18 October 2010

Latest UN Human Rights Report cites major progress

The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste Ágio Pereira October 16, 2010 Díli, Timor-Leste - Latest UN Human Rights Report cites major progress

The policies and programs of the Xanana Gusmão Government have bolstered the human rights of the citizens of Timor-Leste with progress being acknowledged in strengthening the
Security and Justice sectors of the Nation.

In it’s recently released Human Rights Report on Timor-Leste titled “Facing the Future”, the
United Nations has identified a number of significant improvements made over the recent
period between 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2010. Louis Gentile, Chief of the Human Rights and
Transitional Justice Section of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste,
speaking on the release of the document, noted the country was doing “far better than
average in a number of human rights areas” and “has the potential to be both a regional and
global leader in human rights”.

The report, the fourth to date on Timor-Leste, highlights increased accountability for PNTL
officers (National Police), improvements to the justice system and the steps taken towards
accountability for crimes committed during the 2006 internal unrest with all cases recommended by the Commission of Inquiry having been taken up for investigation.

Factors identified as leading to the strengthening of the Justice sector included the establishment of  new training programs, an increase in personnel within the sector, improvements to rural facilities and the passage of domestic violence legislation.

An overview refers to the climate of “ongoing peace and stability” and describes the political
and security environment as “relatively calm” mentioning the progressive handover of
primary policing responsibilities to the PNTL, the Suco elections of October 2009 held
successfully with few incidents and the implementation of the Governments IDP reintegration strategy with the closing of the last tented camp in August 2009 and the closure of transitional shelters at the end of February 2010.

In the way of institutional development, the report acknowledges the establishment of the national Anti-Corruption Commission and the National Commission on the Rights of the Child within the reporting period.

Whilst also detailing some concerns and concluding with recommendations for further improvement, the report is clear; in the 12 months covered Timor-Leste has made major progress.

Secretary of State Pereira noted “in the first three years of the mandate of the Xanana Gusmão Government remarkable ground has been made in achieving peace and stability and building the fledgling institutions of state.

We thank those in the Security and Justice sectors for their hard work and salute the members of the PNTL and F-FDTL for their participation in the journey towards professionalization. The Government pays homage to the men and women of Timor-Leste for their commitment to peace and will continue with determination and vigor to further enhance the Justice and Security sectors.” ENDS

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