April 1st, 2007 14:34 EST
UN's Nepal envoy welcomes establishment of Interim Government
The senior United Nations envoy to Nepal today hailed the establishment of the country's interim Government, while emphasizing that many challenges lie ahead as preparations continue for elections aimed at cementing the democratic transition in the Himalayan country.
“I welcome the establishment of the new interim government as a key moment for the consolidation of Nepal's peace process, and I congratulate the leaders of the eight political parties on their willingness to share responsibilities in this transitional period,” Ian Martin, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative said in a statement.
He pointed out that a unified Government should be in a stronger position to face the challenges ahead, including “creating conditions for a credible Constituent Assembly election, addressing the legitimate demands of groups in Nepalese society calling for more inclusive democracy, establishing effective law enforcement across the country, and providing for the future of former combatants and a wider reform of the security sector.”
Mr. Martin pledged the UN's help in ensuring full compliance with the commitments made by the parties to the Agreement on the Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies, as well as to support and monitor the electoral process.
“The challenges ahead cannot be overemphasized,” Mr. Martin said, welcoming “the renewed commitments intended to create a conducive environment for polls and to provide for more effective monitoring of agreements, which will be crucial in transforming conditions throughout the districts and which the United Nations is committed to assist.”
He added that success will require effective law enforcement that respects international standards, accountability for violations of citizens' rights, and ending breaches of the commitments under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
The Security Council established UNMIN in January to assist with the follow-up to the Nepalese peace deal and also to support this year's planned elections in the impoverished Himalayan country where 10 years of civil war killed around 15,000 people and displaced over 100,000 others.