Update Report – Nepal – No 4
The Council is expected to adopt a presidential statement on Nepal on 1 December. The statement is likely to, inter alia, endorse the Secretary-General’s proposal to send a technical assessment mission to Nepal, with a view to establishing a UN political mission. It will also welcome the signing of the November peace agreement between the Nepalese government and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).
Peace talks since April culminated in the signing on 8 November of a peace agreement to solve the ten-year conflict between Kathmandu and the Maoist rebels. The agreement outlines a peace process with a view to elections for a Constituent Assembly in mid-2007. It also reportedly includes the participation of the Maoists in a temporary cabinet and the cantonment and disarmament of Maoist forces.
The 8 November agreement was subsequently transformed into a Comprehensive Peace Agreement on 21 November. A further agreement on 28 November contained supplementary provisions on the management of combatants and weapons.
In his letter to the Security Council on 22 November, the Secretary-General reports a request from the parties for a UN presence to:
- monitor the arrangements relevant to the management of arms and armed personnel; and
- assist with the peace process, including the elections.
He further expressed his strong belief that the UN should respond positively to the request, and his intention to:
- deploy a technical assistance mission to determine logistical and security requirements and develop a concept of operations with a view to creating a UN political mission in Nepal. (The mission’s primary objective would seem likely to involve assistance to the peace process in order to secure a peaceful transition toward elections) ; and
- meanwhile, deploy an advance team of 35 monitors for the management of arms and armed personnel, and 25 electoral personnel.
The Secretary-General notes that his Personal Representative, Ian Martin, will continue to consult with the parties. He also notes that, as soon as the assessment mission completes its tasks and consultations have progressed sufficiently, he will present a concept of operations to the Council.
Ian Martin briefed the Council on 29 November. There seemed to be widespread sympathy within the Council for the Nepalese request and consensus on the need for a swift endorsement of the Secretary-General’s proposals. More importantly, members seem in agreement that, given the positive developments in Nepal and the parties’ request, the Council should encourage the progress to date and be open to the Secretary-General’s proposals on the political mission.