|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6466th Meeting (AM)
On Eve of Closure of United Nations Mission in Nepal, Security Council Reaffirms
Support for Peace Process, Urges Stepped-Up Efforts to Fulfil Prior Agreements
With the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) set to end its four-year mandate in the Himalayan country tomorrow at midnight, the Security Council reaffirmed its support for the peace process and called on the Nepalese caretaker Government and all political parties to “redouble their efforts to continue to work together in the sprit of consensus to fulfil the commitments they made in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and other agreements”.
In a statement (document S/PRST/2011/1) read out by Ivan Barbalić of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for the month, the Government of Nepal and all political parties were called on to “resolve expeditiously” the outstanding issues surrounding the peace process.
The Kathmandu-based special political mission, UNMIN, was created by the Council in 2006 at the request of the then Seven-Party Alliance Government and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). It was tasked with monitoring ceasefire agreements between the two sides, as well as management of arms and armed personnel of the Nepalese and Maoist armies. The parties themselves were to complete the reintegration and rehabilitation of the thousands of former Maoist rebels, either with the Nepal Army and police or in other sectors.
Pledging its continued support for the ongoing peace process, the Council by today’s statement, encouraged Nepal to complete its new Constitution within the foreseen time frame to help build a better, more equitable and democratic future for its people. It welcomed the ongoing engagement of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and United Nations bodies as they continued to support the peace process and people of Nepal. Council members also thanked the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and UNMIN chief, Karin Landgren and the Mission’s staff for their efforts to assist the Nepalese people as they worked to complete the peace process.
A message today of the Secretary-General (Press Release SG/SM/13349-PKO/262) recalls that the Council’s decision to end UNMIN’s mandate was in line with a September 2010 agreement between the Government of Nepal and the Maoists in which they pledged to basically complete the remaining tasks of the peace process by 15 January. Regrettably, he says, insufficient progress was made. He thus encourages the parties to redouble their efforts to bring progress on all fronts of the peace process. He assures the people of Nepal that the United Nations will remain engaged in Nepal’s peace process through the United Nations County Team, and through the continued engagement of the Department of Political Affairs.
During her frank and sobering farewell briefing to the Council on 5 January (Press Release SC/10145), Ms. Landgren had cautioned that it was unclear who would take over the Mission’s monitoring duties once its doors were shuttered. Indeed, she warned that political infighting over that issue and the overall slow progress on the peace process had strengthened the hand of those on all sides who ridiculed it as unproductive, meaning that failure could “become a self-fulfilling prophecy”.
“While Nepal’s dramatic political gains are not likely to be reversed, the risks have clearly grown,” she told the Council. There had at times been fears among many Nepalese over the prospect of a “peoples’ revolt,” which remained an explicit Maoist threat; of the President stepping in; or of an Army-backed coup. “Any such measures would sorely threaten peace and Nepal’s fragile democracy,” she said, stressing that, consistent with the strong and sustained support of the Secretary-General over the past several years, the United Nations would remain engaged and continue to make its contribution to the success of the peace process.
The Council began its work today with a moment of silence to mark the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that had struck Haiti on 12 January 2010, and to honour the memory of those that were killed and injured on that day.
The meeting began at 10:12 a.m. and ended at 10:14 a.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2011/1 reads, as follows:
“As the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) completes its preparations for its departure on 15 January 2011, the Security Council expresses its appreciation and thanks to the Secretary-General’s Representative, Karin Landgren and the UNMIN team for their efforts in assisting the people of Nepal as they work to complete the peace process.
“The Security Council reaffirms its support for the peace process and calls on the caretaker Government of Nepal and all political parties to redouble their efforts, to continue to work together in the spirit of consensus to fulfil the commitments that they made in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and other agreements, and to resolve expeditiously the outstanding issues of the peace process. The Security Council encourages Nepal to complete its new Constitution within the foreseen time frame to help it build a better, more equitable and democratic future for its people.
“The Security Council welcomes the ongoing engagement of the Secretary-General and United Nations bodies as they continue to be supportive of the peace process and the people of Nepal.
“The Security Council will continue to be supportive of the peace process in Nepal.”
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