American Diplomatic Cable: Ambassador Moriarty Advocates for Increased American Assistance to Give Peace a Chance in Nepal

2006-05-19 11:35

Classified By: Ambassador James F. Moriarty, Reasons, 1.4 (b/d).

Summary and Introduction
————————

¶1. (C) I believe we have a four-six month window to use our
assistance to consolidate recent gains in democracy in Nepal.
While some argue that development and governance should take
a back seat to peace, I disagree. We need to help the
government show it is making a difference in people’s lives
by delivering services so that its success is not solely
measured on its ability to bring peace. Peace will depend
largely on Maoist intentions, and no one wants the Maoists to
have a veto over the new government’s success. We have a
limited window of opportunity and believe we should take a
two-pronged approach: build the capacity of important
government institutions, including the Peace Secretariat, the
Election Commission, Parliament and the National Human Rights
Commission, and deliver services on the ground, including by
focusing on rural infrastructure and providing employment.
We have e-mailed details on the suggestions discussed below.
This assistance, at a cost of twenty million USD plus, could
make a major difference in helping build a democratic,
well-governed state in Nepal. A significant increase in USG
assistance would also signal strong support to the new
government during this fragile transitional stage. End

Summary and Introduction.

Peace and Security
——————

¶2. (SBU) With twin reciprocal cease-fires in place and work
on a code of conduct ongoing, we want to help Nepal prevent a
return to violence. The ten year conflict has already cost
more than 13,000 lives; people want peace.

— Additional assistance now to the Peace Secretariat would
have an immediate impact on the peace process. We also
propose to help set up regional peace secretariats to shape a
peace process that reflects the realities outside of
Kathmandu.

— We are ready to provide assistance to the security forces
if requested by the new government.

Governing Justly and Democratically
———————————–

¶3. (SBU) Institutional strengthening is an immediate priority
to help stabilize Nepal’s new government.

— Increased support to the National Human Rights Commission
would increase its ability to be a reliable domestic body for
monitoring and reporting on abuses.

— We want to increase our minimal assistance to the
Elections Commission (EC) for voter outreach and education.
National and international elections observers will also be
required to ensure transparency in the event of credible
parliamentary or constituent assembly elections.

— We should help professionalize Parliament by providing
technical support. We should also support the constitutional
reform/constituent assembly process, through technical
expertise and by assisting Parliament to implement a
Constituent Outreach Strategy to interact with the public on
its reform agenda.

— Technical assistance should assist parties to identify
policy priorities and build negotiation skills. We should
also expand our political party reform program to increase
our focus on establishing internal democracy and address
significant gaps in party institutional capacity.

— A fair, functioning, non-corrupt legal system will help
build political support for the new government. Placing
resident advisors with the police and the Attorney General’s
office would build a systematic approach to law enforcement
and rule-of-law issues. A community-based police assistance
program would improve capabilities and create positive
community relationships between the public and police.

— We should significantly expand support for judicial reform
and anti-corruption in our work with the Supreme Court and
the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority.

— We should train civil society organizations to monitor

Parliament, provide expert services to parliamentarians, and
keep the Nepalese public informed. A public awareness
campaign on constitutional reform would help make the process
transparent and inclusive.

Investing in People and Economic Growth
—————————————

¶4. (SBU) If peace negotiations with the Maoists go awry, it
will be crucial for the new, democratic government to retain
the support of the people. We should focus our assistance on
delivering services around the country.

— The need for roads, schools, health posts, and other
community infrastructure in Nepal is immense. Rural areas
lack critical infrastructure, and attacks by Maoists have
damaged many of the existing schools and government
buildings. Lack of infrastructure and widespread poverty
have isolated rural communities and created frustration with
the absence of government services and lack of jobs.
Rebuilding infrastructure damaged by the insurgents will help
the civilian population to recognize and support the
authority of the state. We propose to significantly expand
our critical rural employment program to stabilize
communities and ensure a lasting peace.

— Children have suffered the most under the Maoist
insurgency. Thousands of orphans have been internally
displaced and abandoned; hundreds of children were pressed
into the Maoist People’s Army, and millions of children’s
health and schooling were threatened. This program would
provide: 1) protection, 2) critical health and counseling
services, and 3) access to education to child victims of the
conflict. When a Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration
(DDR) process is underway, the program would reintegrate
children released from detention and former child soldiers
into communities.

Humanitarian Assistance
———————–

¶5. (SBU) The ten-year Maoist insurgency has displaced tens of
thousands of rural Nepalese. A sustained ceasefire and
peace process in Nepal would allow large numbers of
internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return to their
villages.

— We should provide critical reintegration assistance for
vulnerable migrants, returning IDPs, and other impoverished
households in receiving communities, positioning the USG to
field large-scale DDR assistance as soon as Nepal is ready
for it.

Comment
——-

¶6. (C) I cannot overemphasize how urgent it is for the United
States, and others in the international community, to
kick-start assistance programs. Given the threat of the
Maoists and questions as to whether they sincerely want to
reenter the political mainstream, an energetic assistance
program that has immediate impact will go far to address our
twin goals in Nepal of addressing the Maoist insurgency and
restoring democracy. This is our chance to help transform
Nepal and to give peace a chance to take root.
MORIARTY

[

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKT #1281/01 1391135
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 191135Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1519
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L KATHMANDU 001281

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR S/F, P AND SCA FROM THE AMBASSADOR
DEPT PASS TO USAID/ANE KUNDER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/19/2016
TAGS: EAID PREL MASS NP
SUBJECT: NEPAL: SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITY FOR
TRANSFORMATIONAL ASSISTANCE

REF: STATE 77595

Classified By: Ambassador James F. Moriarty, Reasons, 1.4 (b/d).]

 

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