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22 February 2011 - Security Council - Timor-Leste - Statement by Mr. Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

I wish to thank Ms. Haq, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for her briefing. I also welcome the presence here of the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Mr. Gusmão. Ms. Haq underscored that the situation in Timor remains calm and continues to develop in the right direction.

I would like to congratulate Prime Minister Gusmão and, through him, the authorities and the parliamentary opposition in his country, as well as its civil society, all of whom confirm the political maturity and solidity of their young institutions. The economic and social progress we have seen, particularly in poverty reduction, is the consequence of this new stability, to the benefit of the Timorese people. What we see in Timor today is a success story for the United Nations and its ability to accompany a country on the road to peace and stability.

However, the country’s recent history should not encourage us to relax our attention or our efforts. From that viewpoint, we are convinced that peace and reconciliation will be achieved in Timor only if its authorities show determination to fight impunity. It is therefore essential that the Timorese State be able to vouch, beyond the shadow of a doubt, for the integrity of its police officers at the moment when they are about to resume all their responsibilities. We expect, therefore, that Timorese justice will continue to prosecute those guilty of committing serious crimes during the events of 2006. Like the Special Representative, we note with concern the decision to certify 199 police officers despite the criminal and disciplinary procedures that are under way, some of them very serious.

We hope that we will soon see the prompt completion of the parliamentary deliberations on the laws on reparations, as well as on the follow-on institution to the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation and the Commission of Truth and Friendship.

We trust the Special Representative to lead the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) throughout the period that will encompass the full transfer of powers to the Timorese police, the 2012 elections and the withdrawal of the Mission. The goals, I think, are clear. First, it must ensure that the numbers and qualifications of UNMIT staff correspond to the Mission’s new tasks and to the situation on the ground. Secondly, the Mission must contribute to the success of the 2012 elections, the responsibility for which will belong to the Timorese themselves. Thirdly, UNMIT must prepare for the Mission’s withdrawal after those elections, under the best conditions possible.

We hope that the next report of the Secretary- General and the renewal of the Mission’s mandate in February 2012 will afford the opportunity to define — together, of course, with the authorities of Timor-Leste — the kind of presence that the United Nations will maintain there after UNMIT leaves. Its departure will be proof not of lack of interest on the part of the international community, but of the trust we have in this country’s capacity to take charge of its destiny.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU