Press Release

24th Anniversary of the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal

26 May 2024

Remarks by the UN Resident Coordinator 

Hanaa Singer Hamdy

24th Anniversary of the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal

Honorable Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Padam Giri 

Hon. Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Tapa Bahadur Magar

Honorable Commissioners of NHRC and other Constitutional Commissions

Chairperson of the NGO Federation of Nepal, 

Members of civil society, the media, and the international community 

Distinguished Guests


Namaste and a very good afternoon to everyone!

On behalf of the United Nations in Nepal, I would like to offer sincere badhaai to the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal on your 24th Anniversary. Badhaai also for retaining your “A” status and surpassing the scrutiny of the Special Review! The UN Country Team is honored to be partnering with an institution that meets international standards! 

Nepal is such a beautiful country! Its diversity is its beauty, as exemplified in the national anthem we heard earlier referring to the country as a garland made up of sayaun thunggaa phool.  Nepal’s diversity is also a challenge. Nurturing social cohesion amongst such diversity requires the Commission, the Government, and the Constitutional Commissions to work hand in hand, to ensure freedom, equality, and equity of ALL its people. Leave No One Behind means prioritizing the furthest behind first like the Dalits, Madhesis, Tharus, Indigenous Peoples, Muslims, women and girls, sexual and gender minorities, as well as persons with disabilities.  

Distinguished guests

Nepal is still in the early stages of Federalism.  While on a recent trip to the Karnali and Madhesh Pradesh, it was so heartening to hear positive narratives from citizens, and local and provincial governments on how federalism has brought the government closer to citizens.

However, much work remains for these citizens to fully experience federalism. Federal structures and institutions need more strengthening to bring services closer to the citizens.  The exercise of autonomy and authority guaranteed by the Constitution is a must. 

A lot also still needs to be done to root out deeply entrenched and pervasive harmful practices such as caste-based discrimination, untouchability, gender-based violence, and domestic violence, which hold people back from reaching their full potential.  It is by undertaking steps to reduce inequalities in society, and reinforce the rule of law, that the envisaged structural transformation is achieved. 

Distinguished guests

Last year at the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, member states, including Nepal, vowed to uphold and promote human rights standards, principles, and values.  These commitments are reflected in the recommendations from various UN Human Rights Mechanisms like the Universal Periodic Review; the treaty bodies, Resolutions 1325, and 1820, as well as Guiding Principles like Business and Human Rights.  We hope, Nepal’s National Action Plan based on these international norms, standards, and guidance is adequately funded and will thereby translate into reality, into tangible results. 

I urge the Government as well as NHRC Nepal to highlight the progress being made in the country at international forums. This requires timely submission of periodic reports as obligated in various treaties for instance. 

Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, 

We should not let the momentum of transitional justice lose steam at any cost. Eighteen years after the armed conflict, uncertainty still looms amongst victims regarding the truth of the incidents and the whereabouts of their loved ones. The wounds, the pain, and the tears still plague the victims.  

Echoing the Secretary General’s messaging, I would like the encourage your Government and the Parliament to “leave no stone unturned” to ensure that all victims have access to truth, reparation, and justice that they have been seeking for decades that would eventually foster reconciliation and ensure non-reoccurrence of violations.

I also urge the Government to expedite the implementation of the recommendations made by the NHRC Nepal.  

Dear Friends,

Today, on NHRC’s 24th birthday, we would like to commend the Commission’s continuous vigilance, adaptability, and dedication to the protection and promotion of evolving human rights issues, including in areas like climate change, misinformation, disinformation, and false information. 

For NHRC to evolve, be relatable, and grow to keep pace with ever-changing scenarios, it needs an investment of resources, capacity, autonomy, and independence. Furthermore, the proposed new NHRC Act also needs to be adopted, in compliance with the Paris Principles.  

One year short of your silver jubilee, at a time when globally we are grappling with numerous human rights challenges, it is even more important for all of us to rekindle the hope of protection of human rights and advance promises of freedom of speech, expression, opinion, equality before the law, and justice for everyone, everywhere, always.

The United Nations in Nepal remains committed to supporting the Commission and the Government in your endeavors to promote and protect human rights.

Jai Maanav Adhikaar

Dherai Dherai Dhanyabaad.

Hanaa Singer-Hamdy ,RC

Hanaa Singer-Hamdy

United Nations Resident Coordinator
Ms. Singer-Hamdy has worked for close to 30 years across development and humanitarian contexts at various senior management and strategic leadership roles. She served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka from 2018 to 2022. Under her leadership, the UN in Sri Lanka continued its partnership with the Government in responding to complex economic and political challenges including the 2019 Easter Bombings, COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent deterioration in macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability. When Sri Lanka faced a significant rise in food insecurity and other humanitarian concerns, she led a response targeting 3.4 million people in need that raised over $100 million for vital aid. To advance inclusive and rights-based development, she led the design of the United Nations Strategic Development Cooperation Framework 2023-2027 in consultation with Government and other stakeholders. Since 2019, she also mobilized over $36 million for peacebuilding and resilience programming through the UN Sri Lanka SDG Multi-Partner Trust Fund.

Prior to this, she held several senior management positions in UNICEF offices across the world, including as the Associate Regional Director in Geneva and as Country Representative for Syria, Nepal, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

In Syria, she provided strategic leadership to one of the largest protection crises on the global stage – successfully scaling up programmes through an integrated package of high impact interventions in health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and child protection - increasing the reach of UNICEF’s work to the most vulnerable children including in besieged and hard-to-reach areas.

As UNICEF Chief in Nepal, she pioneered strategic programmes for scaling up sanitation, adolescents and multisectoral nutrition programmes, establishing strategic new alliances resulting in the government adopting national action plans. She has also led humanitarian programmes in Burundi and Haiti, and as a regional emergency advisor for CEE/CIS countries coordinated setting up cross border humanitarian operations to Afghanistan ,from central Asia, and Iraq,from south Turkey. She also provided technical support to emergency preparedness programmes in the North Caucasus, CEE/CIS countries .

Ms. Singer-Hamdy holds a Master's degree in Political Sociology and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She obtained a diploma in “Planning and Management of Decentralized Development Projects” from Bradford University in the United Kingdom. Ms. Singer-Hamdy has engaged in academia and research in political sociology and international relations at the American University of Cairo and at the Sadat’s Academy for Management Sciences, Faculty of Political Science of Cairo University.
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