Security Council divided over UNMIN’s future


14 Sept, New York

Amid the uncertainties floating around, Security Council is divided over the future of United Nation Mission in Nepal UNMIN. The fissure prevailing among the member countries has been distinctly contemplated during the discussions held before the date to render the final decision on UNMIN’s continued presence. The Council, the most powerful body of the UN is expected to adopt the resolution regarding UNMIN on Wednesday. Some of the member countries including the United Kingdom, the lead country on Nepal, are in favor of technical roll over by a month while the remaining have the general vibe of extending UNMIN’s mandate by 4 months as requested by the Nepali actors.

An exclusive report provided to this writer  by a reputed outside group of researchers in New York focused on the affairs of Security Council, has assimilated the differences among the member countries. The report named as Update Report on Nepal was published with the support of the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Norway and Singapore, The Rockefeller Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and operates in affiliation with the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York.

Following the news that the government would be sending letters with a consensus request for a four-month extension Council members appeared to be more divided over how to proceed. The UK as well as a number of European countries, felt that a one-month technical roll-over was still a better option as it would send a signal that the Council was seriously concerned about the political situation and would also allow further discussion of the UN’s future role in Nepal, reads the report. On the contrary, some members were skeptical about how much difference thirty days would make. Other members were more comfortable with a new mandate that more closely reflected the time period requested by the Nepalese government and the UCPN-Maoist party.

Outwitting the seriousness of the nascent peace process of Nepal, Council members has also identified nearly a half dozen key issues to buckle down. As per the report, one of the key issues is deciding what sort of term would be most useful to UNMIN as it attempts to complete the final tasks of its mandate. Another is how to ensure that the Nepalese government and the UCPN-Maoist fulfill the commitments made on 13 September to complete the remaining tasks of the peace process by mid-January. Similarly, the Council has also taken into consideration the matter to send a representative of the Secretary-General visit Nepal to consult with the Government of Nepal and political parties on UNMIN’s role in the coming months.

It is said that how serious has been the Nepalese government about wanting UNMIN to leave by mid-January and what steps need to be taken towards closing down the mission by that time are also the key issues. A related issue is ensuring that at the time UNMIN withdraws from Nepal its departure does not have any negative impact on peace and stability in the country.

A 15-member Council has the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia and France as its permanent members and Austria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey and Uganda are the non-permanent elected members.


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