The United Nations political chief arrived today in Nepal to assess progress in the country’s peace process and discuss what needs to be done to ensure a smooth transition following the departure of the world body’s mission next month.
“It’s a great pleasure to be back in Nepal after only two months. The United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) is here for only 43 more days,” Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe said upon arriving in the capital, Kathmandu.
Mr. Pascoe last visited Nepal in early October, just weeks after the Security Council decided to wrap up by 15 January the mandate of the UN Mission, which was set up in 2007, a year after the Government and the Maoists signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), ending a decade-long civil war which claimed some 13,000 lives.
During that visit, Mr. Pascoe urged all parties to redouble their efforts to move the peace process forward in the time remaining before UNMIN departs, and to focus on priorities such as the integration of Maoist army personnel and completing the new constitution.
“We are here to hold discussions on how far the government and the political leaders have come on their promise to make the decisions that need to be made to move to the conclusion of the peace process in this period,” he said today.
“The time is really short but it is certainly sufficient to make those decisions. It requires some serious movement on the part of the parties to make compromises and agreements. This can be done. It is up to the leaders to do it, and the UN will do everything it can to help them in that process.”
Mr. Pascoe met today with President Ram Baran Yadav, acting Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala, leaders of the political parties and members of the Special Committee to supervise, integrate and rehabilitate Maoist army personnel.
He is also expected to meet members of the diplomatic community in Kathmandu and other key stakeholders during his two-day visit.