Urmila K.C. Rayamajhi
Effectiveness of International aid in Peace Building Process of Nepal
Nepal is a small beautiful country situated in South Asia, land locked by China in north and India in south, east and west. It is the youngest republic country in the world. The popular movement of 1990 issued a new constitution ensuring the sovereignty of the people, constitutional monarchy and multi-party elections held in 1991 to elect a truly democratic government under a constitutional monarchy. Under this system Nepal faced political instability by the frequent change of government, at the mean time Maoist insurgency started which destroyed Nepal’s overall internal security system. After the Royal massacre Gyanendra Shah became the King and he started to rule country autocratically avoiding the political parties, which created unified revolution by the CPN Maoist and other leading parties in 2006. The success of popular movement of April 2006 brought the decade-long insurgency to an end. After election of the new constitutional assembly, the first meeting of the Constitutional Assembly historically declared Nepal as Federal Democratic Republic in May 28, 2008. The process of making new constitution under federal republic political system is going on and so Nepal is now in political transitional phase.
Nepal is moving gradually towards a post-conflict environment, but it does so from a structural, cultural and social foundation of deep inequities. Although 31% of the population is estimated to live below the poverty line, the distribution of poverty among social groups is unequal. For example, few amongst the Brahmin/Chetri and Newar groups live in poverty while poverty levels amongst Dalits and Hill Janajati’s and Muslims range from 41% to 48% (DFID and World Bank 2006: 17-20). With unequal access to resources and unequal distribution of land, women are most noticeably disadvantaged. Only 11 % of women have any land ownership; 72 % of women versus 48 % of men work in agriculture; and 60% of women work as unpaid family laborers (DFID and World Bank 2006: 24-25).
A decade of war, the effects of weapons and sustained conflict have increased trauma and violence and reduced trust among Nepalese. This is a crucial time to promote a process of inclusive decision making at all levels and peace building as a means of moving into reconciliation. The People’s Movement of April 2006 has provided a unique opening to stabilize gains made in the democracy movement and to approach the causes of conflict. It provides the impetus to visibly acknowledge and address discrimination, poverty,depleted natural resources and corruption – to provide people at the local level with assurances that change is afoot. The challenge for government and civil society will be to implement necessary reforms in the context of Nepal’s hierarchical society.
Peace-building is marked by challenges at every step and Nepal is no exception to the rule. The signing of the CPA on 21 November 2006 set the peace process framework in Nepal and laid out an ambitious transformational agenda on equity, inclusion, accountability, good governance and restructuring of the state. This was in itself a big initial step paving the way towards a long process of addressing the root causes of conflict and the building of sustainable peace. The peace process has achieved a great deal in the 7 years since the signing of the CPA. Some of the key achievements includes: the promulgation of the Interim Constitution (2007), the management of Maoist army personnel in cantonments, the conduct of free and fair elections to the Constituent Assembly (CA) in 2008. Others are either ongoing or not initiated yet and these include the drafting and adoption of a new constitution, the establishment of transitional justice commissions (TRC, COI-D).
Countries affected by conflict have attracted widespread economic...
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