I will discuss whether broadly on the UN peace operation and particularly Nepal's contribution to international peacekeeping Valerie welcome to AI di a dialogue thank you for inviting me we are very pleased to have you here this morning thank you as we are celebrating the International Day of UN peacekeepers today what's your reflection regarding the role of UN peace operations establishing world peace since its establishment in 1948 I guess that's correct well I think it's a it's a very important moment in the history of the world with the start of the United Nations in 1945 the decision was to have an organization that will ensure a certain type of world order in order not to see again the deadliest Second World War that the world had experienced with more than 60 million dead I mean it was atrocious what happened during the Second World War so definitely the United Nation were created with this mandate to keep peace in the world to make sure that alternative solution to violence and war were found and especially through dialogue so of course while we were working on development on dialogue and so on so forth there was also a need to have military forces on the ground as an alternative to violence so that's how the the peacekeeping operation started in 1945 and I think since then it has demonstrated that actually it is very useful one has to understand that the peacekeeping operation of the United Nation it's not a warring party as I say it's a mechanism in order to avoid war so that's why actually in order to establish a peace operation there are three principle the first one is the consent you cannot push an operation if the parties are not willing to have it then the second one is actually the impartiality we don't take side you know we are not here to support one side or the other absolutely not and the third concert principle was the non use of force once again the peacekeeping operation of the United Nations are not a warring party so they are not there to shoot to kill down down the country they are there to find other ways and to make sure that the populations are protected so I think that this was a necessary complement if you want the secretary-general has at his disposal several Department it has it has a Department for humanitarian action it has a department for political affairs and it was necessary to have a military department in order to make sure that when there was a situation of danger and violence we could bring an alternative and do you like to share some major success stories which are worth remembering on this special day I think you know if you look at the world today of course we tend to focus on on the very sad even for instance of the actualities of today's Syria Yemen and so on so forth but there are so many places where wars have been avoided where peace has been found whether UN were involved and if you take the contribution for instance of the Nepali troops and I'm sure we're going to talk about this and we say it's important to remember for instance the contribution of the Nepali troops in the Consul in the recovery after the ethnic conflict in Burundi or in the disarmament of all the the the soldiers in were involved in the war in Sierra Leone so there are many successes but what I want to also mention here on that occasion since you offered me that opportunity to discuss about this it's a very difficult job to be a peacekeepers and let's not forget that so many peacekeepers have lost their life more than 3,000 of them have lost their life over the many years of peacekeeping operation out of out of whom 72 were nepali and these people are actually going on a mission knowing very well that something can happen and they can lose their life and I think it's important on these days of the peacekeeping operation to remember them because they have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure peace in the world at times I believe peace is a very dicey subject for instance at some woman peace for me might not be peace for you like there are some failed mandates in the past like in Rwanda former Yugoslavia and Somalia which were highly criticized as well what should be learned from such circles what's your opinion in this you know I think that this operation indeed for instance if you take the case of Rhonda the genocide that occurred there the UN have not managed to prevent it and I think the lessons that have been learned from Somalia from Rhonda from former Yugoslavia first of all we need resources you know faced with some conflict where the warring parties are numerous well-equipped determine you know you need to have enough resources to face that once again it is a dangerous mission that the peacekeepers are are implementing so the lack of resources in these instances that you mentioned were one of the reason why I didn't work but also there is the other element which is necessary the lack of political will you cannot intervene and bring peace if the parties to the conflict are not determined to go into that direction you know the political will will of the parties involved as well as the countries that support one or the other party is essential if you don't have that political will you cannot do it but also I think the lessons learned from deserve this set stories was the necessity to adjust the Mandate of the peacekeeping operation and there is a very strong focus now that is on the protection of civilians because more and more what we see in the wars today is that less and less military are killed more and more civilians are killed so therefore the main mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping operation is actually to protect civilians civilians could not should not never be the target and unfortunately they are so these were lessons that have been learned and equally there has been some adjustment that have been done in the functioning of the UN for instance when a peacekeeping operation is there until let's say the gun stops this doesn't mean because the gun have stopped at that moment that piece is their piece needs to be consolidated so that's why later on the UN decided to create the peace building Commission as well as the peace building fund to be able to continue an effort to keep peace to maintain peace to consolidate peace and actually the work of the United Nation even beyond the peacekeeping operation even through the work that we do of development has an objective of consolidating peace if you take the case of Nepal Nepal was at war until 2006 then signed peace till today 13 years later the work that we do has also the objective to consolidate peace because peace is a very fragile element it can be disturbed very easily but it takes time to consolidate it takes a number of intervention peacekeeping is one development is another one talking about peace we cannot forget Nepali peacekeepers and Nepal as among top-ten troop contributing countries for UN peacekeeping mission I think it's sixth largest troop contributing nation since 1958 Nepal has contributed to more than 120,000 the peacekeepers in different more than 40 mission how do you see the role