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Timor-Leste: UN envoy hails new report on policing needs

Timor-Leste: UN envoy hails new report on policing needs

Timor-Leste requires added funding to boost its law enforcement operations, the senior United Nations envoy to the country said today, endorsing the findings of a new report on the country's policing needs.

Speaking in the capital, Dili, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative, Kamalesh Sharma, hailed the preliminary conclusions of a just-concluded assessment mission. “I hope that all partners will take the mission assessment as a guidance for building sustainable police services in Timor-Leste, and I would like to seek your strong support to this endeavor,” he said.

The initial report of the 11-day assessment mission, which wrapped up yesterday, recommends more extensive training, including additional human rights training, for recruits, and suggests that officers be continually informed of new legislation and regulations. The report also urges the creation of a police manual as well as a code of conduct, and cites the need for stronger community-police relations.

Mr. Sharma commended the mission for focusing on the importance of additional training, saying that “further integration of human rights into all training also needs particular attention.” He also noted the mission's concern over inadequate equipment. “A poorly equipped and under-resourced police force cannot enjoy the confidence of the community it serves,” he said.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Timor-Leste, Sukehiro Hasegawa, agreed on the need for adequate funding, particularly after the country's own police fully take over tasks now being carried out by the UN.

The mission – a joint effort of the Timor-Leste Government, the UN and members of the donor community – is expected complete its final report in the coming weeks.