Nepal to request extension of UN mission

November 8th, 2008 - 10:57 am ICT by IANS  

United Nations, Nov 8 (IANS) Madhu Raman Acharya, Nepal’s ambassador to the UN, has said that his country would soon request an extension of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) for six months after its current term expires on Jan 23, 2009.Addressing a special meeting of the Security Council to discuss the current situation in Nepal and the report of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Acharya said the presence of the UNMIN is needed for now but would not be required once the process of managing army cantonments and weapons is completed.

“UNMIN’s presence would not be required after the process of managing the cantonment of armed forces and weapons was completed,” he said.

An understanding with regards to the UNMIN’s extension was reached last week when Ban met Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Kathmandu, media reports said.

Acharya praised the UN’s role in Nepal in bringing peace and democracy in the country, but he was critical of some portion of the secretary general’s report on Nepal, which was submitted to the Security Council last week.

Taking strong objection to Ban’s remarks about consolidation of cantonments in the report, Acharya said such rearrangement might unnecessarily complicate the process and exacerbate the already poor infrastructure and facilities in cantonments.

“It could unwittingly prolong the rehabilitation and integration process, which are key to logically conclude the peace process,” he said.

He added that the Nepali government was committed to taking measures to expedite implementation of the special committee’s decisions so that UNMIN could complete its task in line with the Security Council’s mandate.

Acharya said if that process could not be completed till the end of the current mandate on Jan 23, 2009, the Nepali government, in consultation with the special committee and the political parties, might request an extension of the UN Mission in Nepal.

Asserting that the government was committed to resolving all remaining issues in the spirit of dialogue and accommodation and in accordance with the comprehensive peace agreement, Acharya said: “It has already constituted the special committee to finalise the issue of integration and rehabilitation of the former rebel combatants in cantonments monitored by the United Nations.”

The special committee is expected to reach its decision on the issue soon, he said.

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