Friday, February 14, 2014

Conference addresses legacy of land issues in post-conflict Nepal

Experts concluded that formulation of a comprehensive Land Act could solve land issues.
Speaking at a conference on ‘Post Conflict Land Issues and Land Management in the Emerging Political Context’, jointly organised by International Organisation for Migration (IOM), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) in conjunction with Ministry of Land and Reform Management and Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, here today, they said that land issues have been entrenched in society – in Nepal – for centuries and were one of the root causes of the ten-year armed conflict. "Land reform is recognised as a crucial step in today’s peace building process, and the progress that the county made last November with the successful Constituent Assembly (CA) election has accelerated the public expectation that a solution benefitting all citizens will be reached," they added.
"Along with the peace building process, Nepal is also undertaking restructuring of its governance system," officiating secretary of the Ministry of Land and Reform Management Krishna Raj BC on the occasion said, adding that a suitable land act is the most important component for providing efficient service delivery.
"Nepal is on the way to building a peace process and has many more issues related to land that have to be addressed in this post conflict scenario," he said, adding that vision and commitment of the political parties is the most essential element in reaching a resolution on land issues.
Likewise, International Organisation for Migration officials shared their global experiences in land and property return mechanisms and programmes including the restitution of property rights to vulnerable populations and their impact on the peace process.
UNDP hosted a session in which political party representatives, together with civil society leaders, shared their visions of how the new government could address land issues, whereas UN Habitat highlighted the nexus between conflict and land management.
The conference – held as part of the project 'Catalytic Support on Land Issues' implemented in partnership with IOM, UNDP and UN Habitat with funding from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, a global UN multi-donor trust fund supported by over 50 international donors – aims at supporting the formulation of a comprehensive land act in Nepal.

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