United nations’ day: UNMIN chief pins integration hope on the govt panel

Kathmandu, October 24:

The upcoming visit of Secretary General Moon is the highest symbol of the UN interest in Nepal’s peace process and commitment to see it fully realised.

Special Representative of the United Nations’ (UN) Secretary-General in Nepal, Ian Martin, today said that no peace process could be said to be complete when there are two armies in a country.

Addressing a function organised to mark the UN Day here today, Martin expressed hope that a multi-party special committee responsible for the integration and rehabilitation of People’s Liberation Army combatants will be established soon.

Martin said that the UN had resumed discussions with Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Janardan Sharma ‘Prabhakar’ and the Maoist army about the need for a rapid progress regarding the removal of PLA combatants, disqualified during the verification process in May 2006, from cantonments.

He also informed that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon would visit Nepal next week.

Four UN Secretary-Generals — U Thant, Kurt Waldheim, Javier Perez de Cuellar and Kofi Annan — had visited Nepal.

“This visit is the highest symbol of the United Nation interest in Nepal’s peace process and commitment to see it fully realised,” Martin said.

Lauding UN’s role in Nepal’s ongoing peace process, Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav expressed his gratitude to the UN for its positive role as a facilitator in the ongoing peace process through UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN).

“We are committed to peace and to build a new Nepal based on peace, justice and democracy,” he said, adding that as a country currently engaged in post-conflict rebuilding and stabilisation, Nepal has special needs of its own. “The peace process is moving ahead and we are determined to bring it to a logical conclusion.”

Robert Piper, resident and humanitarian coordinator of the UN, said 2008 had been a particularly challenging year for our humanitarian workers.

“Food and fuel prices have pushed millions more Nepali families into poverty and food insecurity. Floods have displaced more than 250,000 people,” Piper added.

He added that the UN responded to such situations with food, shelter, water, health care and solidarity to Nepali people.