United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on all sides in Nepal to “maintain the momentum of the peace process” after the country’s multi-party Government and the Maoists agreed on a peace deal to end 10 years of civil war that has killed around 15,000 people and forced over 100,000 others to flee their homes.
“The Secretary-General heartily welcomes the agreement reached yesterday between the Seven-Party Alliance and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). This agreement offers the people of Nepal a historic opportunity to end the armed conflict in their country, and to build sustainable peace within an inclusive and democratic state,” Mr. Annan said in a statement attributable to his spokesman.
“The United Nations has been asked to help in key areas of the peace process. The Secretary-General intends to respond promptly, while emphasizing that both sides must maintain the momentum of the peace process by fully carrying out the commitments they have made.”
In August Nepal’s Government and the Communist Party (Maoist) sent letters requesting UN help in areas ranging from human rights monitoring to electoral observation. This move followed a 10-day UN assessment mission to the country, during which time the Maoists also announced they were extending a three-month ceasefire.
After the mission returned to New York, Mr. Annan announced that he was appointing Ian Martin as his Personal Representative in Nepal for Support to the Peace Process, to spearhead the UN efforts in the troubled Himalayan country. The seasoned envoy has previously served on several occasions as Special Envoy to Timor-Leste.