Press Releases

    2 May 2005

    Continued Assistance Crucial to Timor-Leste’s Long-Term Security, Stability, Says Secretary-General in Message to Dili Meeting

    NEW YORK, 28 April (UN Headquarters) -- Following is UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message to the International Symposium on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Post-Conflict Timor-Leste:  Accomplishments and Lessons Learned, in Dili, 28-29 April:

    Since the United Nations started peacekeeping operations in Timor-Leste in 1999, considerable progress has been achieved in establishing State institutions and in promoting the rule of law, transparency, accountability, and respect for human rights.  I congratulate the Government and people of Timor-Leste on their achievements in such a short period of time, in the face of overwhelming odds, and in spite of limited resources -- both human and financial.  Throughout this time, the partnership between the United Nations and the Government and people of Timor-Leste has been exemplary.

    Significant challenges remain, however.  It is crucial to Timor-Leste’s long-term security, stability and sustainable development that international assistance continue beyond the expiration of the current mandate of UNMISET on 20 May.  This is particularly important in the areas of border management, development of a professional police service and critical State institutions, and observance of democratic governance and human rights.

    That is why this Symposium is so important.  With a new phase of UN involvement in Timor-Leste about to begin, the outcome of your discussions will be of great value to both the Government and to the United Nations.  This is a key moment to reflect on the past, and to pursue a dialogue on how the United Nations can better contribute to peacekeeping and peacebuilding in post-conflict countries.  In that spirit, I wish you a most successful meeting.

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