Security Council welcomes progress after elections in Timor-Leste

10 September 2007

Welcoming the formation of a new Government in Timor-Leste after recent legislative elections, the Security Council today urged the small South-East Asian country’s political groups to resolve any differences or disputes through only peaceful channels.

Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert of France, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month, said in a statement that the people of Timor-Leste, which the United Nations helped shepherd to independence in 2002, deserved credit “for demonstrating their strong commitment to peace and democracy” by successfully staging the polls.

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão heads the Timorese Cabinet after the 30 June elections, which produced no clear winner and was followed by sporadic outbreaks of violence.

Mr. Ripert stressed that all parties in Timor-Leste and their supporters must refrain from violence and work through peaceful channels “and within the framework of democratic institutions” to ensure the security of the country.

Timor-Leste’s Government, Parliament, political parties and general population must engage together in political dialogue so they can consolidate not only peace and democracy, but the rule of law and sustainable social and economic development, Mr. Ripert said.

Other priorities include security sector reform, resolving the issue of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and strengthening the justice sector.

The presidential statement also emphasized the importance of national reconciliation in Timor-Leste, where differences between the eastern and western regions last year led to the deaths of at least 137 people, the displacement of about 155,000 people – or 15 per cent of the national population – and the creation of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT).


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