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UN Assisted Timor-Leste To Maintain Stability

UN has successfully assisted Timor-Leste maintain stability - Annan

While the United Nations mission in Timor-Leste has successfully assisted the country in maintaining stability and order, it is not certain whether the Government will be able to put all necessary structures in place before the UN's departure next year, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report released today.

"Recognizing that security and stability are a prerequisite for the rehabilitation and development on Timor-Leste, UNMISET [UN Mission of Support in East Timor] and the entities of the United Nations system are intensifying their efforts to address key institutional challenges," Mr. Annan reports to the General Assembly.

He says the UN and its various agencies and partners continue to take the necessary measures to ensure that national security and governance structures are in place and functioning satisfactorily when UNMISET completes its mission mandate.

"However, it is not certain at the present stage whether the Government of Timor-Leste will be able to achieve those goals completely before the departure of UNMISET in May 2004," the Secretary-General notes.

Covering the period from July 2002 to July 2003, the report highlights the assistance provided in building the public administration's capacity to respond to the evolving security situation and emerging development requirements. It also examines humanitarian relief efforts, particularly in justice, agriculture, health, education and infrastructure rehabilitation.

Mr. Annan says the UNMISET police component continues to transfer its authority to the National Police Force of Timor-Leste (PNTL); however, "significant challenges remain to be faced in strengthening the PNTL and building its capacity to assume sole responsibility for law enforcement in Timor-Leste."

Efforts have also been made to develop the police force as a viable law-and-order organ, including successful capacity-building workshops "which sought to bring the PNTL into line with internationally accepted standards of policing," he writes

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