December 6, 2010
Yesterday, one of the signatories of a joint Statement in Public Interest forwarded me a copy. The document appeals to the stakeholders of the ongoing peace process to ensure its successful conclusion by handing over the responsibility of supervision of the Maoist cantonments to the Special Committee. It will be remembered that the UNMIN is scheduled to leave Nepal on January 15, 2010.
Here is the document in full:
Fully Activate the Special Committee: Make the Nepali-designed Peace Process Successful
5 December 2010
The ongoing peace process of Nepal stands out as an exemplary home-grown approach to resolving armed conflict. The credit for this lies in the commitment and dedication of Nepali stake-holders, including the alert citizenry, the democratic parties and the UCPN (Maoist). While the peace process has several important features, the most important pending task is to disband the cantonments through the integration and rehabilitation of the ex-combatants.
It is time to show the world that, on the road to peace, Nepalis are capable of solving their problems by themselves. The peace process is to be taken to its successful conclusion by the Special Committee set up for the purpose, chaired by the prime minister and with membership of the major parties, including the UCPN (Maoist). We recognise the recent appointment of the internationally recognised former general Balananda Sharma as Coordinator of the Special Committee Secretariat as a significant step forward. The Maoist party, in particular, is to be thanked for this.
To successfully conclude the task of integration and rehabilitation, it is now vital to formally transfer the ‘chain of command’ of the ex-combatants to the Special Committee, according to the announcement made by the Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal when he was prime minister. There are now 40 days for the departure of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN). In this context, we ask that UNMIN’s task of cantonment supervision be transferred to the Special Committee according to the work plan and procedures prepared by its Secretariat. We call on the political parties to immediately reach agreement on this matter.
We are confident that Nepal, as an active member of the United Nations, will continue to receive support and assistance of the world organisation upon the departure of the Mission. Meanwhile, the neighbouring countries, as well as the larger international community, have promised continued political support for our peace efforts. Under the circumstances, to suggest that the peace process may be derailed upon UNMIN’s departure is to question our own commitment and abilities.
We appeal to the Maoist and other parties who are jointly responsible for the peace process to ensure its successful conclusion by handing over the responsibility of supervision of the cantonments to the Special Committee. This will help the Special Committee fulfill the critical tasks of ex-combatant integration and rehabilitation.
Nabindra Raj Joshi
Kanak Mani Dixit
Dr. Surendra Labh