Summary Note Regular Donors Meeting 19 December 2006 UN Conference Room Present: Denmark DfID EC FAO German Embassy GTZ ILO JICA JICA JICA Norway Norway OCHA OHCHR Finn Thilsted Simon Arthy Anne Sofie Allarp Buithi Lan Heike Widmer Saskia Bauner Shengjie Li Yoshio Fukuda Shiho Akamatsu Narendra Gurung Kikkan Haugen Mette Strengehagen Paul Handley David Johnson OHCHR OHCHR OPRSG SDC SNV UN UN UNCTSU UNDP UNDP UNFPA UNICEF WFP WHO Bjorn Pettersson Siobian Smith Ian Martin Joerg Frieden Matthias Moyersoen Matthew Kahane Johannes Chudoba Ashok Sayenju Ghulam Isaczai Henri-François Morand Junko Sazaki Radha Gurung Richard Ragan Kan Tun
The chair, UN Resident Coordinator (RC) Matthew Kahane, welcomed the participants, who had braved the bandh imposed by the CPN/M to come to this meeting. 1) The Technical Assessment Mission and the contours of the UN Mission, by the PRSG As reported, the UN Security Council (SC) agreed to the SG’s recommendation to pre-deploy an initial team of 35 UN military observers (UNMOs) and up to 25 electoral personnel, as well as a Technical Assessment Mission (TAM) to determine details of the future UN mission. The TAM comprised 14 members flown in from HQ, as well as representatives of the OPRSG and the RC, RHCHR, and UNFPA and UNICEF Representatives. The draft report by the SG on this TAM needs to go through approval in NY. The PRSG hopes to have it completed by the end of the year, in time for it to be considered by the SC as early in January as possible. The TAM report is unlikely to contain surprises; it defines a focused mission, which is to be of limited duration, even if the constituent assembly elections might move to November 2007. The focus is on the four elements outlined in the letters of 9 August. Thus it will not be an integrated mission, i.e. it does not include humanitarian and development activities. For the management of arms and armies, the report recommends just below 200 UNMOs, with 24/7 presence at the seven divisional cantonment sites including weapons storage, as well as teams in the five regional capitals and mobile teams to visit the 21 satellite sites. Monitoring of Nepali Army (NA) barracks and arms will be based out of Kathmandu and the five regional offices following agreement from Prachanda to have only one NA site in Kathmandu with 24/7 UN presence and monitored arms storage. NA monitoring will require larger mobility, as there are more sites overall. The mission will have a Mine Action Unit, which will cover improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and unexploded ordnance (UXO). Support to the elections committee (EC) has been in the hands of Catinca Slavu. The relevant analysis has also been strengthened by a recent visit by Craig Jenness, Director of the UN’s Electoral Assistance Division. UN assistance will include considerable direct technical support as well as a
small monitoring component that will report to the SG and make its findings available to the government and parties. Such arrangements, with a clear “firewall” between elections assistance and monitoring, have been put to use elsewhere. The larger observation task is to be borne by others. To support election assistance on the ground, the mission will include 70-90 UNVs based in the regions and districts. Human rights monitoring will continue to be led by OHCHR; the PRSG would like to see its field capacity strengthened further. The PRSG is not proposing to change the OHCHR’s structure or funding, i.e. it will not be integrated into the mission, as it is to outlive the mission. There will be close coordination among the different aspects of monitoring: the military aspect, with a mobile capacity to investigate breaches of the ceasefire, and with monitoring on the “code of conduct.” The National Monitoring Committee (NMCC) has been dissolved; the OPRSG sees a clear need for an independent national monitoring body. Parties confirm there will be a high-level monitoring body, but the PRSG is not convinced there will be an effective national structure soon. Therefore, an effective international civil affairs presence is necessary, while the government establishes policing and local governance. Appropriate attention to gender concerns was ensured both in the TAM and the future mission, not least by providing for gender advisors. The mission will need an active public information component, both to respond to the lively interest by the Nepali media and to reach out to groups beyond KTM, not covered by the media. The support requirements for the mission are considerable, including a recommended four helicopters, and one small fixed wing aircraft. Peace support linkages within the UN are critical, which means the head of the mission (SRSG) would have an overall coordinating role and the RC/HC and the RHCHR are to be part of the mission’s senior management team. This is to be discussed further in NY. Asked by SDC about the mix of the UNMOs, the PRSG responded that there would be a combination of serving and former military staff, though it has been difficult to find non-serving as gratis military staff. The first group will include a reasonable number of non-serving military, including UN staff from current missions. For practical reasons, the missions will move to including a high proportion of serving military personnel – out of uniform – in addition to normal UN recruitment. UNVs will be employed not only in election assistance, but also elsewhere. Responding to a question from the Norwegian Embassy on HQ perceptions of security, the PRSG pointed out that NY has been taking the judgement of those on the ground. There will be a need for further UN security arrangements, especially beyond Kathmandu. Queried by DfID on the role of the Trust Fund (TF) vis-à-vis assessed contributions, Ian Martin explained that the Advisory Committee on Administrative & Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) is due to release close to USD 10 mn for current phase. With a resolution in the SC, a full budget will become available. There may well be a need to draw on the TF before, possibly also for things not included in the mission budget. On pre-deployment, the PRSG expects a first group of 15 UNMOs to arrive around 28 December, followed by a further 20 around 7 January. To overcome logistics constraints, the OPRSG may need to borrow field-ready vehicles from other UN offices until those provided by India are available. The first two helicopters are expected by 15 January. Considering the political implications, it is still necessary to define with the parties what “arms management having started” means, not least for the interim constitution to be promulgated and the
