17 January 2010

UN Delegation discusses future of UN peacekeeping role with Alkatiri and FRETILIN

FRETILIN MEDIA RELEASE Dili, 13 January 2010 - UN Delegation discusses future of UN peacekeeping role with Alkatiri and FRETILIN

Yesterday, Monday the 12th of January in 2010, the former Prime Minister and Secretary-General of FRETILIN, Dr. Mari Alkatiri, met with a UN technical mission led by Mr. Ian Martin, together with the new SRSG Ms Ahmeera Haq and her assistant as well as other UN officials to discuss the role of the follow on UN mission to the country.

Whilst in Timor-Leste the mission will consult with the political leadership and Timorese civil society about the future and role of the UN mission in Timor-Leste.

In an interview with journalists after the meeting, Dr. Alkatiri told journalists that the meeting was very productive and positive, because it was good opportunity for him as the former Prime Minister with extensive governance experience as well as Secretary-General of the historical FRETILIN party, the largest party in Timor-Leste, to contribute to the process of building lasting peace, stability and development in Timor-Leste.

“This mission is headed by someone we all know, Mr. Ian Martin, a good friend of Timor-Leste from a long time who now comes here to listen to our views as Timorese as to how the UN can best assist Timor-Leste in the coming years to find peace, stability and development. This team will prepare a report for the Secretary General of the UN and he will in turn recommend to the UN Security Council to decide on UNMIT’s future role. For this reason it is important we share our opinions with the team so that they can better assist our country and people in the future," stated Alkatiri.

Dr. Alkatiri added, "FRETILIN is always ready to collaborate with the whole international community, especially the UN, to find a way for them to continue to provide the assistance we need to build peace and stability. But I also told them that it is important that our people do not become psychologically dependent on the international community, as is already happening in a way. What we need is for them to assist us to develop our institutions and the skills of Timorese so that in future we can live in peace and stability, which are vital to enable us to implement a development programme that will quickly lift our people from poverty.”

Dr. Alkatiri also informed journalists that Vice President of FRETILIN and Member of Parliament Arsenio Bano, and MP Jose Teixeira, and Mr. Filomeno Aleixo, Assistant to the former PM, also participated in the meeting.

“We expressed FRETILIN’s point of view about many issues of relevance to their mission and how the UN can help improve certain sectors in order to guarantee good governance. I informed them that we need national consensus in certain areas such as administrative divisions, security and defence sector reform, justice sector and how to strengthen institutions to give the public confidence in them and they in turn will fulfill their role of respecting a state based on democratic rights. I said that I was greatly worried by the situation where one constitutional branch does not respect others and interferes with the other sovereign constitutional institutions. Interference by politicians with justice for example. This needs to change for people to have confidence in their governors, in the law and the justice
system. No one is above the law.”

“Regarding the UN mandate, we in FRETILIN agree that the UN mandate should be extended for another year and until 2012 we will need to continue to reflect carefully on the situation of security and stability in the country at that time. Only then can we assess if the UN presence should continue for a further period,” Alkatiri said.

However, Alkatiri stressed that he also informed the UN mission that FRETILIN believes "that a draw down in the international stabilization forces is appropriate given the ongoing stability and improving security situation in the country."


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