7 October 2010 The United Nations political chief today urged all parties in Nepal to redouble their efforts to move the peace process forward in the time remaining before the world body’s mission departs on 15 January, and to focus on priorities such as the integration of Maoist army personnel and completing the new constitution.
“That means that there are exactly 100 days remaining before the peace process enters a new phase,” Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe told a news conference in Kathmandu at the end of a two-day visit to the South Asian nation.
Mr. Pascoe encouraged the parties to view this period as “100 days of opportunity” to demonstrate to the people of Nepal and the international community their willingness to fulfil the commitments agreed to last month on completing the final tasks of the stalled peace process by the time the UN mission, known as UNMIN, leaves.
UNMIN was established in 2007, one year after the Government and the Maoists signed a peace pact bringing an end to a decade-long conflict that claimed some 13,000 lives. Its mandate includes monitoring the management of arms and armed personnel of both the Maoists and the Nepal Army, as well as in assisting in monitoring ceasefire arrangements.
“The time is short and the coming months must be used productively,” Mr. Pascoe stressed, noting that the priorities for the parties should be the resolution of the issue of integration and rehabilitation of Maoist army personnel.
“It is incumbent upon the parties to agree as soon as possible to a clear work plan on rehabilitation and integration with timelines and benchmarks,” he added.
“All of the political leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to move the peace process forward and to complete the integration and rehabilitation in a timely manner. Many told me that this can be done in the time remaining provided there is political will and readiness to compromise.”
The Under-Secretary-General also urged the parties to step up their efforts to complete the constitution-making process and the adoption of a new constitution by May 2011, one of the main outstanding tasks in the peace process, along with resolving the future of the Nepal Army and the Maoist Army.
Highlighting some of UNMIN’s achievements over the past few years, Mr. Pascoe noted that “it has done exactly what it was called upon to do by the parties” – monitor the management of arms and armies, provide technical and logistical support to the Constituent Assembly elections and give political support to the peace process.
“The United Nations is proud of the role it has played in support of the peace process. We will continue supporting the people of Nepal in any way we can,” he said.
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