Peace Secretariat plans programmes

Kathmandu, August 7:

The Peace Secretariat, formed by the government to facilitate the peace process, is now busy collecting, scrutinising and compiling documents related with the government-Maoist peace talks and it is all set to launch programmes.

For the fiscal year 2062-63, the government has approved ten major programmes proposed by the Secretariat and has released a budget of five million rupees.

The Secretariat has already finished compiling official documents related with the Maoists, the government-Maoists talks and other reports of several committees. “We have created a collection of documents and we can now produce them anytime should the peace process begin again,” said the Dr Ravi Sharma Aryal, newly appointed spokesperson of the Peace Secretariat.

The Secretariat has also completed preparing policy on Internally Displaced People (IDPs), and a report on infrastructure destroyed during the nine years of armed conflict.

The IDP policy, which is awaiting government approval not only gives an official definition of internally displaced people, but also suggests about what needs to be done to support them, Aryal said.

A report on destroyed infrastructure states that government infrastructure worth about 1.07 billion rupees have been destroyed in the nine years of armed conflict. This includes data provided by 11 ministries and four other government agencies.

The programmes proposed by the Peace Secretariat includes relief and rehabilitation for conflict victims, initiation of development work in conflict hit areas, creating awareness on peace, negative impacts on women, children, dalits and ethnic minority due to conflict. “Strategic work plan and Terms of Reference (ToR) are also being formulated to get more fund from international donor agencies,” said Aryal.

DFID and USAID have supported Peace Secretariat, while JICA and DANIDA are also ready to provide assistance.

A documentation hall has been established in the building of Secretariat and jingles for creating awareness on restoration of peace are in the process of being broadcast. Aryal said the Peace Secretariat will hire consultants to get expertise when it launches various programmes.

Besides, the Secretariat is also assigned to monitor and evaluate relief programmes launched by different ministries in order to maintain ‘one-window’ policy.

“The Secretariat will also study and coordinate with the non-government organisations, working in conflict-hit areas to ensure their programmes do not overlap,” said Aryal.