Nepal's recent elections only one milestone in peace process - Ban Ki-moon

16 May 2008

Despite last month’s landmark Constituent Assembly elections in Nepal, the South Asian nation still has a long way to go in completing the peace process, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a new report made public today.

Despite last month’s landmark Constituent Assembly elections in Nepal, the South Asian nation still has a long way to go in completing the peace process, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a new report made public today.

Characterizing the polls as historic, Mr. Ban said that “the desire and commitment of the people of Nepal for peace and change was the driving force behind this success.”

But he warned that “the election is only a milestone in the peace process,” noting that “the real work of addressing the nation’s deeper socio-economic difficulties and drafting a constitution that reflects the will of the entire nation only begins now.”

The Secretary-General wrote that he is encouraged by the commitment and cooperation that the Maoists, who performed well at the elections, and called on the other political parties to remain focused on Nepal’s long-term interests.

“Short-term differences should not distract them from governing by consensus and from cooperating in the vital task of constitution-making,” he said.

Although Mr. Ban noted that he does not anticipate the extension of the mandate of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), he said the UN is prepared to offer continued support for the conclusion of the peace process and for the country’s lasting development.

Additionally, he wrote that both his Special Representative and Resident Coordinator will provide whatever the new government, once formed, may request.

“These are critical times for long-term stability in Nepal, and the United Nations will remain by the side of the people and leaders of Nepal in the historic tasks of political and social transformation on which they have embarked.”

 

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