|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5825th Meeting (AM)
accepting Secretary-General’s recommendation, government request, Security Council
grants six-month extension of United Nations Mission in nepal
The Security Council decided this morning to renew the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) for six months, until 23 July, following a request from that country’s Government and on the basis of the Secretary-General’s recommendation for a six-month extension.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1796 (2008), submitted by the United Kingdom, the Council expressed its full support for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 21 November 2006, signed by the Government and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). It called on all parties to maintain momentum in implementation of the Agreement, and to work together for progress towards Constituent Assembly elections, scheduled for 10 April.
Following the adoption, the representative of Nepal expressed his confidence that in the next six months his country would be able to achieve progress in the peace process, including the holding of the 10 April Constituent Assembly elections. Nepal assured the Council that it would cooperate fully with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in implementing the mandate just renewed.
Contained in a letter from the Permanent Representative of Nepal and addressed to the Secretary-General, the Government’s request was conveyed to the Council in a letter from the Secretary-General dated 27 December 2007. The request followed consultations within Nepal’s Seven-Party Alliance and reflected a consensus among all the parties, including the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), which was currently outside the Interim Government.
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 10:15 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1796 (2008) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling Security Council resolution 1740 of 23 January 2007,
“Recalling the signing on 21 November 2006 by the Government of Nepal and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and the stated commitment of both parties to transforming the existing ceasefire into a permanent and sustainable peace and commending the steps taken to date to implement the Agreement,
“Reaffirming the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Nepal and its ownership of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and subsequent agreements,
“Expressing its continued readiness to support the peace process in Nepal in the timely and effective implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and subsequent agreements,
“Recognizing the strong desire of the Nepalese people for peace and the restoration of democracy and the importance in this respect of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and subsequent agreements,
“Recognizing that civil society can play an important role in conflict prevention,
“Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 3 January 2008 (S/2008/5) on the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), in accordance with his mandate,
“Welcoming the 23-point agreement reached by the seven party alliance on 23 December 2007 with a view to holding Constituent Assembly elections on 10 April 2008, and recognising that the challenging timelines set out in the agreement will require efforts among all the parties to build mutual confidence,
“Recognizing the need to pay special attention to the needs of women, children and traditionally marginalized groups in the peace process, as mentioned in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and UNSCR 1325 (2000);
“Echoing the Secretary-General’s call for all parties in Nepal to move forward swiftly in the implementation of the agreements reached,
“Noting that the Government of Nepal in its letter to the Secretary-General of 18 December, recognises UNMIN’s contribution and requests an extension of the mandate for six months,
“Welcoming the completion of two phases of the verification process and continuing assistance with the management of arms and armed personnel of both sides in accordance with UNSCR 1740 and in line with the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and noting the importance of a durable long-term solution in helping to create the conditions for completion of UNMIN’s activities and noting too in this regard the need to address outstanding issues, including those relating to minors,
“Expressing appreciation for the efforts of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and his team in UNMIN, and the United Nations Country Team, including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights which is monitoring human rights at the request of the government, and stressing the need for co-ordination and complementarity of efforts between the mission and all the UN actors in the mission area,
“1. Decides, following the request from the Government of Nepal and based on the Secretary-General’s recommendation, to renew the mandate of UNMIN, as set out in UNSCR 1740 (2007), until 23 July 2008;
“2. Expresses full support for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and calls upon all parties to maintain momentum in implementation of the Agreement; to continue constructive engagement with the United Nations, including reaching an early status of mission agreement, and to work together to progress to Constituent Assembly elections;
“3. Encourages all parties to take full advantage of the expertise and readiness of UNMIN, within its existing mandate, to support the peace process;
“4. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council regularly informed of progress towards the implementation of this resolution, and in particular to review the activities of UNMIN in light of the elections scheduled for 10 April 2008, taking into account the views of the Government of Nepal and the developments on the ground;
“5. Requests the parties in Nepal to take the necessary steps to promote the safety, security and freedom of movement of UNMIN and associated personnel in executing the tasks defined in the mandate;
“6. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”
The Security Council had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the request of Nepal for United Nations assistance in support of its peace process (document S/2008/5), in which he recommends a mandate extension for the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) for a period of sixth months, maintaining the existing configuration and staffing.
Describing the progress of the peace process since his report of 18 October 2007 (document S/2007/612), the Secretary-General’s notes the decision by the Seven-Party Alliance to postpone the Constituent Assembly election, scheduled for 22 November without setting a new date, the second postponement of the elections originally planned for June 2007.
The report notes that key obstacles to the election include Maoist demands for the declaration of a republic and the adoption of a fully proportional representation system of election to replace the mixed system of first-past-the-post for half the seats and proportional representation for the other half. After protracted negotiations, agreement has been reached to hold the elections by the end of the current Nepalese year (12 April 2008), followed on 23 December by a wide-ranging 23-point agreement re-establishing the basis for cooperation among the seven parties.
According to the report, the situation with regard to Nepal’s traditionally marginalized groups remains unsettled. There remains a crucial need to respond adequately to their legitimate and reasonable demands. The election of the Constituent Assembly and the peace process are, in the long run, aimed at advancing the country’s democratic culture and institutions to a higher plane, based on the inclusion and representation of all Nepalese.
The report goes on to describe the activities of UNMIN in arms monitoring; mine action; electoral support; civil affairs; gender, child protection and social inclusion; political affairs; public information and outreach; and safety and security. It also addresses the human rights situation.
* *** *