Rebuild trust, says UNMIN

KATHMANDU: UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon’s Representative in Nepal, Karin Landgren, has urged all parties to work urgently to rebuild trust and achieve consensus.

Addressing a meeting of the Security Council on Tuesday, she said, “Crisis sparked by the Prime Minister’s resignation threatens the gains made so far in the peace process and this is a volatile moment in Nepal’s peace process. Current political crisis reflects a serious lack of trust among the principal political actors.”

Ms Landgren recalled the significant progress made in Nepal, including the successful conduct of election, the ongoing work of the constituent Assembly, and declaration of a republic, which brought a peaceful end to the monarchy.

According to the UNMIN office in Kathmandu, representative Landgren noted that recent developments have serious implications for the functioning of the government and for the nature of the state to be shaped by Nepal’s next constitution.

“In the short term, there is a risk of paralysis with possibly protracted negotiations on forming a new government, and a stalling of preparations for the discharge of the disqualified and integration and rehabilitation of verified Maoist army personnel,” she said.

The Maoists hold 40 per cent of the seats in the Constituent Assembly, more than twice the number of any other party, and the constitution cannot be completed without their support, she noted.

“The peace process which Nepal has driven forward since 2005 has been remarkable, and the events of 2008 of historic magnitude,” she said. “The parties should urgently take steps to rebuild trust and work together in the spirit of compromise and consensus needed to protect the achievements and ensure further progress in the coming weeks and months.”

“The next key steps - addressing the future of the Maoist army personnel, and drafting the new constitution - will be extremely difficult to achieve without a greater degree of political cooperation, and a common vision,” she added.

The Security Council today voiced its concern about the current political crisis. In a statement read out by Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of Russia, which holds the 15-member body’s presidency for May, the Council underscored “the urgent need for the Nepal and all political parties to continue to work together in the spirit of compromise”.