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Security Council backs Ban Ki-moon’s call for political mission in Nepal

Security Council backs Ban Ki-moon’s call for political mission in Nepal

Amb. Vitaly Churkin
The Security Council today backed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for the speedy deployment of a United Nations political mission in Nepal to monitor the cantonment of weapons and help organize elections for a constituent assembly after the recent peace accord between the Government and Maoist rebels that ended a deadly decade-long war.

“A draft resolution will be prepared and at the appropriate time be considered by the Security Council,” the 15-member body’s president for January, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, told reporters of the proposed mission, which both sides have requested.

Members “expressed satisfaction at the positive dynamics of the situation there and welcomed the intention of the parties to comply with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,” he said, referring to the November accord which ended a conflict that killed over 13,000 people, displaced scores of thousands more, and left between 1,000 and 5,000 ‘disappeared.’

“The members of the Council supported the need for a speedy deployment of the UN mission in Nepal on the basis of the recommendations of the Secretary-General and within the parameters outlined in the Peace Agreement,” he added.

In a report to the Council earlier this month, Mr. Ban called for the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) to be established for a period of 12 months, covering the aftermath of elections for an assembly which is to decide the constitutional future of the country.

He recommended that the mission comprise up to 186 unarmed active and former military officers to monitor Maoist cantonments and Army barracks, together with deployment of a small team of monitors to review all technical aspects of the electoral process and a small UN police advisory team to help ensure “critical” security during voter registration, campaigning and polling.

“While Nepal has made remarkable progress towards peace, the magnitude of the tasks ahead and the potential threats to the peace process must not be underestimated,” Mr. Ban said in the report.