Nepal: Indigenous Nationalities’ Comprehensive Conference concludes with a 12-point declaration
A three-day conference of indigenous nationalities held from 29 April in Nepal’s western city of Pokhara has concluded issuing a 12-point declaration. The declaration calls for ensuring identity-based federalism with rights to self-determination and autonomy of Nepal’s indigenous nationalities so as to incorporate basic and collective identity and existence of indigenous while restructuring the state in new constitution.
Nepal, following a decade long Maoist war that transformed it into a federal republic from constitutional monarchy, is set to write a new constitution by 28 May. Rights to consultation and free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples have been disregarded in the process despite recommendations from international human rights mechanisms. Meanwhile, UN Secretary General, in a statement on 14 May, has expressed concern over rising (inter-community) tensions in Nepal linked future federal system of Nepal. The statement reads, “It is important to adhere to existing agreements to meet the aspirations of traditionally marginalized groups. At the same time, efforts should be made to assuage the concerns of communities who fear they would be disadvantaged under a federal system.”