UNPol and PNTL hold seminar on rebuilding the PNTL
20 July 2007, Dili – In the wake of successful elections, UNPol and PNTL came together on 18 July 2007 at the Ministry of Interior to formulate a joint plan for the reform, restructuring and reconstitution of the PNTL.
Also attending the seminar were the Acting Minister for the Interior, Mr José Sequeira Somoxo, and the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Security Sector Support and Rule of Law, Mr. Eric Tan, along with other Government and United Nations representatives, as well as representatives from the Timor-Leste Police Development Programme (TLPDP).
The seminar was the start of a series of consultations on the issue of rebuilding the PNTL. The end result of the consultations will be a plan with clear and well-defined priorities, concentrating on four areas: Operations, Administration, Governance and Training. Consultations will also take place with other stakeholders, including civil society, before the plan is finalised.
Mr Tan welcomed the seminar, stressing that both UNPol and the PNTL must shape and believe in the plan. "This is the best way to ensure that we have a PNTL that serves the people of Timor-Leste, one that is efficient, responsive, accountable and effective," he added.
All participants in the seminar were quick to acknowledge the progress that has already been made. In his opening remarks, Mr Tan reminded those present that the PNTL had sent ten officers to serve in the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and that they had performed commendably.
Mr Somoxo followed by saying that we should recognise the valuable cooperation between the United Nations and the Government of Timor-Leste, citing the screening of PNTL candidates as an example. Since the crisis of April and May last year, all PNTL officers – over 3000 of them - have been required to register and undergo a screening process. Screening at each of the 12 Districts outside Dili is proceeding on a top-down basis, and screening of Dili District officers is almost completed.
At the end of the Seminar, the PNTL General Commander-Designate, Afonso de Jesus, concluded that the day had been very useful for both PNTL and UNPol. He added that he was looking forward to next week's meeting between the F-FDTL and the PNTL, where complementary operations between the two security institutions would be discussed.
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