United Nations, Brussels (January 15, 2011) – The outgoing United Nations envoy to Nepal, Karin Landgren, today welcomed an agreement reached overnight between the Government and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist on arrangements to continue the monitoring of arms and armies after UN mission’s mandate ends tonight.
“I congratulate the Government and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist for agreeing on arms monitoring arrangements, which are so crucial to reinforcing confidence in the peace process. I hope the parties will build on this to implement the long-awaited integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist army personnel,” said Ms. Landgren, the Representative of the Secretary-General to Nepal.
“Although it came at the last hour, the agreement should also pave the way for UN headquarters to consider a temporary loan and later donation to the Government of the closed circuit television (CCTV) equipment and other monitoring-related assets that can be transferred under UN procedures. The need for agreed follow-on monitoring arrangements before any transfer of UN assets could be considered appears to be met,” she added.
The mandate of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), which Ms. Landgren headed, ends at midnight tonight. The mandate included monitoring the management of arms and armed personnel of the Nepal and Maoist armies, while the parties themselves were to complete the reintegration and rehabilitation of the former Maoist rebels either with the Nepal army and police or in other sectors.
UNMIN was set up in 2007 after the Government and Maoists reached a peace agreement ending a war that claimed 13,000 lives. The Security Council decided to end its mandate after the Government and the Maoists pledged to complete the remaining tasks of the peace process.
“The UN will continue to offer all the support that it can to the new monitoring mechanism. Even as they are hours away from leaving the cantonments, UNMIN arms monitors are preparing to brief the members of the new monitoring mechanism,” said Ms. Landgren.
Yesterday, the Security Council reaffirmed its support for the peace process and called on the Government and the parties to work together in the spirit of consensus to fulfill their commitments to resolve the outstanding issues of the peace process, including the completion of a new constitution by May 28.
According the U.S. Embassy in Nepal, on January 13, U.S. Assistant Secretary Robert Blake spoke with Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal separately by phone.
Blake told both leaders that the U.S. Government’s commitment to support the peace process will continue after UNMIN leaves January 15 and urged all parties to continue to respect their own commitments under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. He concluded by saying that the people of Nepal look to their political leadership to bring the peace process to much needed closure.