UN Assembly President says Timor-Leste heading in ‘right direction’

30 July 2003

The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Jan Kavan, ended his tour of Timor-Leste today, saying he was “personally convinced” the tiny island-nation – the world’s first in the new millennium – was heading in the right direction.

During his four-day visit, Mr. Kavan met with the Timorese leadership to discuss the UN presence there and the extent to which the world body’s involvement in the country may still be needed after the end of the UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) in 2004.

Mr. Kavan told journalists prior to his departure that he was very impressed by all the remarkable achievements since the country’s independence in May 2002. At the same time, Timor-Leste is the poorest nation in Asia and one of the poorest in the world, and it faces problems similar to those faced by many poor countries, he added.

The Assembly President also said that he would recommend to Secretary-General Kofi Annan and to the Security Council that a Security Council delegation should visit Timor-Leste, perhaps in December, “to see for themselves and evaluate your needs.”


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