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Nepal peace process on track: UN

July 25, 2007 10:13 IST
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The ongoing peace process in Nepal appears on track to ensure stability, but the national political scene there has become more complex and challenging in recent months, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has written in a newly released report.

He sought efforts to maintain the positive momentum.

"Renewed and expanded efforts will have to be made to sustain the successful trajectory of the peace process," he stated in his latest report on Nepal, where a peace accord signed in November formally ended a decade-long conflict that killed an estimated 13,000 people.

Among recent challenges, Mr Ban cited, was the postponement of the Constituent Assembly election, originally scheduled for mid- June but is now set for November 22 as rules governing the process were not ready in time.

The secretary warned that failure to ensure a credible election within a realistic period could have a serious impact on the unity of the country's eight ruling parties and their ability to function in unison within the existing coalition.

A successful election is the central element of the country's democratisation process, the report stressed.

''The stakes are too high,'' he wrote, adding, "Complacency or differences over secondary issues cannot be allowed to threaten or deny the people of Nepal the realisation of their ardent desire for sustainable peace."

He added that the UN Mission in Nepal -- entrusted with the responsibility of supporting the election -- continues to say that considerable work needs to be done if the Constituent Assembly election is to be held in November.

The overall human rights situation in the country continues to be worrying, he stated. The main concerns are linked to inadequate public security and law enforcement and to unresolved issues of discrimination regarding representation and inclusion in the political process.

Meanwhile, the United Nations announced that it has signed the necessary agreements with Kathmandu to pave the way for the establishment in the Nepali capital of the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific.

The centre, created by the UN General Assembly in 1987, has been operating in New York since 1989.

"Over the last 17 years, the role of the Regional Centre has been dramatically transformed from the original task of disseminating objective disarmament information to an important partner of the member states and other constituents in the Asia-Pacific region for the common cause of a better and safer world," its Director Tsutomu Ishiguri said.

The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, assisted by the UN Development Programme's country office in Nepal, is working with the Nepali government to relocate the Centre to Kathmandu within six months.

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