NEW YORK, 14 NOVEMBER 2002
STATEMENT BY Mr. RUI MACIEIRA, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PORTUGAL TO THE UNITED NATIONS, CHARGÉ D'AFFAIRES A.I., TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL (Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission of Support in Timor-Leste)
We are grateful to you for convening this Open Meeting of the Security Council to examine the Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission of Support in Timor-Leste, covering the first five months since the independence of Timor-Leste.
The representative of
has already spoken on behalf of the European Union and, of course, Denmark . I would like to take the opportunity to add a few words on certain issues of particular concern to my delegation. Portugal
extends its strong support to the important efforts and activities of the United Nations, under the engaged leadership of Special Representative Kamalesh Sharma, in assisting the authorities of Timor-Leste, at every level, and particularly its emerging institutions, to ensure sustained momentum in the development and strengthening of infrastructures, public administration, and law enforcement capabilities. Portugal
We welcome the well-structured, balanced report of the Secretary-General on the three areas mandated by the Security Council in resolution 1410.
Particularly noteworthy is the focus of the report on the activities undertaken by the Government of Timor-Leste in seeking to promote a broad-based democracy and to meet the demands of its citizens by gradually adopting the necessary legal framework and institutionalizing the protection of Human Rights.
These are important developments, notwithstanding some difficulties still being felt in the functioning of Timor-Leste’s judicial system. Some of these difficulties arise from a lack of crucial financial and human resources for capacity building. These needs are being addressed constructively, by order of priority and with the assistance of the UN, in a Government plan for the enhancement of the justice sector in accordance with the legitimate options – of language and of legal system – established by the Constitution of Timor-Leste.
Another issue to be highly commended is the speedy progress of Timor-Leste to ensure good neighbourly relations with other States of the region, with particular emphasis on the relations with
Timor-Leste has moved quickly towards membership of international organizations such as the World Bank, the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries and the Asian Development Bank. This is a further illustration of their efforts to overcome economic difficulties and to begin laying the foundations for the future management of natural resources, allowing Timor-Leste, in the future, to produce revenue sufficient to uphold its development needs.
Until such a day, when Timor-Leste can rely largely on its own resources, the international community must stay involved, particularly in the areas identified for support for stability, democracy and justice; as well as public security and law enforcement; external security and border control. The downsizing of UNMISET must, therefore, proceed accordingly and with extreme caution in order to ensure the consolidation of results already achieved.
’s commitment to Timor-Leste has been and will remain central to our foreign and development aid policies. Our bilateral direct assistance to Timor-Leste totaled US$ 57 million in 2000, US$65 million in 2001 and US$23 million, this year. On the multilateral front, we have pledged a total of US$50 million at the Portugal donors conference, of which US$15 million were disbursed in 2000 and US$15 million in April this year. A further US$10 million should be disbursed this year. Last May, we pledged an additional US$ 9 million specifically for budget deficit support. Tokyo
But our involvement is far from exclusively financial. On the contrary, thousands of Portuguese have taken part in UNMISET and before that in UNTAET. From peacekeepers and civilian police observers (as one of the leading troop contributors), to civil servants and simple volunteers from all walks of life, giving what they know to help the people of East Timor to help themselves.
This commitment of
, Mr. President, will remain. Portugal