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UN And FRETILIN Discuss Security Sector Reform

In Timor-Leste, UN and FRETILIN discuss security sector reform

5 February 2008 - Top officials from the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) today met with the leadership of the former ruling party FRETILIN to discuss security sector reform.

The meeting was convened by the Secretary-General's Special Representative in Timor-Leste, Atul Khare, to provide information to FRETILIN representatives and seek their views on UNMIT's role in the review and reform of key security institutions.

Mr. Khare told the meeting that security sector reform is a priority area and its success will be critical for the new nation.

"Any review on how to reform the security sector must look at the restructuring of the national police" and an assessment of the Timorese army (F-FDTL), the private security sector, customs and other institutional areas such as the courts and correctional facilities.

"The review must be comprehensive, holistic, ensure broad representation of all stakeholders and it must be owned by the Timorese people," Mr. Khare said.

The UN is hoping to help create a security sector that is effective, accountable, transparent, non-partisan and sustainable, operating under civilian control, within a framework of the rule of law and respect for human rights, UNMIT said in a news release.

FRETILIN officials had expressed willingness to become engaged in issues of national importance to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon when he visited Timor-Leste in December. This followed post-electoral violence in August, attributed in part to FRETILIN supporters, that drove thousands from their homes in the South Asian country.

Participants today agreed to meet every two weeks.

ENDS

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