Head of UN Mission in Timor-Leste Briefs the Security Council

5 Jul 2008

Head of UN Mission in Timor-Leste Briefs the Security Council

Dili, September 11, 2007 - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste, Atul Khare, briefed the Security Council in New York on Monday 10 September on the situation in the country and the work of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT)

The Council met to discuss the Report of the Secretary-General on Timor-Leste which was issued to the Council last week and to hear a statement of the Nation's new Foreign Minister Zacarias da Costa.

Mr Khare delivered a message of confidence in Timor-Leste, its people and its leaders, but also stressed that the challenges facing the country are long-term in nature. Poverty and unemployment are a major source of instability, and internal displacement continues. Institutions throughout the country need to be made more resilient. Moreover, whilst elections were carried out in a largely peaceful environment, the security situation is still fragile.

Echoing the recommendations of the Report of the Secretary-General, Mr Khare urged that the UN Police be kept at its present strength, at least until the end of the current mandate in February 2008. This would enable UNMIT simultaneously to maintain security and continue to support the process for reforming the security sector, including the screening of the Timorese National Police (PNTL).

Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert of France, the President of the Security Council for this month, said in a statement that the people of Timor-Leste, which the United Nations helped shepherd to independence in 2002, deserved credit "for demonstrating their strong commitment to peace and democracy" by successfully staging the polls.

Mr. Ripert stressed that all parties in Timor-Leste and their supporters must refrain from violence and work through peaceful channels "and within the framework of democratic institutions" to ensure the security of the country.

While in New York Mr Khare also met with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the United Nations' work in Timor-Leste.

Mr Khare will now travel to Washington D.C. to attend the swearing in ceremony for the new US Ambassador for Timor-Leste, Mr Hans Klemm.

For more information please call Allison Cooper on +670 723 0453.