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Nepal Tourism

UN envoy to Nepal: resolve outstanding issues to advance peace

Nelson Alcantara, eTN  Jan 25, 2010

Nepal has such potential as a destination that it is pity that the country’s instability has gotten in the way of its travel and tourism industry from succeeding.

Cognizant of the importance of establishing peace and order in Nepal is a top United Nations envoy, which has encouraged Nepalese parties to work productively to advance the country’s fragile peace process and create the conditions to permit the world body to wind up its work there.

The appeal comes one day after the security council, supporting the government’s request, extended the mandate of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) until May 15.

“During the remaining mandate period, the government and parties are expected to focus on creating the conditions under which UNMIN’s functions are no longer needed,” the secretary-general’s special representative, Karin Landgren, told a news conference in the capital, Kathmandu.

“We will work with the parties and the government to discuss and put together the arrangements for the withdrawal of UNMIN. Until then, UNMIN will continue its activities in support of the peace process,” said Ms. Landgren, who heads the mission, set up at the request of the Government in 2007 to support the peace process which ended a 10-year civil war between the government and Maoists.

UNMIN is also tasked with monitoring the management of arms and armed personnel of the former Royal Nepal Army and the Maoists.

In her briefing to the council last week, Ms. Landgren underlined that the peace process remains fragile, but the renewed urgency shown by the political leaders to address central peace process issues and the recent actions by the government and the parties can herald “a freshly constructive stage” for Nepal’s democratic transition.

She noted that the council welcomed the understanding between the Government and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) on having a time-bound action plan for integration and rehabilitation of Maoist army personnel, and called on them to work together to ensure its completion and implementation.

“These are the arrangements which, when agreed, will truly advance the peace process and will allow UNMIN’s activities to be completed,” said the special representative.

Ms. Landgren also cited as a positive development the action plan agreed by the government, the UCPN-M and the UN on the discharge of those Maoist army personnel disqualified in 2007 for having been minors at the time of the ceasefire agreement.

Nevertheless, she added, it is acknowledged that the peace process needs consensus-building and confidence-building, and the hope is that the recently established high-level political mechanism can strengthen important aspects of the process.

with input from UN News

UN envoy to Nepal: resolve outstanding issues to advance peace
Photo by Nelson Alcantara

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