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Annan calls on donors to help Timorese build a better future

Annan calls on donors to help Timorese build a better future

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged the international community to "again do its part," calling on donors meeting in Timor-Leste to help the tiny Asian nation continue its post-independence march towards sustainable development.

With the current mandate of the UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) due to end soon, "we find ourselves at a critical juncture," Mr. Annan said in a message to a meeting on Timor-Leste and its development partners. "As Timor-Leste transitions from a peacekeeping into a peacebuilding phase, I hope you will assist capacity-building efforts with a view to ensuring viable and stable administrative structures," he said.

"I trust your deliberations…will contribute further to building better lives for the people of Timor-Leste," Mr. Annan told the conference. "The challenges before us are daunting, but with your help, I am confident that they can be overcome."

Recalling that the global community, together with the dedication of the Timorese people and their leadership, had once before helped the world's newest nation to embark firmly on the path of development, he said that since the first development partners conference on Timor-Leste in December 1999, donors have actively supported the country's efforts to reconstruct a shattered society, build the institutions of state from scratch, and lay the groundwork for sustainable development.

"I am proud that the United Nations has contributed to creating conditions for peace and stability in Timor-Leste, without which its development efforts could not have proceeded successfully," Mr. Annan said, echoing the words of his speech to the opening session of the donors' meeting four years ago, in which he said "helping the Timorese people has been one of most formidable responsibilities ever given to the United Nations."

Today, he thanked all the development partners, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), for their steadfast support since 1999. "The UN would not have been able to carry out its mission in Timor-Leste without that support. And I call on the international community again to play its part," he said.