NEW YORK, 10 MARCH 2003
STATEMENT BY HE Mr. GONÇALO DE
GOMES, AMBASSADOR AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF SANTA CLARA PORTUGALTO THE UNITED NATIONS, TO THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL (Public Meeting on Timor-Leste)
First of all allow me to express my condolences to the Government and people of
for the tragic death of five soldiers in Timor-Leste. Korea
Thank you for convening this Open Meeting of the Security Council to examine the quarterly Special Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission of Support in Timor-Leste. This report allows Member States to closely follow recent developments and remain informed of progress in the implementation of Security Council resolution 1410.
Timor-Leste has been, so far, a success story for the United Nations and for the International Community. In the last three years we have witnessed a dramatic change in the country, and the devastation produced by conflict has given place to peace, to institution building, to the laying of the foundations for the future prosperity. Timor-Leste is now a proud member of the United Nations after benefiting from its support for State-building.
It was never envisioned that this support would be of unlimited duration; on the contrary, it was intended from the beginning that the United Nations would perform the tasks it assumed in the country within a reasonable time frame. We are glad that the Secretary-General, in his report, considers that the mission can be completed within the period of time envisaged: it is a welcome confirmation that, despite all the unforeseen circumstances that no planning can ever completely cover, the considerable international effort deployed so far is producing its expected results.
But this encouraging conclusion of the Secretary-General, based on a careful examination of the evolution of the country, should lead us to pay attention to all of his recommendations. However successful the story, Timor-Leste is still fragile and unfortunately we register a sharp increase in the frequency and magnitude of security-related incidents, some of them of a terrorist nature. That was not originally foreseen and the proposed downsizing planned for UNMISET did not take such developments into account. Keeping the envisioned hand-over date of May 2004, the Secretary-General proposes now a reconfiguration of the military component and the adoption of a revised phased approach to prepare the new country to better face the existing threats. He proposes also the enhancement of the operational capability of the international police component. These are short term measures to promote security and, simultaneously, to increase the effectiveness and the speed of the training of the timorese police.
As a major troop contributing country to UNMISET, we support these recommendations that seem to us entirely reasonable in the face of a changed situation. We support them also because they aim at preventing any back-sliding of a positive trend of which we are proud, and in the conviction that, if we were to lose the momentum, it would be costly to the country and to the United Nations to re-establish the situation. Finally, Mr. President we must note that the additional financial resources required are quite modest compared to the large scale investment that we all have made over the past years.
As in the past,
will remain committed to the consolidation and development of Timor-Leste and to the United Nations efforts to this effect. Portugal
I am confident, Mr. President, that the Security Council will not hesitate, in this final stage, to ensure by its decision the happy end of this, so far, success story.