(As delivered)

STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. YOSHIYUKI MOTOMURA
DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
AT THE OPEN MEETING OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
ON THE SITUATION IN TIMOR-LESTE

20 FEBRUARY 2004

Mr. President,

I would like to thank you for convening this open meeting in the Security Council, which will provide us with a very good opportunity for the exchange of views about the future of Timor-Leste and the role of the United Nations. I would also like to thank Mr. Jean-Marie Guehenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, for his comprehensive briefing.

Mr. President,

The Government of Japan welcomes the fact that, since UNMISET initiated its activities, much has been accomplished in the areas of public administration, serious crimes, and internal and external security matters, including progress on border control issues. We also welcome the news that Timor-Leste's relationship with Indonesia has been further strengthened.

Mr. President,

The mandate of UNMISET will conclude this May. We believe, however, that it will continue to be necessary for the international community to extend its support to Timor-Leste, as the Secretary-General's report points out, in such areas as public administration, the judiciary, and national security and stability. My government recognizes the consolidation and building of peace as one of the major challenges faced by the international community, and we believe it is crucially important for the United Nations and the international community to make certain that those valuable, incipient achievements in the areas of peace, the rule of law, respect for human rights, and development take root and endure. What has been achieved by the international community in Timor-Leste since the United Nations undertook the transitional administration there may be regarded as a striking success story, and, therefore, we welcome the Secretary-General's proposal to extend the mandate of UNMISET for one additional year, in order to consolidate what has been achieved up to this point on as firm a foundation as possible.

Mr. President,

The Government of Japan would like to state two things here relating to the extension of UNMISET. First, it is of crucial importance for a young country like Timor-Leste to be provided support in the area of nation-building by civilian experts. For that reason, we endorse the report's recommendation that the extended UNMISET should have fifty-eight civilian advisers in all areas of government administration, including financial management, and in the justice sector.

The second point is related to the issue of security and safety in Timor-Leste. Japan believes that we should pay serious attention to the situation in Timor-Leste described in the report as follows: "There appears to be a lack of confidence among the Timorese public concerning the security situation after May 2004". The Secretary-General's report also points out tasks for the extended UNMISET and suggests that there remain a small number of military liaison officers deployed in the border area, a minimum contingent of peacekeeping forces to provide protection for all United Nations personnel, and civilian police advisers to support the development of Timor-Leste's police force. The Japanese Government considers these proposals as the result of consideration of the assessment of the situation in Timor-Leste and of the will of the government and people of Timor-Leste. We believe that the peacekeeping operations of the United Nations work most effectively when they are in accord with the intentions of the government and the people of the recipient countries, and when they are implemented based on a unified consensus within the international community. We expect that the council will seriously consider the Secretary-General's report in its indication of what kind of tasks should be retained in the extended UNMISET.

Mr. President,

In support of building a self-sustainable Timor-Leste, Japan has pledged and has been steadily implementing assistance of up to $60 million over the period of three years following independence, with the focus on peace-building and on reconstruction in three key areas, agriculture, infrastructure, and human resources development. We are pleased to learn that the roads and bridges which the Engineer Group of our Self-Defense Forces has constructed and repaired for the activities of the UNMISET are benefiting the people of Timor-Leste as well. We believe such support is in line with the needs of Timor-Leste as described in the report of the Secretary-General.

Mr. President,

I wish to reiterate how important it is for the leaders of Timor-Leste to be united in governing 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 continue to provide appropriate assistance for the consolidation of peace and development in Timor-Leste.

Thank you, Mr. President

Related Information (Japan-Timor-Leste Relations)
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations Official Web Siteother site

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