Ambassador Raff Bukun-Olu Onemola
Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations
New York, NY
19th October, 2010
I also would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary- General, Ms. Ameerah Haq, for her comprehensive statement and her invaluable contribution to the peace process in Timor-Leste.
I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences for the demise of Mr. Takahisa Kawakami, Deputy Special Representative for Security Sector Support and Rule of Law. I welcome the Permanent Representative of Timor-Leste, Mrs. Sofia Borges, and thank her for her presentation. I would like to limit my remarks to the issues of political development, humanitarian and social development and the security and judicial system.
We welcome the Secretary-General’s report (S/2010/522) and the climate of calm and stability in Timor-Leste during the reporting period. That situation has undoubtedly facilitated the focused implementation of the Government’s National Strategic Development Plan. The continuous operationalization of the Plan — and its transformation into a series of medium-term development plans within an agreed time frame — is highly commended. We urge donors to provide the assistance required to cover the deficit in the Strategic Plan and also to provide long-term predictable support.
Investments in the three economic pillars identified by the Government, namely, agriculture, natural resources and tourism, if properly harnessed, will engender economic growth and accelerate the pace of development in the country. Indeed, the prospect of transforming Timor-Leste from its present status as a low-income country to high-income status in the next 20 years is realizable if the Government steadily implements the Plan.
The constructive interaction between the various political parties and major stakeholders in guaranteeing peace, harmony and continuity in governance is commended. We note in particular the Government’s “Road to peace and national unity” initiative, which has helped to foster dialogue and reconciliation among the parties. We welcome the pronouncements of the United Nations Secretary-General and the President of the Frente Revolucionária do Timor-Leste Independente (Fretilin) urging the parties to approach the future with renewed determination to achieve peace, stability and development. The parties should be guided by those pronouncements while undertaking the review of the voter registration process and strengthening the electoral bodies for the 2012 elections.
We also welcome the resolve to assign a greater role to women and youth in governance, as that will allow for the incorporation of a balanced gender perspective in the decision-making process. It will also promote implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as well as Council resolution 1325 (2000), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and resolution 1704 (2006). The Government’s two-year training initiative for members of the Youth Parliament will equip young people with the leadership and other skills needed to make meaningful contributions on key policy issues. The contributions of United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the United Nations Development Programme and UNICEF in that regard are appreciated.
On the humanitarian and social development aspects, although Timor-Leste is no longer facing a humanitarian crisis, the devastation caused by the recent widespread flooding and landslides should be given adequate attention. We commend the efforts of UNMIT, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme to provide food and technical and logistic support to the Government and people of Timor-Leste. The international community should not let up in strengthening its response capacity to address that natural disaster.
With regard to security, we welcome the stable situation in the country and the increased policing responsibilities of the national police (PNTL) in four more districts. To achieve the timeline for the full transfer of policing responsibilities to the PNTL, especially in the remaining three districts, the capacity needs of the force should be met through training, mentoring and senior development. The PNTL should continue to take measures to build trust and confidence with the people.
Effective disarmament mechanisms, command and control structures, weapon control mechanisms and planning processes, as well as adequate logistic support, are so critical for the creation of a strong and effective PNTL. Human rights violations, impunity and gender-based crimes by members of the security services impinge on the credibility of the services and should be addressed.
We note the Government’s anti-corruption efforts, including the Anti-Corruption Commission and the appointment of an Anti-Corruption Commissioner and two deputies. We commend UNMIT for posting international and national advisers to the Commission to bolster its efforts.
We support the ongoing gradual phased drawdown of UNMIT police and look forward to the next assessment, which will determine the final drawdown phase. With the expiration of the recruitment notices in September, the United Nations must confront the challenges of recruiting qualified United Nations police to advise and train PNTL officers.
We also look forward to the Council’s upcoming visit to Timor-Leste, which will provide an opportunity for a comprehensive assessment of the challenges facing UNMIT.
In concluding, we wish to comment UNMIT and the United Nations country team for their continued support to the people and Government of Timor-Leste.