All parties equally responsible for Nepal crisis: UN

All parties equally responsible for Nepal crisis: UN

Addressing a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York, Karin Landgren, the UN representative in Nepal, said no one particular party bore the blame for sluggish progress of the peace process since all parties had entered into the process and had been carried along so far through "repeated agreements, consensus and compromise".

Over the last few months, all sides had taken actions that had caused the process to slow down, she said.

However, Landgren hoped that party leaders would rise above their differences and work together pragmatically, through consensus and dialogue to advance the process, as they had done in the past.

The political leaders of the country are in active discussions about the steps and structures, which could restore significant momentum to the process. There is also a need for regular dialogue among them to improve the political environment, she said.

Welcoming the decision of the Security Council to extend the UN's mission in Nepal by another six months, Landgren said the action had come at a time when the peace process had stagnated to a degree.

In light of its unanimous support, the government and all parties would take the peace process forward in the period ahead, thereby creating the conditions for the Mission to conclude its mandated tasks in support of Nepal's nationally driven peace process, she hoped.

Landgren said the Security Council resolution passed today sent an important message of support and encouragement to the government and parties in respect of several recent decisions, as well as the ongoing work by the Constituent Assembly on preparing a new Constitution.

The Council in its resolution welcomed the recent decisions by the Government and the Unified CPN-Maoist formally to begin the discharge and rehabilitation of the 4,008 Maoist army personnel disqualified by the verification process.

It also welcomed the action plan which the government had committed to prepare for that purpose, and for beginning the integration and rehabilitation of the 19,602 verified Maoist army personnel.

Noting that the integration and rehabilitation of former combatants were crucial in any peace process, Landgren said the Security Council had also called on the government and political parties to ensure the early reconstitution of the Special Committee responsible for supervising, integrating and rehabilitating the Maoist army personnel, drawing support from its Technical Committee.

"Critical political decisions need to be taken soon on the modalities and the number of Maoist army personnel to be integrated in the security forces," she said, adding that determining the future of the Maoist personnel was critical to building a lasting peace.
Asked how trust and confidence -- two necessary ingredients for moving the peace process forward -- would be restored in view of all the actions that tended to undermine it, she said the parties themselves had put two extremely important proposals on the table.

One called for a high-level political consultative mechanism, which would involve the leaders of the main parties and be dedicated to the key issues of the peace process and moving it forward.

"What we would also encourage them to do is put the underpinnings for a mechanism like that in place to make sure that fresh commitments are then implemented and followed up," Landgren said.

She said the second proposal, which had been echoed by all the main leaders, was that a Government of national unity or consensus was not only necessary, but probably inevitable.

However, the leaders acknowledged that such a proposal would take some time to achieve, and that the question of who would lead it could be expected to require "significant further discussion".  Nevertheless, it was an encouraging concept for moving the peace process forward, she said.

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