Kathmandu, Nepal (BBN)- The United Nations will continue to support Nepal’s development efforts, as well as the process towards political stability, even after the departure of the UN mission from the country next month, the head of the world body’s department of political affairs said.

“The UN, of course, is in no way abandoning Nepal just because UNMIN [UN Mission in Nepal] is leaving,” B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, told a news conference in Kathmandu, the Nepalese capital on Saturday.

“We have been deeply involved here. All of the UN agencies and the country team are deeply committed to helping Nepal’s development, and we will continue our interest in the political process,” he said.

The Security Council has decided to wrap up by 15 January the mandate of the UNMIN, which was set up in 2007, a year after the Government and the Maoists signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), ending a decade-long civil war which claimed some 13,000 lives.

Mr. Pascoe said he had “good meetings” with Nepal’s political leaders, government officials and members of the diplomatic corps.

“I think it is evident to all of us that the peace process in Nepal is moving into a critical period. This makes it all the more important that the leaders of Nepal move very quickly to resolve the issues of integration and rehabilitation, power-sharing and the drafting of a new constitution,” he said.

He stressed the need for Nepal’s leadership to expedite the integration of Maoist military personnel into the national army.

BBN/SI/AD-05Dec10-11:11 am (BST)