|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General Hails Growing Capacity of Timor-Leste National
Police Force to Handle Internal Security on Its Own
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks as prepared for delivery at the Police Academy in Dili today, 15 August:
I am so proud to be here. The Police Academy has played such an instrumental role in strengthening and professionalizing the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL).
Let me begin by congratulating the 250 new recruits here taking part in the PNTL induction training. You emerged from a very competitive recruitment process. I thank you for your commitment and wish you the best as you work to build a safer and more secure country for your people.
When I last visited Timor-Leste in 2007, PNTL had just emerged from a serious crisis that left the institution fractured and in disarray. Reform, restructuring and rebuilding followed, under the executive policing mandate of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) police.
PNTL has come a long way since then, resuming responsibility for all police operations in Timor-Leste last year. I would like to congratulate you on this great achievement and all of your progress since then. PNTL is increasingly showing its capacity to handle internal security on its own. The presidential and parliamentary elections were held in a peaceful and orderly manner, without any major security incident.
UNMIT police continue to support capacity-building and institutional development of PNTL through the Joint Development Plan. I understand that the Plan is now nearing completion. This close cooperation between UNMIT police and PNTL has been essential to ensure the continued strengthening of PNTL. We will work with you to address any remaining capacity gaps.
PNTL is also making its contributions to the world. Seventeen PNTL officers have recently been certified for deployment in United Nations missions. This represents the third group of PNTL officers serving as United Nations police, after 10 officers served in Kosovo and 2 in Guinea-Bissau. I thank PNTL for its contribution to the maintenance of global peace.
We continue to look ahead together. As you know, UNMIT police will conclude its mandate at the end of the year. Following UNMIT’s departure, we need to consolidate the gains and focus on longer-term development. This will require commitment, both financial and political, to continue critical programmes in support of PNTL.
Timor-Leste has vividly and painfully experienced the devastation that can come with the breakdown of the rule of law and civil order. But you have also shown how to build a different future. It will be your responsibility, along with your fellow citizens, to help Timor-Leste continue towards a hopeful, promising, and secure country for all.
You have our full support.
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