Mission d’information au Népal du Parlement européen (16 au 21 juillet 2006)
« We have heen impressed hy the scale alld rapidity of what has recently been achieved
lowal’ds peace although it is still evolving a nd the situation is s till fragile » These a re the
words of Neena Gill, Leader of the European Parliament Monitoring Mission at the
conclusion of their stay in Nepal.
On May 18 2006, the European Parliament, welcoming Nepal’s return to democratic rule,
passed a resolution charging seven members of various political groups with a mission to
assess the political situation and to conduct talks with all relevant forces.
From July 16 to 21, the group held meetings with a broad range of representatives of Nepali
society, including the Deputy Prime Minister, numerous members of the government and of
the restored House of Representatives, leaders of the Seven Party Alliance, officials from the
Peace Secretariat and of the Election Commission, representatives of the business community
and of Bhutanese and Tibetan refugees, the media, human rights organizations, NGOs, the
diplomatic corps and UN agencies.
First and foremost, the Members of the European Parliament were impressed by the strength
of the popular and peaceful movement that led to a return to parliamentary democracy and by
the profound desire for democracy among all those they met. The European Parliament also
vvishes to convey its deepest sympathy to the families of those who have lost their lives during
The leader of the delegation emphasized that the European Parliament was here to express its
support to the peace process and its appreciation of the measures already taken by the
Government to repeal a number of controversial royal ordinances curbing press freedom and
controlling non-governmental organisations. "Greal efforts have heen made hy the Nepali
government, the trend is positive and there is potential for more ". We remain however
concerned by a number of major issues which need to be addressed urgently to answer the
rightful expectations of the Nepali population.
A ceasefire agreement should be signed between the Government and the CPN(Maoists) to
confirm the end of the conflict which has already claimed too many lives. The issue of arms
decommissioning and of demobilisation of combatants, crucial for free and fair elections, is a
priority : "No political par v can go 10 elections with a gun on his shoulder ". In this respect
the European Parliament fully supports the request made by all parties involved to the UN for
assistance in monitoring arn1Smanagement and human rights, reiterates its support for the UN
Office of Human Rights in Nepal, and welcomes the atTival of a UN assessment team next
week. It also hopes that elections to the constituent assembly will take place at an early stage
and is wi !ling to assist in election monitoring if asked to do so by the Government.
The European Parliament takes good note of the willingness of the Maoists to return to the
political mainstream and of their commitment through the 12-point agreement signed in
November 2005 with the Seven-Party Alliance to commit themselves to democratic values,
multipartism, civil liberties, human rights and the rule of law. The CPN(M) should now add
action to its words and fully renounce violence, stop extortion of money and abductions,
enrolment of child soldiers and start disarmament.
The members of the Delegation expressed their concerns on human rights and particularly on
past violations of human rights during the people’s movement. They believe that justice must
be rendered and urge the Government and particularly the High Level Probe Commission to
carry out a thorough investigation of the April events but also of the massive violations of
human rights perpetrated by all sides in the last years. They welcome the Government’s
inclusive agenda concerning the rights of women, ethnic minorities and dalits.
The members of the Delegation congratulate the Government for a pro-poor state budget for
the fiscal year 2006-2007. They consider tourism as a key sector for economic growth that
will benefit from the return to peace. They urge the international community and particularly
the European Union, to financially assist Nepal in its development needs. They would like to
see the launching of grass-root projects with a quick impact on the living conditions of the
poor, marginalised groups of the society and internally displaced persons with a special
emphasis on remote rural areas. They support the important role played by local and
international NGOs in development.
The other major issues raised by the delegation included the fate of the more than 100 000
Bhutanese refugees who live in camps since 1991 and the problems faced by the Tibetan
refugees. Members called for immediate action, at both domestic and international levels on
those issues and are prepared to take up the concerns of those people to the appropriate levels.
In conclusion, the leader of the delegation expressed satisfaction with the current peace
process while encouraging all sides to quickly implement their agreements and decisions on
the ground for the benefit of the Nepali population.
The European Parliament will monitor the situation very closely. In particular, it will organize
regular hearings to see what progress is being made.