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Thursday, 23 October 2003 - Strasbourg Final edition
P5_TA(2003)0468B5-0435, 0437, 0439, 0448, 0451 and 0453/2003

European Parliament resolution on Nepal

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Nepal,

–   having regard to the Rapid Reaction Mechanism, an important facility designed to allow a swift and flexible response to situations of deteriorating stability in countries which receive EU assistance,

–   having regard to Rule 50(5) of the Rules of Procedure,

A.   recognising the deep aspirations of the Nepalese people to achieve a just and lasting peace in their country, an open and democratic society and the attainment of progress and prosperity for all,

B.   recognising that sovereignty for the people, pluralist parliamentary democracy, constitutional monarchy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms constitute the salient features of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal of 1990, promulgated as an outcome of the popular movement of 1990,

C.   whereas on 29 January 2003 a promising armistice was declared between the Maoist insurgents (CPN-M) and the government, followed by the signing of a code of conduct by both sides on 13 March 2003, the release of several Maoist leaders from prison and the beginning of peace negotiations,

D.   whereas on 27 August 2003 the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) announced the end of the eight-month truce,

E.   whereas the confrontations since the truce ended in late August have left more than 300 people dead and many more injured, most of them civilians and many of them children,

F.   whereas the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is no longer insisting on the abolition of the monarchy as a sine qua non,

G.   welcoming the fact that the Concept of the Forward-looking Agenda on the Reforms in the State System submitted by the present government provides a basis for negotiations between the government and the rebels,

H.   recognising the validity and great importance of convening a round-table conference of representatives of all parties, nationalities, regions, genders and communities, and asking the Council and the Commission to facilitate the convening of this conference if requested to do so by all concerned,

I.   dismayed, while noting with appreciation the reception by Nepal of Tibetan and Bhutanese refugees over the years, by the deportation a few months ago of 18 Tibetans to Tibet,

J.   noting the assurance given by Nepal that there has been no change in the policy of His Majesty's Government of Nepal (HMG/N) on refugees,

K.   expressing satisfaction at the growing relations and cooperation between the EU and Nepal,

1.  Expresses its deep concern at the breakdown of the ceasefire and the recent upsurge in violence in Nepal leading to huge loss of life and injury;

2.  Urges the government of Nepal and the Maoist rebels to declare an immediate ceasefire and to observe the code of conduct agreed upon by both sides in March this year and to resume the peace talks;

3.  Is concerned that the return to violence will detract seriously from the efforts to resolve the status of the Bhutanese refugees living in the refugee camps of eastern Nepal;

4.  Requests HMG/N to give assurances that it will cooperate with UNHCR to prevent any recurrence of deportation and to grant Tibetan and Bhutanese refugees the rights of proper care to which they are entitled under international human rights law;

5.  Is concerned at the UNHCR decision to phase out assistance for the Bhutanese refugee camps and supports the call on the aid donors by international human rights organisations to convene an international conference to resolve the long-standing Bhutanese refugee crisis by bringing all stakeholders together;

6.  Endorses the Concept of the Forward-Looking Agenda on the Reforms of the State System submitted by the government of Nepal during the third round of peace talks with the Maoist rebels as a basis for negotiations between the two sides;

7.  Calls for a resumption of the democratic process, particularly the appointment of a government which is accountable to the parliament, and calls at the same time on the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) to convert itself into an institutional political force, putting forward its ideas and its candidates for election, and to stop using violence immediately;

8.  Considers that confidence-building measures funded by the Rapid Reaction Mechanism should be put in place immediately;

9.  Calls on the Commission, therefore, to play a more active role in giving the peace process a new momentum and to take an early initiative to fund confidence-building measures such as workshops and local training on conflict resolution, constitutional measures and civil society participation in the peace process through information campaigns;

10.  Requests the Commission and Council to provide and facilitate support and assistance to the parties by carrying out formal peace negotiations and undertaking development, relief and rehabilitation programmes and projects to lay the ground for a just and lasting peace;

11.  Calls on the Commission and the administration of the Member States to scrutinise closely the final destination of all assistance to Nepal and to make sure that it serves its primary purpose of poverty alleviation and addresses the underlying causes of conflict in the country;

12.  Calls on the Council to state whether it is now ready actively to consider the appointment of an EU Special Representative for Nepal and to indicate what other new initiatives it is prepared to support and what efforts it will undertake internationally to restore peace in Nepal;

13.  Expresses the hope that the recently established EC delegation office in Kathmandu will help strengthen EU-Nepal relations and cooperation, and calls upon the Commission to make the necessary arrangements to increase the size of the delegation with appropriate additional manpower;

14.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the government of India, the government of Nepal and the government of Bhutan.

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