Kathmandu, Nepal (BBN)– The top United Nations political official arrived in Nepal on Wednesday during what he called a “crucial period” for the South Asian nation as it moves forward with its peace process and the world body’s special political mission prepares to wrap up its work in the country.

In September this year, the Security Council passed a resolution to wind up the mission, known as UNMIN, on January 15, the next year, following the Four Point Agreement reached by Nepal’s opposing political groups on completing the final tasks of the stalled peace process by that date.

“There is a lot of work to be done between now and then,” Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe said upon his arrival.

During his two-day visit, he will hold talks with the government, political parties, UNMIN officials, the UN Country Team and others on what needs to be done to ensure a smooth transition.

In 2006, the government and the Maoists signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, ending a decade-long civil war which claimed some 13,000 lives.

After conducting Constituent Assembly elections in May 2008, Nepal abolished its 240-year-old monarchy and declared itself a republic.

BBN/SI/AD-07Oct10-10:48 am (BST)