Pascoe defends UNMIN role

KATHMANDU: UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B Lynn Pascoe on Thursday defended the role of the UNMIN in the peace process in the country and stressed that it is here to help and not to take the blame for the failure of those responsible for the success of the peace process.

Interacting with the media during the press meet organised at Everest Hotel in Kathmandu, Pascoe said that Nepal’s political change is remarkable and unique in the sense the country had exercised different kinds of the political changes in a very limited time. He lauded the ongoing peace process for being mainly Nepali-led.

He recalled the ten year insurgency, the April movement and the election of the Constituent Assembly, 2008. He also remarked on the dissolution of the monarchy and the declaration of a secular republic as historic changes.

The Under Secretary General was all praise for the recently completed discharge of minors and late recruits from the Maoist cantonments and the establishment of a High-Level Political Mechanism as a forum which aimed at to foster greater focus on the peace process. He added that the democratisation of the Nepal Army and the integration and management of the former Maoist combatants go hand in hand. He expressed his hope that both the armies Nepal Army and the Maoist army can help to restore trust by demonstrating a stronger commitment to human rights, particularly by cooperating with investigations into alleged violations committed by their personnel both during and after the conflict. He also informed the he will visit one of the cantonments which is stationed by the UNMIN as a part of his visit.

Pascoe hoped that the country would get the new constitution on May 28. He emphasised on the democratic statute which comprises the fundamental understanding of the peace process, namely the commitment to competitive multiparty democracy, civil liberties and human rights and the nation’s political, economic and social transformation.

Pascoe had already visited Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala, UCPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal during his visit.