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Timor-Leste Mission Extended For Final Six Months

Security Council Extends Timor-Leste Mission For Final Six Months

The United Nations Security Council today unanimously adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the UN mission in Timor-Leste (UNMISET) for another six months before its planned withdrawal from that country next year.

The decision comes a week after the Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, submitted a report to the Council stressing that Timor-Leste had "not yet achieved a critical threshold of self-sufficiency as public administration there remains weak and fragile."

After debating the issue yesterday, the Council decided to maintain the current tasks, shape and size of the Mission in order to allow it to consolidate its gains.

Through the resolution, the Council urged the donor community to continue providing assistance to Timor-Leste and called on the UN development and humanitarian agencies as well as international financial institutions to start planning immediately for "a smooth transition in the country, from peacekeeping operations to a sustainable development assistance framework."

Reaffirming the need to fight against impunity, the Council members also took note of the Secretary-General's intention to explore possible ways to address that issue by making appropriate proposals.

The Security Council has set a target of completing by May all trials related to the violence which engulfed East Timor in the wake of the popular consultation on independence conducted in 1999.

UNMISET was established in 2002 after the country gained independence and renamed itself Timor-Leste. Since then, the mission has been helping with administrative structures, law enforcement and security.

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