Since the conclusion of the peace agreement in November 2006, Nepal has embarked on the challenges associated with comprehensive social and political transformation. The civil war lasted for ten years and involved on the one hand the Nepalese monarchy and army and Maoist forces on the other, with the two sides vying for control of the country’s social and political institutions and access to its economic resources. By the time it ended, the war had claimed more than 12,000 lives, with tens of thousands of people internally displaced or forced to flee abroad.
Since 2006, the population of Nepal had to deal with a number of changing governments. Only in the aftermath of the earthquakes in 2015, the Government was able to agree on conflicting issues of the new constitution for Nepal. Since December 2017, the election of the communal, the provincial and the federal election is completed and the door to a federal state is open.
Structural causes of the armed conflict are still virulent and other conflicting issues add up. Nepal belongs still to one of the poorest countries. More than 57% of the population live on less than two dollars a day. Social exclusion and multiple marginalization of women, Dalit, ethnic groups, young peoples, elders is still on the agenda. Processes to deal with the past and reconstruction processes after the earthquakes develop too slow and do not promise a sustainable outcome yet.
This situation confronts development and peace organizations with numerous challenges:
- What are relevant processes for external organizations to promote political, social and economic participation in Nepal?
- Which actors and institutions are appropriate partners in this context?
- Which internal reforms within local organizations and institutions, contributing to the social and political Agenda, external actors could support?
FriEnt has been involved in working meetings on Nepal initiated by a number of development and human rights organisations, and assists the members with their selection and discussion of relevant themes. Over the past years, the judicial and social reckoning with the conflict, including an examination of the abuses of economic and social rights underlying the conflict and the violations of civil and political rights during the war, was a key issue on the agenda for the working group meetings. Other topics included the constitutional process, the development of a federal political system, the involvement of economic actors in the peace process, and the role of old elites and new leaders. The respective roles of state and civil society organisations in the reform process are also a particular focus of interest. The outcomes of the working group meetings are channelled into programmatic work and into the partnership-based dialogue between the member organisations, and help to create new entry points for supporting social transformation processes.