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Timor-Leste Not Yet Fully Self-Sufficient

Timor-Leste Not Yet Fully Self-Sufficient, Annan Says In Seeking Extension For UN Mission

Timor-Leste has not yet achieved a critical threshold of self-sufficiency as public administration there remains weak and fragile, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report seeking a final six-month extension for the United Nations mission in the tiny nation.

Timor-Leste has made "steady progress" in its institution-building efforts over the past three months, Mr. Annan says, adding that the Government has made "considerable" efforts to address pressing issues, such as the plight of veterans, as well as prepare for local elections.

He recommends that the UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) be retained in the country through 20 May 2005 to help it to consolidate its gains. The Mission is currently providing assistance to the country's justice system and core administrative structures, contributing to the development of its national police, and helping to maintain security.

The report is based on the findings of a UN technical assessment mission that visited Timor-Leste in October.

Over the next six months, Mr. Annan says, the UN mission will be focusing on preparations for its exit strategy so that the country would not suffer significantly from its withdrawal.

UNMISET is composed of 58 civilian advisers, 150 civilian police advisers, 42 military liaison officers and a security force of some 430 military personnel, including an infantry company and air support.

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