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UN assessment team to visit Nepal from Monday to plan for full-fledged mission

UN assessment team to visit Nepal from Monday to plan for full-fledged mission

As part of United Nations efforts to help Nepal build on last month’s landmark peace deal, an assessment team will arrive in the Himalayan country on Monday for a week-long mission to prepare for a fully-fledged UN operation, a spokesman said today.

This team will be led by the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative in Nepal, Ian Martin, and will include members of his staff based in Kathmandu as well as officials from Headquarters, with expertise in areas including political and military affairs, logistics and public information, the spokesman told reporters in New York.

“A UN technical assessment mission will be on the ground in Nepal from 10-16 December; that team will plan for a full-fledged UN mission to support the peace process,” said Stephane Dujarric, adding plans are also underway to send further personnel as requested by the Nepalese to assist with next year’s poll and other issues.

“Recruitment continues for a team of up to 35 advance monitors to be deployed, ahead of a full-fledged mission, to monitor provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. We also are proceeding with our efforts to recruit 25 electoral experts to assist in carrying out Constituent Assembly elections.”

Both the Government and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), which signed the peace deal on 21 November, requested assistance from the UN in monitoring the agreement that seeks to end 10-years of civil war that killed 15,000 people and displaced over 100,000 others.

Last Friday, the Security Council fully backed Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s intention to send the assessment team and also an advance group of up to 60 monitors who, among other things, will oversee the management of arms and armed personnel, as well as give advice on next year’s planned polls.