Security Council extends UN mission in Timor-Leste for another year

26 February 2010 – The Security Council today extend for another year the mandate of the United Nations mission working to promote peace, stability and development in Timor-Leste.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body decided that the mission, known as UNMIT, will remain in place until 26 February 2011.

In doing so, the Council urged all parties in Timor-Leste, in particular political leaders, “to continue to work together and engage in political dialogue and to consolidate peace, democracy, rule of law, sustainable social and economic development, advancement of protection of human rights and national reconciliation in the country.”

Earlier this week, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Timor-Leste told the Council that the country which the UN shepherded to independence in 2002 has made “remarkable progress” since the violence that disrupted it in 2006, but that the long-term goals of recovery and development may prove even more challenging.

Ameerah Haq, who also heads UNMIT, noted in particular that “long-term security and stability will depend on development of a national police force that is professional and impartial and operates with due respect for the rule of law and human rights.”

Nearly all of UNMIT’s more than 1,550 uniformed personnel are police, and one of the mission’s major tasks is to conduct a comprehensive review of the security sector, training, mentoring and strengthening the Timor-Leste National Police (PNTL).

The Council, in its resolution today, endorsed the Secretary-General’s intention of reconfiguring UNMIT’s police component, including its drawdown, in accordance with the phased resumption process of policing responsibilities by the PNTL.

It requested the UN chief to report no later than 15 October on elements on reconfiguring UNMIT’s police component, and no later than 26 January 2011 on possible adjustments in the mission’s mandate and strength.

[original]

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