United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Kathmandu Sunday midnight on a four-day official visit to Nepal at the invitation of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
He was received and welcomed by Foreign Minister NP Saud and senior foreign ministry officials at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
“I am delighted to be in Nepal, an important Member State of the UN and a country undergoing a remarkable political-social transformation through a home-grown peace process and national reconciliation,” Secretary General says upon arrival in Kathmandu.
“Well before I became Secretary-General, I have watched with great interest the peace process that began to unfold in 2005 and its achievements. And since taking office I have given my full personal support to the work of the UN in support of the peace process,” added the UN Chief.
The visit of the UN chief is watched with interest in Kathmandu because the transitional justice process, a vital part of the peace process of which the UN was also a stakeholder, remains in limbo for years and to mitigate its effects on livelihoods, Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) stated.
According to the official schedule, Secretary-General Guterres will participate in high-level meetings with President Ram Chandra Paudel, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and other top leaders from major political parties today.
Guterres is also scheduled to address the media jointly with Prime Minister Dahal and explore the historical heritage of Patan Durbar Square later today.
On Monday, the secretary-general will visit Syangboche in the Everest region to assess the impacts of climate change then he will fly to Pokhara where he spends one night.
On Tuesday, Guterres will fly to the Annapurna Base Camp to interact with local journalists regarding climate change issues.
In the afternoon, he will visit Lumbini and participate in prayers for global peace.
The UN Chief will address the joint session of the federal parliament on Tuesday evening.
After this the UN Secretary-General’s official trip to Nepal concluded and will leave for New York on Wednesday morning.
This visit marks Secretary-General Guterres’ first visit to Nepal since assuming office on January 1, 2017.
This visit is Guterres’s second to Nepal, with his previous visit occurring in May 2007 when he served as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
The UN Secretary-General is being accompanied by Under Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean Pierre Lacroix, the UN Resident Coordinator for Nepal Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, and other officials from the UN Headquarters in New York and the United Nations country team in Nepal.
Various UN Secretary Generals have visited Nepal in the past including U-Thant in 1967, Ban Ki-moon in October 2008.