Maoists to join the interim government. The mission can be operational for visits from mid-Jan, but will not have a 24/7 presence in the seven sites before more personnel arrive. On the Gurkha interim task force, which was originally hoped to precede UNMOs, discussions are still ongoing to see whether it could be complementary to provide 24/7 presence at storage sites until the UN has sufficient numbers on the ground. In connection with the protest against recent appointments by the government, the Maoists have called off visits to cantonment sites to identify weapons storage sites. In a phone call from Baburam Bhattarai Tuesday morning, the Maoists confirmed that the bandh and the non-participation in site visits are directly linked to the appointment of ambassadors, NHRC commissioners, and civil service transfers. The positive climate between the talks teams doesn’t seem to translate into joint decisions; the government is continuing business as usual, including on cantonments. The cantonments in fact to present a mixed picture of both high morale and acute needs. While some appear fairly well organised, others do not. The PRSG strongly emphasised that the cantonment sites are military installations, not refugee camps, and that it is important to avoid uncoordinated, unannounced visits. The RC pointed out that in the Joint Monitoring and Coordination Committee on Sunday it was agreed that a meeting will be held between the PRSG, the UN RC, the Maoists, and the Government. In this meeting the UN could make clear what is needed for support from the international community. Responding to a question from DfID on the locations of the 21 satellite cantonment sites, the PRSG pointed out that the JMCC had agreed on a sequencing by which the joint teams would first revisit the seven main sites for precise weapons storage locations and then review the satellite locations. Simon Arthy, DfID, also referred to his meeting with Sushil Rana, the Government’s coordinator on the cantonments, pointing out how great the need for support on planning and coordination in this area is. Ghulam Isaczai, UNDP, replied that UNDP is in the process of finding someone to help the Ministry of Finance to set up the Peace Fund, funded by DfID for 6 months. Experts are not likely to be available before 15 January. As for support to cantonment, this needs to be an advisory function to Sushil Rana, and requires further clarification, including with the Maoists. UNDP has recruited a Recovery Advisor, who is to arrive as soon as the Nepali Embassy in Washington D.C. issues a visa. UNDP has also brought in a short-term advisor on registration, who is helping the OPRSG plan for the registration of fighters and arms. An IT team will follow in two weeks time, to establish an initial system. Joerg Frieden, SDC, intervened to say that technical assistance alone will not change the key underlying problem of unrealistic expectations and a lack of coherent political leadership. Consequently the international community should have a contingency plan for the very basics, with WFP providing food, and others supplying tents, blankets, medicine etc. At present, SDC does not see a way of putting money through the government budget. GTZ briefly reported that in Surkhet support will provided on drinking water supply and sanitation, in cooperation with DfID, and that basic medication for two weeks was delivered on 18 December. For Rolpa, the access road is under construction, a request for drinking water systems is being reviewed. 2) Human rights update by OHCHR David Johnson flagged the issue of the appointments of the new Chairman and members of the National Human Rights Commission. He clarified that the appointments had been made under the revised HR Commission Act and there would be no public vetting as provided for in the interim
constitution or consultation with civil society before the appointments were to be confirmed by cabinet. The decision to announce the appointments at this time and in this manner was very unfortunate in view of the intense and consistent pressure by the NHRC's international partners, including the United Nations, to ensure that the appointments process was in line with the relevant international standards (the Paris Principles). The Danish Ambassador similarly expressed the frustration of the Commission's development partners. It had been underlined to Government for a long time now that the international donors would not be able to continue their support of the Commission if it were not truly independent. The appointments process was an important test of that independence and the present situation gave rise to significant concern. However, he intended to “wait and see” for a while. 3) Humanitarian update by OCHA Paul Handley presented maps on recent and ongoing bandhs, as well as trends in BOGs violations, highlighting the worsening violations in the Magarath. He also reported that OCHA, OHCHR and UNHCR had developed a guidance note on IDP issues, which is to circulated shortly. SDC commented that the international community should take a simple line on the IDP issue, following the UN lead, with no additional negotiations outside the UN. The RC / HC outlined the 2007 “coherent approach to donors on humanitarian needs,” which covers issues such as drought, IDPs, refugees, and protection, including children & women. There have been a number of discussions in the IASC, as well as with the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry is keen to promote the Peace Fund and the NDF and does not want a competing mechanism. It has made clear that this is NOT to be a CAP and therefore not to be globally launched with other CAPs. The MoF also stated that Bhutanese refugees were not a development or financing priority for Nepal. Richard Ragan, WFP, added that his organisation is starting a programme to feed refugees in January 2007, but does not have any funding for it yet, i.e. is borrowing money from existing accounts. There is a clear link with the peace process, as the camps in the East are close to cantonments and problems could spill over. 4) Outlook on the future role and functioning of the Peace Support Working Groups The RC briefly explained that after some five months of operation, there is now a timely opportunity to review the work of the four Peace Support Working Groups (PSWGs), especially in light of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the arrival of the UN mission. A concept note has been circulated, which shows clear progress for two of the groups and some hampering factors for the others. Comments and further discussion on the concept note and the future role of the PSWGs are welcome. The PSWG on 1325 has drafted a letter, in broad consultations, to be sent by the RC to MoHA Sitaula and KB Mahara, on concerns relating to women and girls in the cantonments. 5) AOB The next meeting will take place in the second half of January, approximately one month from now, preferably on a Tuesday at 10:00.