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Nepal's Peace Process Not Yet Complete - UN Envoy

Nepal's peace process not yet complete, says UN envoy

27 May 2008 - On the eve of the first meeting of Nepal's Constituent Assembly, the top United Nations envoy to the country said that challenges still lie ahead, despite last month's successful country-wide elections.

Speaking to the press in Kathmandu, the Secretary-General's Special Representative in Nepal Ian Martin described the elections for the 601-member Constituent Assembly as a major milestone in the peace process, "but it does not represent the completion of the process," he said.

Mr. Martin said there were still challenges in forming the new Government and in creating a basis for stable governance and economic development.

At a swearing-in ceremony today, 567 members took their oaths in preparation for tomorrow's landmark first Assembly session.

Last week, the UN envoy addressed the Security Council, noting afterwards that there are still two armies in the country and that there has been no agreement so far on "what is referred to in the peace agreement as the integration of the Maoist army and the democratization of the Nepal army." He added that other political parties were insistent that they would not join a Maoist-led Government unless violent attacks from the Maoist Young Communist League were halted.

He also listed a number of important commitments of the peace process that have not yet been implemented: compensation for victims of the conflict, investigation of disappearances and the return of property and of displaced persons to their homes.

ENDS

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