I have the honour to speak on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. I thank the Controller, the Secretariat and the Chair of the ACABQ for their comments and for their introduction of the relevant reports on the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT).
CANZ are strong supporters of UNMIT and its important work in Timor-Leste. We welcome the significant progress made by the Government of Timor-Leste with support from UNMIT and, assisted by the presence of the International Stabilisation Force comprised of personnel from New Zealand and Australia.
The parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for 2012 will be a key milestone in Timor-Leste’s young history. Credible and transparent elections will be vital for the continuing development of a peaceful and stable Timor-Leste.
In reviewing the Secretary-General’s proposals, we have taken note of the resources being requested to support the preparations for the elections – in particular the additional 27 temporary positions. We look forward to receiving further information on these positions, including the proposed timeframe for their recruitment and deployment during informal consultations.
We welcome UNMIT’s four key priorities; review and reform of the security sector; strengthening of the rule of law; promotion of a culture of democratic governance and dialogue; and economic and social development.
Following the recent resumption of primary policing responsibilities by the National Police of Timor-Leste’s (PNTL), UNMIT will need to remain focused on capacity building of the security sector to ensure the PNTL has the tools and expertise required to discharge its important functions.
CANZ welcomes the establishment of a high-level steering group, led by the President, Prime Minister and the SRSG to oversee UNMIT’s transition. We trust that this high-level steering group will ensure that the gradual reductions during the budget period will be consistent with the Government’s wishes and the realities on the ground.
In closing, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations, Field Support and all UNMIT personnel for their efforts to date in implementing UNMIT’s mandate.
CANZ remains committed to assisting the Government and people of Timor-Leste as they take primary responsibility for the development of a stable prosperous nation.