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10 January 2009

Deputy of Special Representative of Secretary-General for Timor-Leste on Human Rights, Transitional Justice, Security Sector and Serious Crimes

Mr. Takahisa Kawakami 8 January 2008 Conference Room B, 11.00am Security Sector Support and Rule of Law

Introduction

As DSRSG for Security Sector Support and Rule of Law, I oversee the work of the Human Rights and Transitional Justice, Military Liaison Group, Security Sector Support Unit, Serious Crimes Investigation Team and UNPOL

In this occasion I would like to overview and update you as well on policing issues, human rights, the justice sector and the security sector issue in 2008.


Police
1. Crime statistics

•The overall threat assessment for Timor-Leste at present is that the situation remains generally calm and manageable

• Police adopted a proactive community policing approach to build trust and rapport with the public and also actively engaged key political stake holders. This has largely brought down the number of martial arts gang-related incidents.

•There were a total of numbers of 3,094 crime incidents in 2008.

• Compared with 2007 (2,825 incidents), 2008 marked a slight increase in the number of reported crime incidents due to effective mechanism for reporting, specifically a difference of 269 incidents or less than 1%.

•The largest numbers of crime in 2008 were assault, public disorder and domestic dispute.

2. The resumption of responsibility

• The establishment of assessment teams, districts to be handed over and Terms of References for Joint Technical Team (which will monitor the Transition process), have been proposed.

• After the PNTL have resumed all responsibilities, the role of UNPol will be to continue advising, monitoring, support and providing assistance to the PNTL. (challenges)

3. Opening Of New Police Stations

•Becora Market Police post was established in September in 2008.

•The post was established purposely to provide security for the IDPs relocated at the Becora Market Transitional Shelter.


4. Creation of Border Patrol Unit

•UNPOL created the Border Patrol Unit in May 2008.

•From May to 31 Dec, 203 PNTL/UPF officers have been mentored and they arrested 146 illegal crossers.


Human Rights

Achievement

•Trained 356 elementary school teachers from all 13 Districts.

•Provedor do Direitos Humanus and Justice staff increased and opened office in Oecussi in December 2008.

•There was a marked decrease in the number of allegations of human rights violations after the joint command ended

•Trials for 2006 perpetrators began in October 2008 and further trials scheduled to begin in January 2009.

Challenge.

•There was a concern of security forces understanding and commitment to respect human rights principles.

Security Sector

• Early in 2008, the Security Sector Review Project was signed between the UN and the Government of Timor-Leste. This document outlined the support that the UN would provide to the comprehensive review of the security sector initiated by the Government of Timor-Leste.

• On 11-12 December, the Government hosted a Sector Reform and Development Seminar supported by the UN. This was an important step in developing a consensus vision on what Timor-Leste wants to achieve in the security sector.

• Another achievement was the training for the Segurança Civil conducted by the French Cooperation on behalf of the UN Security Sector Review Project.

• UNMIT also provided assistance to the Government in drafting key legislation such as the national security law, the national defense law and the internal security law.

• The challenge remains to ensure the security sector reform takes places

Serious Crimes investigation Team

• Following an agreement signed between the UN and the Government of Timor-Leste in February 2008, the legal framework for UNMIT activities in the area of Serious Crimes were established.

•Two investigating regional teams operate from Dili and three teams were deployed to Baucau, Maliana and Suai.

• The investigations have been carried on in the most of the Districts simultaneously, giving priority to the most serious cases, such as murder.

• From February- December 2008, the SCIT has concluded over 30 cases and sent all the collected evidence and recommendations to the Prosecutor-General’s Office for further evaluation.

Possible Q & A:

1.On the PNTL resumption of responsibilities, how will you decide which districts to handover?

The decision will be based on reaching of four criteria: (a) the ability of the PNTL to respond appropriately to the security environment in a given district; (b) final certification of at least 80 per cent of eligible PNTL officers in a given district/unit to be handed over; (c) the availability of initial operational logistical requirements; and (d) institutional stability.

Together with PNTL and the Secretary of State for Security, we are finalising the indicators that will be used to assess the overall criteria. We are also discussing the work of joint assessment teams that will determine whether a district or unit has achieved the criteria.

I would also like to emphasize that development of a mature, disciplined, neutral police force with due regard for human rights and the rule of law is a long-term process of which the handover is only one stage. The long-term health of the institution depends on the continuing commitment of the Government, PNTL and bilateral partners.

2. On New Year’s Eve, the President said that he expects the Government to select a new PNTL commander this month? Does UNMIT have any opinion of the person best-suited for this position?

Currently, the Acting UNPOL Commissioner serves as the overall PNTL commander and he has enjoyed a good partnership with the Commander General-Designate of PNTL. If the Government decides to appoint a Commander, I am sure that it will choose somebody with the qualifications needed to lead the reform and development of the police service.

3.Why is the investigation into 11 February taking so long?

This is a question better suited for the Prosecutor General. However, I can say from my experience in other countries, that major criminal investigations can take a long time. The investigations have to be done very carefully to ensure the best case possible when the case goes to court.

http://unmit.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=156&ctl=Details&mid=778&ItemID=769

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