Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has said progress on key elements in Nepal’s peace process have slowed down or stalled altogether owing to the country’s recent political crisis.
In his new report to the Security Council, Ki-moon proposed a six-month extension of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) to continue assisting with remaining tasks.
He mentioned that integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist army personnel and the drafting of the new constitution are the two major tasks at the current stage of the peace process.
He noted that efforts to advance on both these fronts slowed with the onset of the crisis sparked by the resignation of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in early May.
“The modest progress witnessed in some aspects of the peace process during the first quarter of 2009 has stalled against a backdrop of mistrust and a further deterioration of relations among key stakeholders, notably between UCPN (Maoist) and the other major parties and between UCPN (Maoist) and the Nepal Army,” says the Secretary-General in his report.
He said though there were promising signs of progress with regard to resolving the future of the Maoist army personnel, efforts have remained at a “standstill” since late April but mentions that task of drafting the constitution has continued to move forward, albeit with numerous hurdles.
“There is near unanimity that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to meet the prescribed time frame of May 2010 for the promulgation of a new constitution,” Ki-moon states, strongly encouraging progress in this area, based on consensus among the main political actors and the wider public.
He said the political leaders have expressed the view that the presence of the UNMIN was needed until the integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist army personnel and thus recommends that the Mission’s mandate be extended for a further six months, until 23 January 2010.
He also called on the government to urgently address the prevailing “climate of impunity,” and says the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal can continue to play an essential and helpful role, including by promoting and protecting human rights and by building the capacity of independent national institutions. nepalnews.com