Source: United Nations Secretary-General Date: 27 Aug 2009 SG/SM/12427 - Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's video message on the tenth anniversary of the United Nations-Conducted Popular Consultation in Timor-Leste: Congratulations to Timor-Leste on this historic anniversary!
On this day 10 years ago, the world watched in admiration as the Timorese people exercised their right to self-determination, showed their commitment to democracy and courageously chose their future through the ballot.
After decades of violence and despair, this peaceful step was a deeply moving event.
But after the results were announced, terrible destruction was unleashed, leaving Timor-Leste with major economic, political and social challenges. Addressing these challenges has been the main task during the first years of independence.
Nation-building has not been easy. There have been setbacks. Timor-Leste faced a crisis in 2006, and asked the United Nations and the international community for more support.
As always, the resilient Timorese people and their leaders have risen to meet their challenges. Timor-Leste has shown the world that democracy is the best path to sustainable peace and development.
In just over seven years since the restoration of independence, your country has established all its major democratic institutions. Now we must strengthen them.
Timor-Leste's progress also shows yet again the power of peaceful means in changing the course of history.
The United Nations attaches the highest importance to our partnership with you.
We will continue to support your efforts to build a prosperous, inclusive society, based on democracy, rule of law, human dignity and respect for the human rights of all the country's people.
Thank you very much.
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