Dili, 17 May 2012 - Seventeen Timorese police officers passed the recent recruitment test to serve as peacekeepers in UN missions overseas.
The rigorous recruitment process tested the candidates' English language, driving and firearms skills. The number of Timorese national police (PNTL) passing the UN test was significantly higher than in previous assessments.
"This was a very successful result, for the PNTL as an institution and for the country as a whole," said Afonso de Jesus, the Deputy Commander of PNTL. "It is important that police officers from Timor-Leste make a contribution to peace elsewhere in the world. Our UNPOL colleagues from different countries are helping us here in Timor-Leste, and now our officers can do the same in other UN missions."
The UN Police Division in New York will now look at the 18 UN peacekeeping missions around the world, and offer the Timorese Government some options regarding location and suitable timing for deployment. The Deputy Commander of PNTL confirmed that the selected officers will not be deployed until after the parliamentary elections on 7 July. Also, the deployment will be in phases so that the officers are not all serving at the same time.
"I would like to congratulate all the Timorese police officers who passed the tests," said Luis Carrilho, the UN Police Commissioner. "The high number of successful officers is a credit to PNTL. It shows that the national police force as highly skilled and qualified officers, who I believe will make a difference in UN missions around the world."
Currently, there are two PNTL officers serving in the UN mission in Guinea-Bissau. Over the past 10 years, 12 PNTL officers have worked as UN peacekeepers in Kosovo and Guinea-Bissau.