17 November 2004
Security Council Extends Timor-Leste Mission for Final Six Months, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1573 (2004)
NEW YORK, 16 November (UN Headquarters) -- Following a Security Council debate yesterday on the planned withdrawal next year of the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), the Council today extended the Missions mandate for a final six months until 20 May 2005.
Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1573 (2004), the Council also decided to maintain UNMISETs current tasks, configuration and size, in order to allow the Mission to complete key tasks of its mandate and consolidate gains made in that country thus far. (For details of yesterdays discussion and a summary of the Secretary-Generals latest report on Timor-Leste, see Press Release SC/8243).
The Council requested UNMISET to focus increasingly on implementing its exit strategy, particularly with a view to ensuring increasing involvement and ownership of the Timorese in the Missions three programme areas so that, when it departs the country, its responsibilities could be taken over by the Timorese, with the continued assistance of the United Nations system and bilateral and multilateral partners.
In related terms, the Council urged: the donor community to continue providing its indispensable assistance to Timor-Leste; and, in particular, United Nations development and humanitarian agencies and multilateral financial institutions to start planning immediately for a smooth transition in the country, from a peacekeeping operation to a sustainable development assistance framework.
In a further provision, the Council reaffirmed the need to fight against impunity and, in that regard, took note of the Secretary-Generals intention to continue to explore possible ways to address that issue, with a view to making proposals as appropriate.
In addition, the Council asked the Secretary-General to keep it closely and regularly informed of developments on the ground and of implementation of the present resolution, and to submit a report within three months of its adoption, followed by a final report in May 2005.
The meeting began at 9:40 a.m. and was adjourned at 9:43 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1573 (2004) reads, as follows:
The Security Council
Reaffirming its previous resolutions on the situation in Timor-Leste, in particular resolutions 1410 (2002) of 17 May 2002, 1473 (2003) of 4 April 2003, 1480 (2003) of 19 May 2003 and 1543 (2004) of 14 May 2004,
Commending the people and the Government of Timor-Leste for the peace and stability they have achieved in the country, as well as for their continuing efforts towards consolidating democracy and building State institutions,
Further commending the United Nations Mission of Support in Timor-Leste (UNMISET), under the leadership of the Secretary-Generals Special Representative, and welcoming the continuing progress made towards the accomplishment of key tasks inscribed in its mandate, particularly during its consolidation phase, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1543 (2004),
Paying tribute to Timor-Lestes bilateral and multilateral partners for their invaluable assistance, particularly with regards to institutional capacity building and social and economic development,
Noting that, despite notable advances achieved in the last months, Timor-Leste has not yet reached the critical threshold of self-sufficiency, mainly in key areas such as public administration, law enforcement and security,
Welcoming the strengthening of cooperation and good relations between Timor-Leste and its neighbours and encouraging further progress towards concrete agreements on border delineation and other pending issues,
Commending the Serious Crimes Unit for the efforts it has undertaken in order to complete its investigations by November 2004, and any further trials and other activities no later than 20 May 2005,
Noting with concern that it may not be possible for the Serious Crimes Unit to fully respond to the desire for justice of those affected by the violence in 1999 bearing in mind the limited time and resources that remain available,
Taking note of the special report of the Secretary General on UNMISET of 29 April 2004 (S/2004/333), as well as of 19 November 2004 (S/2004/888), and welcoming his recommendations contained therein;
Remaining fully committed to the promotion of security and long lasting stability in Timor-Leste,
1. Decides to extend the mandate of UNMISET for a final period of 6 months until 20 May 2005;
2. Decides also to maintain UNMISETs current tasks, configuration and size in order to allow the mission to complete key tasks of its mandate and consolidate gains made thus far;
3. Requests UNMISET to focus increasingly on implementing its exit strategy, particularly with a view to ensure increasing involvement and ownership of the Timorese in the missions three programme areas, so that, when it departs Timor-Leste, its responsibilities can be taken over by the Timorese, with the continued assistance of the UN system and bilateral and multilateral partners;
4. Urges the donor community to continue providing its indispensable assistance to Timor-Leste, including through active participation in the donors conference scheduled to be held in March 2005;
5. Urges, in particular, UN development and humanitarian agencies and multilateral financial institutions to start immediately planning for a smooth transition, in Timor-Leste, from a peacekeeping operation to a sustainable development assistance framework;
6. Reaffirms the need to fight against impunity and, in this regard, takes note of the Secretary-Generals intention to continue to explore possible ways to address this issue with a view to making proposals as appropriate;
7. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Security Council closely and regularly informed of developments on the ground and of the implementation of the present resolution, in particular of paragraphs 3 and 5 above, and in that regard, requests the Secretary-General to submit a report within three months of the date of adoption of the present resolution, followed by a final report in May 2005;
8. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
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