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14 DECEMBER 2007
PHILIPPINES REMAINS COMMITTED IN EAST TIMOR, ENVOY TELLS UN
NEW YORK—The Philippines remains committed to support the international community’s efforts to promote long-term stability and democracy in Timor-Leste, Manila’s envoy to the United Nations said.
“The Philippines remains ready to explore other areas of assistance to strengthen Timor-Leste’s capacities and institutions and the Philippines hopes that the international community would do likewise,” Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said in his statement before the Security Council on Thursday.
“Timor-Leste is still one of the best examples of a successful enterprise conceived and nurtured through the sustained combined cooperative efforts of the heroic people of Timor-Leste and their leaders, the United Nations, the regional players and partners,” Ambassador Davide said in his statement before the 15-member council which recently sent an assessment mission to the country.
“The Philippines remains ready to explore other areas of assistance to strengthen Timor-Leste’s capacities and institutions,” the former Supreme Court Chief Justice said, adding that the Philippines has been consistently contributing to Timor-Leste’s nation-building and other endeavors over the years.
The Philippines, which is currently the largest contributor of individual police officers to UN peacekeeping operations, has deployed police peacekeepers to support the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). The mission, which has retired Philippine National Police (PNP) Director Rodolfo Tor as UN Police Commissioner, is host to the largest number of Filipino police peacekeepers stationed abroad.
In addition to the 131 PNP officers helping the East Timorese strengthen their police capacities, the Philippines has also contributed three Army officers to UNMIT who serve as UN military liaison officers.
In 1999, the Philippines sent a 600-strong humanitarian support mission as part of the International Force in East Timor (INTERFET) and participated in succeeding UN missions, including the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), where Lt. Gen. Jaime de los Santos served as the mission’s first Force Commander.
Aside from peacekeeping, Ambassador Davide said the Philippines has also made contributions in capacity-building, particularly in human resource development. The Philippines, he said, has extended a human resource development package to Timor-Leste through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Third Country Programs.
Among these programs were English language training, results monitoring and evaluation training and Foreign Service Officer cadetship program for Timor-Leste diplomats through the Foreign Service Institute of the Philippines. In addition, the Philippines is working with Timor-Leste in facilitating the admission of Timorese students to Philippine colleges and universities as well as in providing vocational training.
Ambassador Davide said the Philippines recognizes the abundant reservoir of international goodwill for Timor-Leste and that this should be sustained.
“International assistance to Timor-Leste should be geared towards self-reliance, but it should not be arbitrarily narrowed or limited,” he said. “The international community should see to it that efforts to build Timor-Leste be further invigorated and enhanced with increasing fidelity and vitality to ensure that it continue to be a success story.” ###
ELMER G. CATO Second Secretary & Press Officer Philippine Mission to the United Nations 556 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor New York, New York 10036 Tel. No. 212.764.1300 Extension 38
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