"TIMOR-LESTE (UNMISET"
Statement by Ambassador Henrique Valle
Deputy Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN
 Security Council, New York, May 16, 2005

 

Madam President,

 

I would like to thank the Assistant Secretary General, Hédi Annabi, for presenting the Secretary-General’s report on the activity of the United Nations Mission of Support in Timor-Leste-UNMISET (doc S/2005/310), which is quite promising.

 

Important progress has been made in the implementation of UNMISET’s mandate in the last few years. The security situation is calm and stable, although incidents can occur and will have do be dealt with accordingly. However, it is a fact that a new phase in the United Nations commitments as regards the fulfillment of Timorese aspirations for the creation of a functioning, viable and democratic state will begin after 20 May.

 

Enthusiasm over the success of the UN presence must not lead us to lose sight of the challenges still facing that country. The foundations for the Timorese State have now been set. Nevertheless, urgent tasks are still to be met in order to ensure the minimum required conditions to the success of the transition in the country and the full exercise of sovereignty by its people. Timor-Leste is a country mired in poverty and in urgent need of international assistance in both the socio-economic and in the security and political fields. Overall cooperation and support are still required in a vast array of critical areas.

 

International responsibilities in the country are by no means over and my country stands ready to do its share, as we continue to enhance our bilateral cooperation with the Timorese Government.

 

Timor-Leste requires a smooth transition to a situation capable of  preserving stability, security as well as continuity in the strengthening of its national institutions and state administration. Progress achieved so far must not be jeopardized.

 

Madam President,

 

Brazil welcomes and fully supports the creation of the United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL) as the successor mission of UNMISET.

 

Challenges related to the transition towards a post-conflict situation in Timor-Leste and to the promotion of rehabilitation and the implementation of peacebuilding measures, including the establishment of development strategies, will test the United Nations and the international community. We trust that stability will be preserved in the country as the democratic process evolves and the reconciliation efforts gain momentum.

 

We also welcome the signature of the Provisional Agreement on the Borderline by the Foreign Ministers of Timor-Leste and Indonesia, on 8 May, as well as the establishment of the Truth and Friendship Commission, on 9 March, by Presidents Gusmão e Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Alkatiri.

 

Brazil welcomes the holding of local elections during last March in the eastern districts, which bodes well for the future of party politics in Timor-Leste. The careful handling of problems related to religious education in school programs reflects maturity and a promising ability of the Timorese Government to overcome potentially divisive issues in a peaceful manner.

 

We recognize the important role to be played by UN development and humanitarian agencies and the donor community, especially neighboring countries, such as Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and the members of the Small Islands of the Pacific group, in this new phase. In our view, providing assistance to Timor-Leste’s long-term development is the best way to ensure that violence does not resurge in the future.

 

Brazil appreciates, in particular, the efforts of the Governments of Indonesia and Australia to solve pending issues and strengthen bilateral ties with Timor-Leste based on friendship and respect, including the delimitation of their borders and the conclusion of mutually beneficiary agreements concerning the sharing of common natural resources.

 

Madam President,

 

An open-ended presence of the UN in Timor-Leste is not warranted. Yet, we believe that only one step should be taken at a time from that country. In this context income-generating projects to minimize the possible adverse impacts of the decrease in UN personnel and expenditure become even more necessary.

 

It is essential to keep the current level of public services after the end of UNMISET’s mandate. Strides were made in the “Timorization” of the public administration, and important progress was achieved towards the building of capacity of Timorese state institutions during the consolidation phase. It is critical for the future of the country to strengthen the rule of law, including the justice system and the law enforcement institutions, specially the police. That is a condition for the observance of human rights, but also for providing a solid basis for a sound economic system.

 

Despite improved relations between Indonesian armed forces and the Timorese Border Patrol Unit, it is urgently required the establishment of an effective mechanism for the management of the border to replace the military liaison arrangement, which will expire on 30 June 2005.

 

In the field of criminal justice, Timor-Leste still faces a serious lack of specialized personnel. We stress the need to conclude as soon as possible the pending activities of the serious crimes unit finalizing the process of handing over all relevant documentation related to those serious crimes to the Timorese authorities.

 

It is also important to address other legal problems that might inhibit economic recovery and development, particularly the need for clear and stable legislation on various domains.

 

Madam President,

We cannot rely solely on voluntary contributions. It is necessary to secure a predictable source of funding, as rightly pointed out by the Secretary-General’s report. We call on donors to disburse as soon as possible all pledged funds. Now is the time to protect the huge investment we all have already made. In line with that, the major factor that must guide the renewal of UNOTIL’s mandate in the future should be the capacity of the Government of Timor to carry on its State duties.

 Madam President,

 I also take this occasion to commend, once again, the excellent and professional work performed by the SRSG, Sukehiro Hasegawa, and his team of civil and military personnel.

 We sincerely hope that the Security Council and other organs of the UN will keep attaching high priority to Timor-Leste.

 

Thank you very much.