World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Timor-Leste making good progress, more help needed

Timor-Leste making good progress but still needs help, UN envoy says

Timor-Leste has made tremendous progress in governing itself in the 17 months that the United Nations has been helping the newly independent country, but serious problems of security, order and economic transformation remain, the top UN envoy in the country said today.

In an open briefing to the Security Council on the work of the UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), Kamalesh Sharma listed areas in which Timor-Leste would need help from the international community for some time. They included national security, policing, establishing a competent judiciary and modernizing the economy.

Timor-Leste gained its independence in May 2002 and UNMISET's already extended mandate ends on 20 May 2004.

New laws were about to be passed that would bolster investor confidence and strengthen economic growth. "Still, transforming an agrarian and largely subsistence economy into a market economy generating job creation and entrepreneurial capacities will be a challenge for decades to come," said Mr. Sharma, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Timor-Leste.

The security problems stemmed from the lack of experience and inadequate training of the national police force, delays in setting up a strong judiciary and the presence of armed, possibly criminal groups in districts bordering Indonesia, he said. Some 850 murders would not have been solved by May 2004, he added.

"While there have been no major security challenges over the past six months, reports persist of alleged sightings of armed groups by residents in rural areas and of the presence of criminal elements in those areas, particularly in the border districts," Mr. Sharma said. "There is a risk that these may arise as downsizing advances."

In urban areas, the public perception of security was negatively affected by sporadic violence from martial arts groups and youth gangs, he said.

The police force (PNTL) occasionally had used excessive force and "needs to mature and develop, without being continually tested," he added. "Ensuring that police abide by human rights standards and maintain professional standards is a priority."

Meanwhile, the Timorese leadership, assessing the major problems remaining, "have clearly indicated to me the centrality of the requirement of a continued UN presence to provide both psychological assurance and substantive support in the immediate post-UNMISET period," Mr. Sharma said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC