(As delivered)


28 April 2003

Mr. President,

I would like to thank you for convening this open meeting. I also thank Ambassador Kamalesh Sharma, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for his comprehensive briefing.

Mr. President,

The report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) (S/2003/449) provides a detailed description of the situation in Timor-Leste a year after its independence. The Government of Japan is pleased to note that much has been achieved during the past year in the fields of public administration, internal security, and Timor-Leste's relationship with Indonesia, including border control issues. However, there remain various political and security challenges to overcome. We share the Secretary-General's observation that further bilateral assistance in such areas as public administration, the judiciary, police and national security will be necessary even after UNMISET concludes its activities.

Mr. President,

In this connection, recent incidents, such as riots and armed attacks, are a source of great concern to all of us. The Government of Japan welcomes Security Council resolution 1473 which was adopted to address this situation, and supports the revised strategies outlined in the report of the Secretary-General. It also supports the extension of UNMISET's mandate for one more year, until 20 May 2004, as recommended by the Secretary-General. The Government of Japan intends to take the necessary steps to enable its Engineer Group to continue contributing to the successful completion of the mandates of UNMISET as well as to Timor-Leste's nation-building efforts in line with the modified downsizing schedule.

As stressed in the resolution, improving the overall capabilities of the National Police of Timor-Leste is a key priority. We are encouraged to note that the workshop on capacity-building of the police, for which Japan was pleased to provide funding, was successfully held last week. We hope that it will contribute to implementing the recommendations of the joint assessment mission on policing.

Mr. President,

Just a week ago, Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste visited Japan and met with Foreign Minister Kawaguchi. On that occasion, Mr. Ramos-Horta emphasized that security in Timor-Leste cannot be maintained solely by training and strengthening the police force, and that it is also necessary to invite investment and create job opportunities. We could not agree with him more strongly. Japan has been playing a major role in providing assistance for building a self-sustainable nation of Timor-Leste. We have been steadily implementing our pledge of assistance of up to $60 million over the period of three years after independence, with a focus on peace-building as well as on reconstruction in three key areas: agriculture, infrastructure and human resources development. Above all, human resources development is of particular importance because it is the very basis of nation-building. With the aim of enhancing national stability, which is a prerequisite for development, we have already allocated $8 million for improving health conditions and reducing poverty, as well as for providing employment opportunities for ex-combatants through the Recovery, Employment and Stability Programme for Ex-Combatants and Communities in Timor-Leste (RESPECT). The Government of Japan also has recently decided to extend an additional $470,000 for the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation to facilitate national reconciliation in Timor-Leste.

Mr. President,

Mindful of the challenges that remain in Timor-Leste, I wish to re-emphasize the importance for the leadership of Timor-Leste to be united in leading their country, for the people of Timor-Leste to participate in the nation-building efforts as a matter of their own responsibility, and for the international community to continue to extend its support. The Government of Japan, for its part, will spare no effort to extend as much assistance as it can for the consolidation of peace in Timor-Leste.

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

Related Information (Japan-Timor-Leste Relations)

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