|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5634th Meeting (AM)
SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS TIMOR-LESTE MISSION UNTIL 26 FEBRUARY 2008
UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1745 (2007)
Also Reinforces Police Strength for Elections Period
With Timorese presidential elections less than two months away, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) through February 2008, and approved a temporary reinforcement of the Mission’s police by an additional unit of up to 140 officers to supplement existing law enforcement capacity, particularly during the pre- and post-electoral period.
Following the Secretary-General’s call to “send an important signal of the Security Council’s willingness to sustain its commitment to Timor-Leste”, the 15-nation Council unanimously adopted resolution 1745 (2007), extending the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the impoverished country until 26 February 2008. The country holds its presidential election in April, with parliamentary polls expected to follow two months later.
Reiterating its view that the forthcoming elections will be a significant step in the process of strengthening democracy, the Council called on all parties in Timor-Leste to adhere to the principles of non-violence and to democratic and legal processes to ensure that the upcoming elections have a unifying impact and contribute to bringing the people of Timor-Leste together, and encouraged all Timorese parties to ensure that free, fair and peaceful elections take place and that the timetable for polls developed by the National Commission on Elections is respected.
Expressing its concern over the still fragile and volatile security, political, social and humanitarian situation in Timor-Leste and welcoming initial efforts made in the security sector, the Council called on all Timorese parties, particularly the country’s political leaders, to continue working together in a spirit of cooperation and compromise in order to consolidate progress made by Timor-Leste in recent years and to enable the country to move to a peaceful and more prosperous future.
The Council also welcomed the signing of the military technical arrangement between the United Nations and Australia on 25 January under which the international security force (ISF) ensures protection of United Nations premises and properties, as well as a rapid response capacity for the UNMIT police. It called upon the Timorese Government, assisted by UNMIT, to continue working on a comprehensive review of the future roles and needs of the security sector including the Ministry of Interior, National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL), Ministry of Defence and National Defence Force of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL).
The Security Council created UNMIT in August 2006 to help restore order after fighting, attributed to differences between eastern and western regions, broke out in April and May of that year and led to the deaths of at least 37 people and forced about 155,000 people -– or 15 per cent of the population –- to flee their homes.
Low-level violence, much of it involving gangs in the capital Dili, has continued and last week more than 100 United Nations police officers, backed by troops from the ISF, arrested around 50 gang members from two neighbourhoods in the capital, and confiscated homemade firearms, machetes, Molotov cocktails and other weapons. In response to growing violence, United Nations police and the ISF have increased security in the streets of Dili over the past 24 hours.
The Council meeting began at 10:40 a.m. and ended at 10:45 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1745 (2007) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Reaffirming all its previous resolutions and statements on the situation in Timor-Leste, in particular its resolutions 1599 (2005) of 28 April 2005, 1677 (2006) of 12 May 2006, 1690 (2006) of 20 June 2006, 1703 (2006) of 18 August 2006 and 1704 (2006) of 25 August 2006,
“Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 1 February 2007 (S/2007/50),
“Reaffirming its full commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, national unity of Timor-Leste and the promotion of long-term stability in the country,
“Commending the people and the Government of Timor-Leste for their continued action to resolve their political challenges and other steps taken towards national dialogue and political reconciliation, and encouraging all parties to redouble their efforts in this regard,
“Reaffirming the need for respect for the independence of the judiciary and its responsibility and welcoming the conviction of the leaders of Timor-Leste on the need for justice and their determination to act against impunity,
“Expressing its concern over the still fragile and volatile security, political, social and humanitarian situation in Timor-Leste and welcoming initial efforts made in the security sector,
“Taking note of a joint letter dated 7 December 2006 addressed to the Secretary-General (S/2006/1022) from President Gusmao, Prime Minister Ramos-Horta and National Parliament President Guterres, requesting that the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) be reinforced with an additional formed police unit (FPU),
“Reiterating its view that the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections will be a significant step in the process of strengthening democracy in Timor-Leste,
“Welcoming the adoption of the laws on the National Commission on Elections, as well as on the parliamentary and presidential elections, and encouraging additional steps, including amendments deemed necessary, implementation of an appropriate regulatory framework and logistical preparations to be undertaken with the assistance of UNMIT,
“Further welcoming the passing by the Parliament of Timor-Leste on 9 January 2007, of a resolution, which adopted the recommendations of the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry and the additional recommendations of the Ad Hoc Parliamentary Commission, and noting the action taken to date by the Government of Timor-Leste, including a number of judicial proceedings in relation to the events of April and May 2006, and further noting the need for continued efforts to implement the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry,
“Stressing the need to implement fully the “Arrangement on the Restoration and Maintenance of Public Security in Timor-Leste and Assistance to the Reform, Restructuring and Rebuilding of PNTL and the Ministry of Interior”, concluded between the Government of Timor-Leste and UNMIT on 1 December 2006,
