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Cablegate: New Un Rep Arrives As Drawdown Assessment Starts

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R 130901Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY DILI
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RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1373
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RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
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RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 1192
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
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RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1161
RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI 4237

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 DILI 000009

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON ETRD TT ASEC
SUBJECT: NEW UN REP ARRIVES AS DRAWDOWN ASSESSMENT STARTS

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1. SUMMARY: Ms. Ameerah Haq, the new Special Representative of
the UN Secretary-General to Timor-Leste (SRSG), took up her post
on January 6, 2010. One of her first tasks is to assist the UN
Technical Assessment Mission that is in Dili from January 11-18
to make recommendations on drawing down the UN's presence in
Timor-Leste by 2012. In an introductory call on the Ambassador,
Haq expressed concern about the readiness of the Timorese police
to resume full law enforcement responsibilities from UN police.
That said, she acknowledged the general consensus locally that
full police command responsibilities should be returned to the
Timorese by end-2010. Recognizing that a significant downsizing
of the UN presence would be the major objective of her tenure in
Timor-Leste, Haq emphasized the importance of her role as
providing good offices to all key players and stakeholders. END
SUMMARY.

2. Ms. Ameerah Haq, the Special Representative of the UN
Secretary-General (SRSG) and the head of the UN Mission in
Timor-Leste (UNMIT), formally began her duties on January 6,
replacing Atul Khare as the ranking UN official in Timor-Leste.
Haq's tenure began three days before the arrival of a 34-person
Technical Assessment Mission (TAM) from UN headquarters in New
York, led by a previous SRSG, Ian Martin. The TAM is tasked
with carrying out a full assessment of UNMIT's size and
composition. Its input is designed to inform the
Secretary-General's report to the UN Security Council when it
considers a renewal of UNMIT's mandate, which expires on
February 26, 2010.

Key Concern is Security Sector

3. Haq paid an introductory courtesy call on Ambassador Klemm on
January 12. She reported receiving a warm welcome thus far,
having already met with all of the country's senior political
leaders.

4. Haq indicated that her key concern is the security sector.
The December 28 killing of a Timorese youth by a national police
(PNTL) officer typified the murky command and control procedures
that raise worries about police abuse. Haq noted that the
generally improved security conditions witnessed in recent years
enable the consideration of a continued drawdown of UN
peacekeepers and International Stabilization Force (ISF) troop
levels, but underscored that the foundation still had to be laid
for systematic stability going forward. Haq shared that, among
her conversations thus far, FRETILIN opposition leader Mari
Alkatiri was the most worried about the UN's departure timetable
being too precipitous.

5. Ambassador Klemm described President Ramos-Horta's proposal
for a full handover of police command responsibilities from the
UN to the PNTL by the end of 2010, including a PNTL resumption
of policing authority in Dili by June 2010. Ramos-Horta's
logic, which the Ambassador assessed as sound, is for the PNTL
to develop experience and confidence in its own command
abilities well in advance of the next major security challenge
on the horizon - the Presidential and Parliamentary elections
expected in 2012. The Ambassador emphasized that a well-thought
out monitoring program for UN peacekeepers (UNPOL) remaining in
Timor-Leste should accompany that handover schedule. He also
encouraged an independent needs assessment of the PNTL as an
institution, so that the bilateral partners that will
necessarily be taking the lead on security sector assistance
once the UN departs will know what the PNTL's key training and
capacity needs are. Haq agreed that the PNTL's priority
shortcomings at present are in investigatory capacity,
discipline and professional ethics, and logistics.


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Medium and Long Term Factors

6. The Ambassador expressed his general optimism about
Timor-Leste's prospects into the medium term, but identified
three primary risk factors. The first is continued shrill
political rhetoric, which in the past has been destructive. The
second risk factor is the capacity of the security institutions;
some reforms are complete but many shortcomings remain.
Finally, there is a potential confrontation between rising
expectations about the country's development potential and its
continued severe poverty and high unemployment. Food riots in
2007 were one example of this tension between expectations and
disappointing reality.

7. For the long term, the Ambassador expressed more concern.
It remains unclear what Timor-Leste's sources of long-term
economic growth will be. The country's infrastructure needs are
great but progress on improvements is slow. The government has
not formulated a strategy for how the country will integrate
into the regional and global economy. Weak human capital is a
real constraint on the country's development, one which is
exacerbated by an unhelpful language situation (four main
languages coexist uneasily in a country of just over one million
people) that hinders the educational system. The Ambassador
quoted President Ramos-Horta's complaint that Timor-Leste had
little to show for the $3 billion in foreign assistance it has
received since 1999, and wondered if, absent progress on
long-term factors, leaders would be asking the same question in
ten years time.

UN Assessment Mission and Drawdown

8. Haq said the UN TAM is likely to recommend a gradual phase
down of the UN presence over the next three years. A smaller,
political office would remain in country after the peacekeeping
mission ends, to coordinate the work of the UN development
agencies with an ongoing presence. The TAM team is scheduled to
be in Dili until January 18 and time constraints may make it
difficult for it to submit its report in time for the UN
Security Council to renew UNMIT's annual mandate before it
expires at the end of February. Haq thought the Security
Council might consider a technical rollover of the mission's
mandate for one month, so it could consider a full report of the
TAM visit in March. (Ian Martin shared with the Ambassador on
January 13 that the inclination now at UN headquarters was to
accelerate the drafting of the TAM and Secretary-General's
reports to enable a Security Council mandate review by end
February as currently scheduled.)

Official Bio Data

9. Ms. Ameerah Haq most recently served as Deputy Special
Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan as well as the
United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator
for Sudan (2007-2009), and, before that, as Deputy Special
Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, as well
as the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian
Coordinator for Afghanistan (2004-2007). Her broad management
experience in supporting complex mission deployment activities
will greatly contribute to her new role at UNMIT.

10. She was formerly the Deputy Assistant Administrator and
Deputy Director of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery
at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Headquarters in
New York. She served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator
and UNDP Resident Representative in Malaysia from 1994 to 1997

DILI 00000009 003.2 OF 003


and in the same capacity in Laos from 1991 to 1994.

11. Ms. Haq worked in the Regional Bureau for Asia and the
Pacific at UNDP Headquarters in various capacities from
1980-1990, which included responsibilities for aid coordination
mechanisms and as Desk Officer for Thailand, Myanmar and Bhutan.
She also had an assignment with the United Nations Development
Fund for Women (UNIFEM) from 1985 to 1987. She started her
career in 1976 as a Junior Professional Officer in Jakarta,
Indonesia and was transferred to Afghanistan as Assistant
Resident Representative in 1978.

12. Ms. Haq holds master's degrees in community organization
and planning and in business administration from Columbia
University and New York University, respectively. She completed
a Bachelor of Arts at Western College in Oxford, Ohio.
KLEMM

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