(As delivered)

STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. KOICHI HARAGUCHI
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
AT THE PUBLIC MEETING OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
ON THE SITUATION IN TIMOR-LESTE

24 AUGUST 2004

Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this public meeting concerning the situation in Timor-Leste. I also wish to offer my thanks to Assistant Secretary-General Mr. Annabi for his comprehensive briefing.

Mr. President,

At the last open meeting on this issue, I expressed Japan's view that if Timor-Leste is to be considered a genuine PKO success story, UNMISET must complete its activities and achieve its goals within this final one-year period. It is thus essential to conclude during this period the transition from the phase of peacekeeping operations for resolution of the conflict to the next phase of development activities conducted through bilateral channels as well as relevant international institutions. From this point of view, my government appreciates the progress described in the Secretary-General's report. Timor-Leste has made further, steady advances in the area of administration and the justice sector, while in the security sector, law-enforcement agencies and the armed forces have continued to develop and mature. It is crucial that Timor-Leste maintain its momentum toward achieving sustainable independence, and Japan will continue to offer its utmost support for this purpose.

Mr. President,

We are, at the same time, concerned by the observation contained in the report that work on the delineation of the land boundary between Timor-Leste and Indonesia is not proceeding expeditiously. Japan expects that both countries will continue to make their best efforts to resolve this matter. The veterans' demonstration in Dili in July and a political dialogue held last Saturday between the government leaders and representatives of several groups of ex-combatants, veterans and bereaved orphans and widows underscored the importance of re-integration of those groups into society at large. For that reason, the Recovery, Employment and Stability Programme for Ex-combatants and Communities in Timor-Leste (RESPECT) administered by UNDP, to which Japan has contributed substantially, should be given highest priority. We also call for the support of the Member States in similar activities.

Mr. President,

Japan has been playing a major role in the building of a sustainable Timor-Leste. My government has pledged and has been steadily implementing assistance of up to $60 million over the first three years following independence, with the focus on peace-building and on reconstruction in the three key areas of agriculture, infrastructure and human resources development. We have already invested $57 million in infrastructure projects such as roads, electricity, and water supply in the Dili district. The Engineer Group and headquarter personnel of our Self-Defense Forces recently completed its tasks and returned to Japan. At the same time, on the request of the Government of Timor-Leste, Japan handed over the equipment of the Engineer Group, including various types of vehicles which can be utilized for road building, to the Government of Timor-Leste, in the hopes that it would help to meet the needs on the ground. My government is also making efforts, by dispatches of what is called "civil-power," Groups composed of Engineer Group veterans and non-military engineering specialists, in transferring technology by educating Timor-Leste government staff in the operation, maintenance and management of the donated equipment and material. We believe such support will not only offer a new challenge for Japan's international peace cooperation but also certainly help improve the life of the people, which constitutes the basis of the nation-building now under way in Timor-Leste.

Mr. President,

Finally, I wish to underscore once again how important this final one-year period will be for Timor-Leste. The Government of Japan is convinced that, through the efforts of UNMISET and the people of Timor-Leste, and with the guidance of their wise leaders, stability and the foundations for development in Timor-Leste will be strengthened, and the UN peacekeeping operation will successfully complete its mission.

Thank you, Mr. President

Related Information (Japan-Timor-Leste Relations)
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