Political Settlements Practice Lab in Kathmandu, Nepal

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  • Author : PSRP Category : conciliation-resources, knowledge-exchange, policy-event

    Tags : Accord Armed Actors Armed Conflict Inclusion Nepal

As part of their Accord programme, Conciliation Resources and Nepal Transition co-hosted the Political Settlements Practice Lab in Kathmandu, Nepal, as part of their Accord programme. Over two days in April, 35 participants comprising Nepali experts, policymakers, civil society and international partners, attended and addressed questions relating to how Nepalis see their political settlement, what the ‘real power-map’ looks like, how non-elites have influenced change, and the role of violence in maintaining the current settlement. It was an opportunity for people with direct experience of peace and transition in Nepal to share their insights into key processes and initiatives in order to develop a participatory assessment of what the potential levers of change have been and what has worked and has not worked so far. They also to explored what needs to change to enhance prospects for a more inclusive political system.

Workshop panels discussed actors, institutions, resources and practices that have been, or could be, effective in transforming Nepal’s political settlement to be more inclusive, including:

  • Political movements and democratic transition – how various (especially non-elite) political movements in Nepal have influenced peace and constitution-drafting processes;
  • Dialogue and negotiation – the evolution of peace talks and political negotiations for transition: how they have incorporated the language of inclusion, and what has been the political impact;
  • Local engagement in the peace process – how local perspectives have been conveyed to the Government of Nepal and donors for peace-related programming;
  • Peace architecture – how Nepal’s peace support apparatus has promoted inclusive transition, in particular devolution to the local level;
  • The Maoists’ transformation – how the Maoist insurgents and the People’s Liberation Army have transformed into a democratic political entity;
  • Justice and human rights – the evolution of the justice and human rights agendas and how successful these have been in affecting inclusive transition;
  • Inclusion – how inclusion language came onto the peace agenda (peace agreement and political dialogue), and how it has materialised in the transition process.

The Political Settlements Practice Lab is just one of the activities that is part of the ‘Transformation’ theme of the PRSP, which aims to examine political settlements and strategies of transformation, with case studies also looking at political settlements in Afghanistan, Ethiopia-Ogaden, and Northern Ireland.

Shortly after the Practice Lab took place, Nepal was affected by serious earthquakes, which will affect how the substantive Accord work can be taken forward. Thankfully, all those who attended the workshop have been confirmed as safe. Dr Alexander Ramsbotham has written about the challenges posed to the peace process in Nepal by the earthquakes, which can be read here.

For more information on Conciliation Resource’s Accord project, and their ongoing work in Nepal, click here.

Photo: Ingmar Zahorsky – Creative Common