UN backs gradual reduction of UNMIN

United Nations, July 23:

The UN Security Council today unanimously endorsed plans for a gradual drawdown of the UN mission in Nepal (UNMIN) as it extended its mandate for six months.

The 15-member body adopted resolution 1825 that renewed the mandate of UNMIN until next

January 23 2009, taking into account “the ongoing work on the monitoring and the management of arms and armed personnel in line with the June 25 agreement among the political parties.”

It also backed UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s view that the current monitoring arrangements “should not be necessary for a substantial further period and expects to see them concluded within the period of this mandate.” The resolution endorsed Ban’s recommendation for a “gradual, drawdown and withdrawal of UNMIN staff, including arms monitors.” It urged all Nepali parties “to work together in a spirit of cooperation, consensus and compromise in order to continue the transition to a durable long-term solution to enable the country to move to a peaceful, democratic and more prosperous future.”

The UN was invited to assist in Nepal’s peace process when a deal was signed between Maoist rebels and mainstream parties in 2006 to end a decade-long civil war.The UN has said the parties need to consider the long-term future of the 19,000 former rebel fighters.