SRSG Khare bids farewell to his Senior Advisor Sonia Neto

5 Jul 2008

SRSG Khare bids farewell to his Senior Advisor Sonia Neto

Dili- 18 March 2008 - Mr. Atul Khare, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste, today publicly thanked the European Commission for the secondment of Ms. Sonia Neto, who served as Mr. Khare's Senior Adviser at UNMIT for the past year.

Ms. Neto had joined SRSG Khare as his Senior Advisor on 9 April 2007 for an initial period of three months. After several extensions, she had to return to Brussels, at the express request of the European Commission, to take up a new assignment for the Commission, on 15th March 2008.

Speaking on this occasion, SRSG Khare thanked the President of the European Commission H.E. José Manuel Durão Barroso for his generous willingness to second Sonia Neto as his Senior Advisor, which was a critical element of the continued success of this mission in assisting the Timorese authorities and people fulfill the mission;s Security Council mandate. "Her presence significantly strengthened my personal team, given her intimate knowledge of the country and her excellent ability to work with the Timorese leadership. Sonia embodies the best that the European Commission professionals have to offer, while upholding in a steadfast manner the principles and purposes of the UN Charter", SRSG Khare said.

SRSG Khare also thanked the European Commission for its support to UNMIT and to Timor-Leste in diverse fields, particularly the promotion of the rule of law, strengthening democratic governance and enhancing socio-economic development. The support extended by the European Commission has been critical in assisting the country to deal with the challenge of the internally displaced people. SRSG Khare also gratefully recalled the support extended to UNMIT by the various representatives of the Presidency of the European Union during debates at the Security Council of the United Nations, in particular that of Ambassador Štiglic of Slovenia (current representative of the Presidency), complimenting UNMIT and its senior leadership, in her recent address to the Council on 21 February 2008.