UNOTIL continues to urge progress on peace and unity in Timor-Leste
"We are in constant dialogue with the Timorese leadership," Special Representative of the Secretary-General Sukehiro Hasegawa stated. "The Secretary-General's Special Envoy Ian Martin is now on the ground to make a political assessment," he added. Additionally, UN Security as well as UN military and police advisers continue to closely monitor the situation and liaise with international forces.
Commenting on the recent decision made in the Council of State, in which it was agreed that the President, in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, would assume principal responsibility of the nation's security and defense, SRSG Hasegawa told ABC television, " The announcement made by the Council of State yesterday was a good one. It's a step forward."
The SRSG said one of the fundamental elements necessary for a sustainable restoration to peace and security is the need for retraining and reuniting of security forces, and he expressed a confident outlook if this can be accomplished "We can move towards the presidential and the parliamentary elections next year and that is key. We are going to bring this country back together," the SRSG commented.
Hasegawa said that the underlying causes of conflict he found were the institutional incapability to address grievances of the members of the Timorese Armed Forces; poverty and unemployment, particularly among the youths; and the mindset of certain issue groups that have a propensity to resort to violence in settling disputes. He pointed out that the challenge and opportunity posed for the UN and the international community to help the Timorese is to overcome the conflict trap by linking the promotion of human rights with guarding the imperatives of inclusive democracy.
"We now have the opportunity to engage in peace- and nation-building with innovative ideas. We need to recognize that the problem is never how to get new innovative thoughts into our minds, but how to get the old ones out when facing a new situation, " the SRSG said.
For additional information, please contact: Donna Cusumano, Chief, Public Information Office, UNOTIL; +670 723 0749