Secretary-General's remarks to the media with Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao of Timor-Leste
Dili, Timor-Leste, 14 December 2007Thank you Mr. Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen, of the media, distinguished cabinet ministers. Thank you very much for your very warm welcome.
I just had a wonderful working luncheon with Prime Minister Gusmão and members of his Cabinet. We had substantive discussions on a range of issues including the security and justice sector, socio-economic development, and the humanitarian situation of the internally displaced persons.
In our discussion on the security sector, I told the Prime Minister that I was encouraged by the Timorese leadership's commitment to the security sector reform process. I welcome the establishment of a dedicated State structure to formulate a security sector reform strategy as well as the prioritization on security sector requirements in the Government Programme. I wished the government a successful and rapid resolution of the Petitioners' issue.
Despite some progress in the Independent Commission of Inquiry follow-up, serious capacity constraints exist in the judicial system; I told Prime Minister Gusmão and Minister Lobato that UNMIT and UNDP will continue working with the authorities to overcome bottlenecks and facilitate capacity-building in the justice sector.
We also discussed how poverty and high unemployment, including among youth, are contributing to instability. I was pleased that the national budget and the compact focus on activities in these areas.
And finally, we discussed the issues of the remaining 100,000 IDPs. In noting the Government's efforts to facilitate returns, I shared my view that the resolution of the situation depends on a number of factors, including a strengthened legal framework for land/property rights and an improved security environment.
All in all, we had substantial discussions and I felt that the Prime Minister and the Ministers are doing an excellent job in tackling many difficult issues.
Thank you very much.
Off-the-Cuff on 14 December 2007