AHEAD OF THE END OF UN PEACEKEEPING IN TIMOR-LESTE, BAN EXPRESSED CONFIDENCE IN NATIONAL SECURITY FORCES.
As the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Timor-Leste is about to end later this year, Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon congratulated the Citizens of the young country on the progress they have made over the past 10 years.
“You have much to be proud of,” Ban said in a press conference held with President Taur Matan Ruak. “Timor-Leste has come a long way. “
Since the independence of Timor-Leste -which encompasses the eastern part of the island of Timor- in 2002, the country has developed itself into a democratic, peaceful environment with a relatively free press and organized police force.
Ban commended the Timorese on both their parliamentary and presidential elections, which were held in the previous months. “The peaceful and order process reflects Timor-Leste’s strong commitment to stability, democracy and national unity,” the Secretary-General said.
“As the UN now reduces its footprint in the country, you are continuing to set a global example of how to successfully emerge from conflict to lasting peace,” Ban said. “As we shape our relationship, Timor-Leste can count of the United Nations’ steady support as you lead the way forward.”
The National police force in Timor-Leste (PNTL) has gradually taken over responsibility for police operations from the United Nation’s peacekeepers in previous 16 years. The Secretary-General visited a police academy on the island, where he discussed long-term development of the countries safety with member of the national police force.
“The close cooperation between [the UN integrated mission in Timor-Leste] UNMIT and PTNL has been essential to ensure the continued strengthening of PNTL,” Ban said.
Ban Ki Moon ensured the people of Timor-Leste that they would continue to have the support of the United Nations, even if UNMIT officially hand over the task of Timor-Leste’s security to the Timorese.