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Progress in transfer of power to East Timorese 'impressive:' head of UN mission

Progress in transfer of power to East Timorese 'impressive:' head of UN mission

The effort of recruiting, selecting and placing East Timorese as civil servants during the territory's transition to independence - a process called "Timorization" - has displayed "impressive numbers," the head of the United Nations mission there said today.

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of the first 17 East Timorese Senior Civil Servants of the Transitional Administration's Division of Health, the head of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), Sergio Vieira de Mello, said 86 per cent of the positions approved by the National Council in the budget for this fiscal year had been filled.

"More than 9,000 East Timorese civil servants of a total of 10,554 staff that we were authorized to recruit are already recruited," he said. According to UNTAET, over half of the allocated managerial posts have been filled, with 20 per cent of them occupied by women.

In other news, a month-long workshop in political participation for potential East Timorese women candidates to the 30 August Constituent Assembly elections ended today with a ceremony in Dili. More than 150 East Timorese women from organizations all over the country attended the training, organized by UNTAET's Division of Gender Affairs in conjunction with the United Nations Fund for Women, UNIFEM. The Gender Affairs Division will conduct additional training for those who decide to run in the upcoming elections.