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12 November 2012 – Security Council – Timor-Leste – Statement by Mr. Philippe Bertoux, Political Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

I would like to thank Mr. Reske-Nielsen for his presentation and to welcome the presence and the statement of Mr. José Luís Guterres, Minister of State and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste.

My country aligns itself with the statement that will be made by the observer of the European Union.

At the outset, I would also like to thank the Permanent Representative of South Africa for having led the Security Council’s mini-mission to Timor-Leste, for his report (see S/PV.6858) and, more generally, for his work in the Security Council on this matter.

My country would also like to thank the United Nations staff members who have worked in the Mission in Timor-Leste since its deployment, the successive Special Representatives and those nations that have participated in stabilizing the country, in particular, Portugal, Australia and New Zealand.

We would like to congratulate the authorities of Timor-Leste for organizing free and democratic legislative and presidential elections, which were held in a peaceful climate with a high turnout. The transfer of power was peaceful, which gives shape to the entrenchment of democracy and the solidity of the country’s institutions.

The transfer of responsibility for security to the Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) took place in good conditions and without an increase in crime. The certification of the full reconstitution of the PNTL paves the way for a cut in staff levels of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) and an end to the Mission on 31 December 2012, as stipulated in resolution 2037 (2012).

The country’s diplomacy is displaying great dynamism, as demonstrated by its role in the Group of Seven Plus coalition of fragile States and its growing interaction with regional organizations in the area, an aim that we too are pursuing for our territories in the Pacific. The security situation has been stable for some years now, and everything points to it remaining so.

The challenges that the Timorese must tackle today include combating poverty, economic development, discrimination against women, the scourge of corruption and bolstering justice and accountability for serious crimes committed in the past.

The challenges should be met with the assistance of the international community, and no longer with the support of a United Nations peacekeeping operation. The effective departure of UNMIT is approaching and taking final shape. The preparations for UNMIT’s withdrawal and the Joint Transition Plan are, in our eyes, a model to be followed in other theatres. We have taken due note of the wishes expressed by Prime Minister Gusmão on the nature of the relation between his country and the United Nations after the withdrawal.

It is clear that the type of presence that the United Nations will maintain on the ground should be defined in concert with the local authorities and with their full agreement. We should also bear in mind its budgetary implications.

We are also ready, as requested by the Timorese authorities, to see the agenda of the Security Council evolve in order to ref lect the new situation in Timor-Leste. We nonetheless are prepared to join all the parties concerned in considering the outlines of a future relationship between the United Nations and Timor-Leste.


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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU