From 2007 to early 2011, the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) provided oversight and support to the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), which assisted Nepal in its transition to peace following a decade of armed conflict. UNMIN played an important support role in the successful holding, in April 2008, of an historic Constituent Assembly election that was a major milestone in the peace process. In accordance with Security Council Resolution 1939 (2010), UNMIN withdrew from Nepal on 15 January 2011. The United Nations will remain engaged in Nepal through the United Nations Country Team, and through the continued assistance of the Department of Political Affairs.
Headquartered in Kathmandu, UNMIN was headed by a Special Representative of the Secretary General in Nepal, Ian Martin, from February 2007 to February 2009 and subsequently by a Representative of the Secretary-General, Karin Landgren, from February 2009 to January 2011. As a special political mission, UNMIN assisted and helped to build confidence in the peace process, including through its arms monitoring responsibilities under Security Council Resolution 1864 (2009). Unarmed UN arms monitors were deployed in the Maoist cantonment and satellite sites around the country as well as at one Nepal Army arms storage depot in Kathmandu.
For several years prior to the establishment of UNMIN, the Department of Political Affairs had worked with the parties to help them move in the direction of a politically negotiated settlement. The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on 22 November 2006 signaled the end of a conflict which had claimed over 16,000 lives, displaced large numbers of Nepalese and further strained the economy of one of the world's poorest nations. The successful conduct of the April 2008 Constituent Assembly election showed the desire of the Nepalese people for peace and for change. The challenge of consolidating that peace continues.
Following the closure of UNMIN, the Department of Political Affairs is leading UN efforts to continue to support the successful completion of the peace process in Nepal. The United Nations has urged renewed focus on outstanding commitments of the peace process, notably the effective integration and rehabilitation of former Maoist combatants, democratization of the army and adoption of a new constitution.