A high-level United Nations team concluded its assessment mission to strife-torn Nepal today, with the head of the delegation expressing “cautious optimism,” while also calling on all political parties in the Himalayan kingdom to continue to build trust with each other, particularly in the area of managing forces and weaponry.
The aim of the mission, which has been in Nepal for the past week, was to discuss possible UN assistance to a peace process seeking to end 10 years of conflict, and the head of the team Staffan de Mistura said before leaving Kathmandu that it had identified several areas where the world body could play a role.
“The mission, through its extensive meetings and its field visits, confirmed four concrete areas in which the United Nations, with the support of all sides, could positively contribute to the peace process. These are: arms and armies’ management, electoral assistance, assistance in the monitoring of code of conduct and the expansion of human rights activities.”
“Of course we continue urging that… this momentum of discussions, sincere and concrete intensions in identifying confidence-building measure in the field of arms and armies management will continue.”
Mr. de Mistura said the specific areas of the peace process that the UN gets involved in will depend on Secretary-General Kofi Annan after he has assessed the team’s report on its mission, but he added that should the Nepalese parties reach further agreement on confidence-building in the next few days, this will “reinforce the trust” of their report.
Speaking to journalists after delivering his final statement on the mission, Mr. de Mistura would not elaborate on the specifics of such confidence-building but he said there was a sense of movement between the Government and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M), although much remained to be done.
“Having said that during the last few days, particularly in the last few hours, I’ve detected coming much closer to a clear understanding of what is needed in terms of peace building measures. So, the trust needs to be nurtured, like a plant with water, but there is a need to put a lot of water at the moment.”