of Nepali peacekeepers in maintaining wall security and peace first of all indeed I want to commend and and thank the Government of Nepal for their contribution to a peacekeeping operation as you rightly said 120,000 Nepali peacekeepers have contributed to more than 70 peacekeeping mission in the world since it started in 1948 and currently we are 14 mission deployed in five different regions and about 100,000 peacekeepers currently deployed and actually in total we have had more than 1 million peacekeepers deployed over the years of the history of peacekeeping operation of the United Nation the contribution of Nepal is very important first of all the troops that are being sent are usually highly skilled and well trained which is very important but also the UN have been very grateful to – to the EPEL army to accept to deploy in very difficult places where sometimes other countries didn't want to deploy so the contribution is essential once again as I said let us not forget that when sending troops these people know very well that they might die actually here in the UN house we have a memorial for the 72 Nepali peacekeepers who lost their life while in service for the United Nation and this contribution is essential and you know peacekeeping troops have different mandates one as I say is to promote peace to promote dialogue to ensure the physical security of civilians so it means that this contribution that Nepal does it's not only to peacekeeping although it is directly but through the peacekeeping operation the contribution of Nepal is to peace it's to development it's to stability in the world and you know it takes a lot of courage for a nation to send its soldiers to fight in another country to be present in another country there are not so many countries that actually that contribute you know countries but definitely Nepal is as you mentioned the sixth biggest troop contributing contributing country and its contribution is very much appreciated in 2018 billion rupees operation training centre of Nepal was awarded with training recognition to the contingent pre-deployment training from the Nation Department of peacekeeping operation this also indicates the increasing excellence of this training facility as well meanwhile Nepal is forwarding its voice to make this training facility a regional training academic institution something like Kaunas Kofi Anan international peacekeeping Institute something like that but that has not happened can you see this thing happening in the days to come certainly in the sense that there is also a recognition that peacekeepers need to be trained in a in a large scope of issues let's say the military training with which a soldier comes is of course essential because peacekeepers are soldiers and police being deployed in a theater of war of hostility of danger but beyond that there is a necessity for the peacekeepers to be sensitized to a number of issues first of all Human Rights it is so utterly important that peacekeepers when they are deployed have an understanding of what human rights are and their obligation as well as the obligation of the states where they intervene and in the name of whom they intervene have to be respected so I would say this type of training that the Birendra center or other centers as the gana one you mentioned or others in the world it is essential because peacekeepers have to be trained in human rights they have to be trained on the functioning of the United Nations they have to understand how governance function how ngos function because there will be partners they will be interacting with a variety of actors while on the ground so these centers are essential so the necessity to have more and more regional centers in order to have a capacity to Train many soldiers in view of their deployment is essential so I believe that this type of center like the Birendra or others are going to continue to exist and to develop further because as I said these pre deployment trainings are essential for the success of a peacekeeping operation and how un can support in this mission I guess if Alice always forwarding its voice to make this training facility as a reasonable training or academic institution but that has not happened yet oh I think that there are a number of criteria that need to be met and certainly these are discussions that are going on and it is not at my level that these discussions are taking place but one element that is very important is the certainty that the people that are sent in you know in a theater of of conflict and war and that the bank the banner of the United Nation we need to be sure that those soldiers have not been involved in any violation of human rights so I would say this message is for Nepal as it is for all the troop contributing countries it is very important to vet the soldiers that are being deployed because it cannot be that people who are sent in the name of peace might have themselves a very sad human rights records so I would say these are a center a number of criteria that need to be met and Nepal is currently in discussion with the United Nations to meet those criterias but the respect and adherence and compliance with human rights and international standards including in the country of origin of the peacekeepers is definitely an important requirement and it's Nepal taking enough initiation for this we are pushing in this direction so despite being one of the largest troop contributing countries in the world it's often said that there is the voice that the rule of Nepal has not been recognized and reflected in the high level and this isn't making for instance there was no any representation in social representative of the secretary-general s RSC from Nepal in any of the United Nations peacekeeping mission what's your take on this oh I think that there are less position than there are countries members of the United Nations so I would say it should not be taken as an offence in the sense that 193 members of the United Nations and this position that you mentioned as a sorry G there are not so numerous but at the same time I don't think it is correct to say that the position of Nepal has not been recognized first of all there is constantly regularly and I'm doing it today we go the contribution of Nepal secondly Nepal has a seat in the Human Rights Council which I think in itself it gives to Nepal a certain prominence when it comes to these human rights and social issues that are being discussed Diane Acharya used to be the undersecretary general for the landlocked country and he's also a prominent Nepali so no I don't think that Nepal has not been given the place that it deserves once again as I say there are many countries in the United Nation that do contribute that do look for position but I would say for me the role that NEPAD Nepal can play it's not only through having a person it's the role that it plays through defending the values of the United Nation for instance Nepal is very active on the front of the SDG the sustainable development goals Nepal really wants to be a champion of the sustainable development goals and in