Observations part of the UN Secretary-General’s Report presented at the Security Council
28. Nepal’s peace process remains stalled, with few signs of a consensual way forward. The major parties are preoccupied by profound internal fissures and the question of power-sharing. While the extension of the Constituent Assembly by one year averted a grave political vacuum, over three months have passed without notable headway in the peace process.
29. UNMIN has continued to pursue the request of the Security Council to work with the parties to make arrangements for its departure. Interlocutors from all major parties have underlined, however, that they see no alternative to UNMIN monitoring at present. To help speed the creation of conditions that would enable the Mission to conclude its tasks, UNMIN has consistently and assiduously urged the parties to agree on measures that could be taken in the short term, and has made proposals to that end, ranging from steps to improve monitoring arrangements to strengthening preparedness for integration and rehabilitation. A non-paper prepared by UNMIN to stimulate discussion was leaked to the press, and its purpose misconstrued, leading to strong criticism of UNMIN for having exceeded its mandate, including, regrettably, from the highest levels of government.
30. Despite the sustained efforts of the United Nations Mission in Nepal, little progress has been made towards the conditions for its departure, as the continuing political stalemate has precluded the necessary cooperation among the parties. Six extensions of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Nepal have taken place on the unfulfilled expectation, and the commitment of the Government, that the remaining key tasks of the peace process would be brought to a close. Those commitments have become unrealistic in the absence of a consensual approach. Following the resignation of the Prime Minister, Madhav Kumar Nepal, at the end of June, I encouraged the parties to intensify efforts towards the formation of a consensus government, and at the time of writing this remains my hope.
31. It should be recalled that the original intention in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was to address contentious issues through a consensus government comprising the two parties to the peace process. The Agreement was founded on parallel commitments, including the integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist army, to be resolved through the Special Committee, and an action plan established by the Council of Ministers for the democratization of the Nepal Army, determining its appropriate size, developing its national and inclusive character, and training it in the norms and values of democracy and human rights. UNMIN has repeatedly pressed for action on both points, before and after the Constituent Assembly elections, and has long warned of serious implications for the hard-won gains of the peace process if the future of the two armies were not addressed promptly.
32. It is the view of many that UNMIN contributes to maintaining continued calm and avoiding escalation through its presence and a successful arms monitoring and dispute resolution regime. On the other hand, its seemingly indefinite presence may be taken for granted, and the Mission is repeatedly made a scapegoat for matters which lie beyond its mandate. As I have stated before, the United Nations interest is to see UNMIN complete its mandated tasks and bring closure to its work in Nepal.
33. Since January 2010, the Council has acceded to two requests for four-month extensions of the Mission. I am not in favour of repeated extensions of the Mission’s mandate in an atmosphere of persistent and unfounded criticism that complicates its ability to function. These short extensions carry significant management difficulties for the Mission, while having had no discernible effect in expediting the political decisions required for the Mission to complete its work.
34. The present situation whereby Nepal is governed by a caretaker government and the main focus of the political parties is on government formation has not been conducive to sustained engagement over the future role of the Mission. Under these circumstances, I recommend that the current mandate of UNMIN be rolled over by the Council in order to permit the necessary discussions to take place with a duly formed government.
35. Should these discussions offer neither clarity over the role of the Mission nor any prospect of consensus among the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Agreement on the Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies regarding a realistic and time-bound fulfilment of their commitments concerning the armies and the phasing-out of UNMIN monitoring, then I will propose alternative measures to the Council, including the possible termination of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Nepal.
36. I do not underestimate the challenge for the parties to implement the fundamental changes agreed in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. It is my firm view, however, that at this critical juncture of the peace process this challenge should be met through a consensual and negotiated process. To this end, I call on the parties to invest greater effort in serious and sustained political dialogue. The choice between continued inertia and a fresh momentum is in the hands of the national leadership. With the passage of time and the current political context adding to the risks inherent in breaches of past agreements, all parties should make scrupulous efforts to respect those agreements, with particular emphasis on commitments pertaining to the armed personnel of the Government and the Maoists.
37. I would like to convey my appreciation to the members of the Security Council and other Member States for their continued support to Nepal and to the work of the United Nations in support of Nepal’s peace process. I would also like to thank my Representative, Karin Landgren, and her staff, as well as partner organizations in Nepal, for their dedicated efforts.
As provided by the UN Mission in Nepal.