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9 December - The Security Council today underlined the need for the Nepalese Government and all political parties to take advantage of the United Nations mission's last weeks there to work in a spirit of compromise to ensure progress on outstanding issues in the peace process.

The mandate of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), which the Council set up in 2007, a year after the Government and the Maoists signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) to end a decade-long civil war which claimed some 13,000 lives, ends on 15 January.

The Council's call to the parties was made in a press statement read out by Susan Rice, the United States Ambassador to the UN and President of the 15-member body for December, following a closed-door meeting in which it was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe on his visit to Nepal last week.

Mr. Pascoe told the Council that he had found a greater sense of urgency and willingness to compromise among leaders in Nepal, but no concrete results have emerged from the readiness to engage.

He said he had stressed the need for leaders to make major decisions, including the establishment of effective arrangements to avoid a vacuum when UNMIN leaves and to ensure a smooth transition. The UN will have to remain closely engaged and supportive of Nepal's peace process even after UNMIN's termination, he added.

Outstanding issues in the peace process include completing the drafting of the new constitution and resolving the future of the Nepal Army and the Maoist Army.

In September, Nepal's opposing political groups reached the so-called Four-Point Agreement on completing the remaining tasks of the peace process by 14 January 2011.

The Agreement also called for Maoist combatants to be brought under the Special Committee, set up to address the supervision, integration and rehabilitation of the former fighters.

In a press statement on 20 October, the Council underlined the importance of implementing a clear work plan from the Committee, including timelines, benchmarks and arrangements for managing any residual tasks after UNMIN's termination.