“Expressing its full support for the continued deployment of the international security force in response to the requests of the Government of Timor-Leste, and their activities to support UNMIT in the restoration and maintenance of law and stability,
“Noting with appreciation the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Timor-Leste, the United Nations and the Government of Australia on 26 January 2007 that established a Trilateral Coordination Forum to enhance security activities,
“Recalling that, while the manifestations of the current challenges in Timor-Leste are political and institutional in nature, poverty and its associated deprivations also contributed to these challenges, paying tribute to Timor-Leste’s bilateral and multilateral partners for their invaluable assistance, particularly with regard to institutional capacity-building and social and economic development, and recognizing the progress being made in the development of many aspects of governance in Timor-Leste,
“Welcoming the agreement between the Government of Timor-Leste and the United Nations Development Programme to provide, with donor support, technical support for enhancing transparency and anti-corruption measures,
“Taking note of the launching on 17 January 2007 of a Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) to respond to the remaining humanitarian and ongoing protection needs for a period of six months beyond December 2006, including providing humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons in order to facilitate their return, relocation and reintegration,
“Reaffirming its resolutions 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security and 1502 (2003) on the protection of humanitarian and United Nations personnel,
“Expressing its appreciation for the efforts of UNMIT and the United Nations Country Team, under the leadership of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General,
“1. Decides to extend the mandate of UNMIT until 26 February 2008;
“2. Decides to increase UNMIT’s authorized force strength by up to 140 police personnel in order to permit the deployment of an additional formed police unit to supplement the existing FPU’s particularly during the pre- and post-electoral period;
“3. Welcomes the signing of the military technical arrangement between the United Nations and Australia on 25 January 2007 under which the international security force ensures protection of United Nations premises and properties as well as a rapid response capacity for the UNMIT police;
“4. Calls upon the Government of Timor-Leste, assisted by UNMIT, to continue working on a comprehensive review of future role and needs of the security sector including the Ministry of Interior, PNTL, Ministry of Defence and F-FDTL;
“5. Emphasizes the need for regular meetings and information sharing and, in that regard, welcomes the establishment of a Trilateral Coordination Forum, with participants from the Government of Timor-Leste, UNMIT and the international security force, in order to maintain coordination;
“6. Calls upon all parties in Timor-Leste to adhere to the principles of non-violence and to democratic and legal processes to ensure that the upcoming elections have a unifying impact and contribute to bringing the people of Timor-Leste together and encourages all Timorese parties to ensure that free, fair and peaceful elections take place and that the timetable for polls developed by the National Commission on Elections is respected;
“7. Takes note of the work of the United Nations Independent Certification Team, encourages the implementation of its key recommendations to ensure credibility of the electoral process, and further encourages the international community to assist in this process including through electoral observation;
“8. Calls upon all parties in Timor-Leste, and in particular political leaders, to continue to work together in a spirit of cooperation and compromise in order to consolidate progress made by Timor-Leste in recent years and to enable the country to move to a peaceful and more prosperous future;
“9. Emphasizes the importance of ongoing efforts to reach accountability and justice for the events of 1999 and April through May 2006, including follow-up to the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry report and, in this regard, encourages UNMIT’s sustained efforts to support national dialogue, political reconciliation and the strengthening of the justice system;
“10. Calls upon UNMIT to continue to cooperate and coordinate with the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes as well as all relevant partners to support the Government of Timor-Leste and relevant institutions and in designing poverty reduction and economic growth policies;
“11. Urges the development partners including the United Nations agencies and multilateral financial institutions to continue providing resources and assistance for the preparations for the upcoming elections, other projects towards sustainable development and calls upon the international donor community to consider contributing generously towards the 2007 Consolidated Appeal for Timor-Leste;
“12. Requests UNMIT fully to take into account gender considerations as set out in Security Council resolution 1325 as a cross-cutting issue throughout its mandate, and further requests the Secretary-General to include in his reporting to the Security Council progress on gender mainstreaming throughout UNMIT and all other aspects relating to the situation of women and girls, especially in relation to the need to protect them from gender-based violence;
“13. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take the necessary measures to ensure full compliance in UNMIT with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to keep the Council informed, and urges those countries contributing troops and police to take appropriate preventive action and to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel;
“14. Further requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council closely and regularly informed of developments on the ground, in particular the state of preparations for the upcoming elections and the security situation and to submit a report which includes recommendations for possible adjustments in UNMIT’s mandate and strength to the Security Council within 60 days after the presidential and parliamentary elections in Timor-Leste, and to submit a report no later than 45 days before the expiration of the current mandate and to submit further reports as and when he considers appropriate;
“15. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”
* *** *For information media • not an official record