SRSG departs East Timor after UNTAET ends, UNMISET begins

Originally published
Special Representative of the Secretary-General Sergio Vieira de Mello departed East Timor this morning after more than two-and-a-half years heading the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).
The SRSG, who arrived in East Timor in November 1999 and oversaw the territory's transition to independence, was seen off by his closest staff at a simple farewell gathering at Dili's Comoro Airport.

Kamalesh Sharma, a senior diplomat from India, arrived in East Timor on 19 May and succeeds Vieira de Mello as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for UNTAET's successor mission, the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET).

Prior to assuming his post in East Timor, Sharma was the Permanent Representative of India to the UN in New York.

The UN Security Council on 17 May formally established UNMISET for a 12-month period starting on 20 May.

Resolution 1410 (2002) states that UNMISET will provide assistance to core administrative structures critical to the viability and political stability of East Timor.

The mission will also provide interim law enforcement and public security, assist in developing the East Timor Police Service (ETPS) and contribute to the maintenance of the new country's external and internal security.

The resolution states that UNMISET will initially comprise 1,250 civilian police and an initial military troop strength of 5,000, including 120 military observers. The civilian component would include focal points for gender and HIV/AIDS, a Civilian Support Group of up to 100 personnel filling core functions, a Serious Crimes Unit and a Human Rights Unit.