Timorese President calls on UN to stay on to help country stabilize

Timorese President calls on UN to stay on to help country stabilize

President Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste
Applauding the efforts so far of the United Nations to bring peace and stability to the South-East Asian country, Timor-Leste’s President today called on the world body to extend its engagement there to help strengthen national institutions and ensure that democracy takes root.

Applauding the efforts so far of the United Nations to bring peace and stability to the South-East Asian country, Timor-Leste’s President today called on the world body to extend its engagement there to help strengthen national institutions and ensure that democracy takes root.

José Ramos-Horta told the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate that the presence of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) after the deadly violence of April and May last year had helped the nation achieve “significant progress.”

Presidential and legislative elections held earlier this year were largely free of violence or irregularities, he said, and security sector reform has also begun.

But the President acknowledged that the recent outbreak of violence from supporters of Fretilin, the former ruling party, after the new government was announced, showed that “the relative tranquility prevailing in the country is a precarious one.”

The events of last year were also “a crisis of our own making and for which we must take full responsibility,” he said, adding that his country realized it needs to make every effort to stand on its own feet.

“We hope that the UN will consider a longer-term engagement with us to further stabilize the situation, strengthen our national institutions and consolidate peace and democracy,” he said.

“As the situation progresses, we hope that the Peacebuilding Commission will consider placing Timor-Leste on its agenda as a follow-up to UNMIT.”

The Peacebuilding Commission was established by the UN last year to prevent countries emerging from conflict from sliding back into chaos or war. It focuses on projects that help with reconstruction, institution-building and sustainable development.