August 9, 2006
1. Continue human rights monitoring through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR, Nepal)
2. Assist the monitoring of the Code of Conduct during the Ceasefire.
3. On the basis of the agreement to seek UN assistance in the “the management of arms and armed personnel of both the sides”, deploy qualified civilian personnel to monitor and verify the confinement of CPN-M combatants and their weapons within designated cantonment areas. Later the modalities for all arrangements, including of arms and munitions, will be worked out among the parties and the UN.
4. Monitor the Nepal Army to ensure that it remains in its barracks and its weapons are not used for or against any side. The modalities will be worked out among the parties and the UN.
5. Provide election observation for the election of the Constituent Assembly in consultation with the parties.
News: Govt, Maoists submit five-point joint letter to UN
By Suresh Nath Neupane & Sanjeev Satgainya
KATHMANDU, Aug 9 – The government and the Maoists have submitted a five-point joint letter to the United Nations requesting the world body to assist in the ongoing peace process in the country.
The joint letter was submitted to the head of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Nepal, Abraham Abraham at the Peace Secretariat at Singha Durbar Wednesday afternoon.
In the five-point joint letter handed to Abraham, the government and the Maoists have requested the UN to continue human rights monitoring through OHCHR-Nepal and assist in the monitoring of the 25-point Ceasefire code of conduct.
Similarly, the two sides have agreed to seek UN assistance in the management of arms and armed personnel of both the sides, deploy qualified civilian personnel to monitor and verify the confinement of CPN (M) combatants and their weapons within designated cantonment areas. The two sides have agreed to work out the modalities for all arrangements, including of arms and ammunitions, among themselves and the UN.
In the letter, the two sides have also expressed agreement to monitor the Nepal army to ensure that it remains in its barracks and its weapons are not used for or against any side. The modalities will be worked out among the parties and the UN.
Similarly, the two sides have agreed for UN observation during the Constituent Assembly elections in consultation with the parties.
Speaking to journalists after publicising the letter, Home Minister and coordinator of the government talks team, Krishna Prasad Sitauala said, “After today’s talks, the Prime Minister and Prachanda have signed an agreement to establish lasting peace in the country. We hope the next UN team will arrive soon and it will provide the needed assistance.”
Sitaula also expressed hope that “the peace process will now move ahead smoothly.”
“We believe we will be successful in holding the Constituent Assembly elections in a free and fair manner,” he said.
Coordinator of the Maoist talks team, Krishna Bahadur Mahara said, “All the confusions have been cleared today. We have agreed upon an issue that holds a long-term impact. The 12-point agreement was a milestone, the 8-point agreement was the second historic step and today’s five-point joint letter is third historic step in the peace process.”
Reading out a message sent by Maoist Chairman Prachanda, Mahara said, “Today onwards a new process has begun and doors have opened for new agendas of the peace process. We believe the peace process would move ahead smoothly.”
The letter was finalised and signed by Prime Minister Girija P Koirala and the Maoist supremo Prachanda in a meeting held at the PM’s Residence at Baluwatar this afternoon. The sending of the joint letter to the world body was delayed because of some differences between the government and the Maoists on the issue of arms management.
Today was the last day to submit the letter to the UN. The High Level UN team led by Steffan de Mistura that was in Nepal on a “study visit” last week had extended the “deadline” for submitting the letter to the UN till today as the two sides (govt-Maoists) were unable to reach a consensus during its visit.
To sort out the differences, the Prime Minister had invited the Maoist supremo this afternoon at his residence so that a joint letter could be posted to the UN by today. The meeting between the PM and Prachanda lasted for around one-and-half hours before an agreement was reached.
Home Minister and coordinator of the government talks team Krishna P Sitaula and senior leader of the CPN (Maoist) Dr Baburam Bhattarai were also present in the meeting.
Earlier today, PM Koirala had discussed the issue with Home Minister Sitauala and State Minister of Labour and Transport Management and member of the Government Talks Team Ramesh Lekhak separately.