Admission of the
Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
as a new Member State of the United Nations
Statement by H. E. Mr. JAN KAVAN
President of the General Assembly
September 27, 2002
is my great honour and privilege to welcome, on behalf of the
General Assembly, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste as a new
member of the United Nations.
a few months ago we congratulated the historically first elected
president of Timor-Leste - H. E. Xanana Gusmao and participated
in the celebration of the Independence of Timor-Leste on May
20, 2002. I was happy to attend the Independence Ceremony personally
and appreciated the opportunity of a short conversation with
H. E. Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Ramos-Horta. As a former
human rights activist and a fighter for the independence of
my own country I bow in respect and I salute the courage and
determination of the President, Minister of Foreign Affairs
and other East-Timorese whose struggle brought about the success
we can celebrate today.
has been the first independent state and nation that emerged
in the 21st Century. We all have watched with admiration how
the people of Timor-Leste progressed towards their independence.
all remember the developments that led to the country's independence.
It was not an easy way, but the country and its people succeeded.
I am very proud and happy that the United Nations was an integral
part of this whole process.
Nations peace-building mission to East Timor (UNAMET) and the
United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET),
despite numerous difficulties and barriers, confirmed the right
way of the United Nations participation in helping a smooth
transition to the status of an independent, sovereign state.
peaceful transition process in Timor-Leste was a prime example
of the Security Council and the United Nations ability to respond
promptly and decisively to pressing issues.
Leste's independence, however, does not mark the end of the
United Nations involvement. To the contrary, it is a signal
of the beginning of an important, new phase to consolidate the
achievements and to build on them. The establishment of the
United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) is
one of the examples of such engagement.
United Nations and its Member States should be prepared to strengthen
their support to the region and to the Government of Timor-Leste
in addressing the many remaining issues that need to be resolved.
Timor-Leste would, for example, need a fully functioning infrastructure
to enable it to earn itself sufficient revenue not to need to
rely on continuous aid.
wish the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and its people,
peace, prosperity and every success in their future and warmly
welcome Timor-Leste to the United Nations Organization.