that sense it actually plays a big role in promoting these DG's in different international forum in defending these values and and the principles that go with it that's the big contribution that liberal does and that is recognized and a while ago you just mentioned that it takes a lot of courage to send its troop to the different nation for war or something like that Tony you thing Nepal itself in a whole the role of Nepal is somewhere undermined undermined by whom undermined a viola recognizing its rule or taking its place in the center front or something like that as I say I think it's release is highly recognized and appreciated and on many forum and miniusb as spaces it has been recognized the role of of Nepal and I would say as I say once again the parties present in the Human Rights Council Nepal has a voice participates in many of the committee of the United Nation now I think on the country the the contribution of Nepal is highly appreciated valued and recognized and development and peace are very closely interlinked how do you access the support of UN agencies to Nepal of achieving sustainable development goals you know in Nepal we are very present it's one of the place is where we have a big UN presence do you know that we have 20 agencies that are resident in Nepal a total of 1,400 UN staff members in the path of those more than 1,200 of them are Nepali so that's a big un presence and composed of Nepali personnel so our intervention and our support granted to the government goes through different mechanisms we work directly with institutions with different ministries institutions of the state in order to propose our services in terms of expertise in terms of technical assistance with the support to development of policies to the low drafting we also work at the level of local government provincial government doing exactly the same thing the work of the UN is also directly with society directly with the public with civil society so the way to get the support of the UN is actually multifaceted and we intervene at a very big number of of levels both nationally sub-national e but also with different interlocutors we talk a lot a lot about peace and how peace should be maintained what's your personal opinion what is peace for you this is the possibility that you and I have to be able to wake up in the morning and know that we can leave the way we want peace means for an individual having the possibility to access the opportunities for his or her development for the person to have the security the physical security and the possibility and a conducive environment to exploit to develop his or her own potential to live the way the life that the person desire peace is freedom is the possibility for a person to be able to make the choice he or she wants for his our own life peace and development as you said work together and this is what peace is all about is the fact that you can live the life you want you can decide for your own life knowing that you have an environment that is secured that is safe for you and your peace is freedom I just love that line it is we're just wrapping up lastly I'd like to know transitional justice is something the world is looking very closely can it tell you a view regarding the ongoing process of reconciliation in Nepal I don't think that the process of reconciliation really as as in has been initiated per se because in order to reach reconciliation it has to be driven by the victims themselves and so far the transition transitional justice process in Nepal has not been progressing very well right now Nepal is in the process of identifying Commissioners for the to Commission for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well as the the Commission on enforced disappearance but there is an element that is very important and for which both international community as well as civil society have come up with the same call which is to amend the Truth and Reconciliation Act in order to make sure that the the transitional justice legal framework of Nepal he is in compliance with international standards as well as in compliance with the Supreme Court ruling that says that there cannot be unless t4 certain type of crimes that internationally are recognized as not being unstable at all so I think that there is still a long way to go for the transitional justice process in Nepal to go the first step is definitely the amendment of the Act for the reasons I mentioned this has to be done in consultation with the victims and in civil society because traditional justice it is about the victims it is about also the responsibility of the state to recognize what happened there for the truth component is essential to identify the perpetrators and prosecute them each person you meet anybody we have the right to justice and actually if you consider the disappearance of person more than 1,400 people have disappeared during the conflict more than 14,000 people have been killed people have a right to know what happened people have a right to justice these are rights and actually the killing of people the disappearance the enforces appearance of people these are violation of Human Rights so if therefore these are crimes and faced with a crime the state has the responsibility to investigate and prosecute so in that sense the transitional justice hasn't yet started in Nepal what has been done so far has been recognized as being insufficient not enough resources I'm very encouraged to hear the government saying that they are committed to giving more resources to the Commission's and also to amend the Act but this is an incense essential step victims have to know what happened and you see most of the time victims are not even wanting justice because in the sense of revenge justice is not revenge victims want to know what happened to their loved ones they want to be recognized as victims and only then can reconciliation starts and actually we have been talking about peace throughout this interview reconciliation is essential to peace traditional justice is essential to peace without transitional justice process you cannot consider it peace in a country as the transitional justice process is going on most of the leaders of Nepal are with view that Nepal is capable enough of handling the transitional justice process on its own what's your take on this actually each country always undertake the the traditional justice process I would say on its own what we are saying as international community it's the necessity to undertake it within the framework of the international standards that have been set as per the human rights convention that Nepal is a party to so of course Nepal has all the latitude and the and and and the purgative to organize its traditional justice process within the framework of the international law and we don't doubt that Nepal has the capacity we would like to see it Kupa ties soon Thank You Valerie it's wonderful hearing your thoughts on peace peacekeeping missions and so many other interesting stories thank you so much thank you for having me

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