Local declaration of the Heads of mission of the European Union member states ( May 2004)
On 19 November 2003, in the Donor Statement accompanying the WB Board discussion on the CAS/PRSC, we put on record our support for Nepal’s development strategy set out in the PRSP. We wish to re-emphasise the importance we attach to the implementation of Government’s poverty reduction strategy. This is essential for external development assistance programmes to fully benefit poor people and excluded groups in Nepal.
At the same time, we made it clear that a full-fledged, long-term development partnership with Nepal was contingent on the restoration of democracy and the peace process, and on immediate steps being taken to improve the human rights situation. With this statement we wish reiterate that failure to address these issues will severely undermine the prospects for our development partnership to further develop and fully materialise.
1. For us to integrate our development assistance and align our support with the PRSP, THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS needs to be reactivated beginning with a representative government and a Prime Minister enjoying the confidence of the political parties and the King. Representative democratic institutions and people’s participation at central and local level are key elements of the development partnership
2. The on-going ARMED CONFLICT stands in the way of genuine and sustainable economic and social development. The conflict has created an atmosphere of fear and insecurity for the vast majority of Nepalese people. Resolution of the grievances that have given rise to the conflict can only be attained once the violence has ended. An immediate ceasefire, accompanied by a Code of Conduct and effective independent monitoring is required. This should be followed by full negotiations without preconditions or talks about talks should seek to establish the confidence necessary for such negotiations to proceed and the good intent of both sides. In our view, negotiations should take place before elections. We encourage all parties to explore every possibility and modality in this respect - including the UN Secretary General’s offer of support.
3. Promotion and protection of HUMAN RIGHTS is imperative. Human rights are the pillar on which inclusive, open and democratic societies are built. In a climate of impunity without enforced respect for human rights neither freedom nor development can flourish. They are thus the foundation for the development partnership in Nepal. We welcome the Government’s Human Rights Commitment of 26 March 2004 and the Chairman’s Statement of 21 April 2004 in Geneva and urge their rapid implementation. We strongly appeal to the CPN-Maoists to renounce violence and call upon them to commit to respect the human rights of all people. We also call on both parties to allow unhindered monitoring with international support as an early confidence building measure.
We support Nepal’s development efforts and wish to continue to do so. However for these efforts to fully benefit the Nepalese people and for us to continue and reaffirm our commitment, there is an urgent need for the political powers in Nepal to take immediate steps to resolve the untenable political situation.
Canada, Denmark, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and United Kingdom