UNMINs extension implausible

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal today said the government has not thought anything about extending the tenure of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) as it was confident that the peace process would be completed by May 28. UNMIN’s term is expiring on May 15.

In a meeting with a delegation of ambassadors of the European Union and the US ambassador at his office in Singha Durbar, the PM said the government will take initiatives later by assessing the future political development if the need for UNMIN’s extension arises.

“If there was not a tangible progress in Nepal’s peace process, extending UNMIN’s tenure will have no meaning and the UN will also be ready to extend the term,” the ambassadors said during the meeting, according to the PM’s foreign relations advisor Rajan Bhattarai.

The delegation expressed concern about the possible impact if UNMIN exited before the peace process concluded, Bhattarai said.

The delegation also requested the PM to take initiatives to extend the term of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The rights body’s term expires on June 9.

“The PM lauded the OHCHR’s role in the past. He, however, said that the body should now come up with an exit plan as Nepal has made much progress in the peace process,” Bhattarai said.

The PM also said that the OHCHR should help national rights bodies.