( UN translation )
I, too, would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for her briefing. Allow me also, above all, to welcome the presence among us of President Ramos-Horta in difficult family circumstances.
I associate myself with the statement to be made by the observer of the European Union. Timor-Leste is entering a delicate electoral phase. We understand that, and it will be up to the Timorese themselves to manage this period. However, we have grounds for optimism. The situation is stable and everything leads us to believe that the progress noted in the economic, institutional and social fields will continue. The transfer of responsibility for security to the Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste is taking place under good conditions with no increase in crime.
However, history should make us cautious. The United Nations and other international actors will therefore help the Timor-Leste authorities in the preparation of the presidential and legislative elections, and, of course, stand ready if needed. Timor-Leste is a United Nations success story that shows the ability of our Organization to accompany a country towards peace and stability. Once again, we wish to commend the remarkable work of the Special Representative and all staff of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). We also salute the political maturity shown by the Timorese political class throughout that process. We also congratulate President Ramos-Horta on his country’s participation in a United Nations peacekeeping operation, which promotes Timor-Leste from the rank of beneficiary of United Nations peacekeeping assistance to that of contributor to peacekeeping.
We supported the new deal for engagement in fragile States, adopted in Busan last December. That initiative is ambitious in seeking to change the deal between fragile countries and development partners in a spirit of mutual responsibility. On that occasion we were able to assess the dynamic role played by President Ramos-Horta and the diplomacy of his country within the Group of Seven Plus, and we appreciated it.
The departure of UNMIT does not mean that the United Nations is losing interest in Timor-Leste. On the contrary, the international community is committed for the long term. The European Union will there forecontinue its work for the country’s development and stability. French bilateral assistance will also continue in line with existing bilateral aid and the priorities set out in the Strategic Development Plan adopted by the Timorese authorities.
We hope that the weeks following the elections will be an opportunity for the new Government, in cooperation with the United Nations and partner countries, to define the kind of presence that our Organization will keep in place after UNMIT’s departure. We also hope that the coming months will make it possible to affirm the recent experience of Timor-Leste as a good example of peacebuilding operations.