(As delivered)


15 NOVEMBER 2004

Mr. President,

Thank you for this public meeting concerning the situation in Timor-Leste. I also wish to thank Mr. Sukehiro Hasegawa, for his comprehensive briefing.

Mr. President,

First of all, I would like to make it clear that the Government of Japan supports the recommendation of the Secretary-General to extend the mandate of UNMISET for an additional six months. At the same time, I wish to stress that this is going to be a very important period for the successful conclusion of the tasks assigned to the PKO in Timor-Leste. Japan will continue to extend its utmost support so as to ensure that the peace is firmly established and UNMISET is able to complete its mandate successfully. We believe it has become our special duty to do so because the final phase of the activities of UNMISET coincides with the period in which Japan takes up its duties as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.

There is no question that Timor-Leste continues to need assistance for its nation-building. In view of the forthcoming completion of the tasks of UNMISET, therefore, it is essential to make sure that those nation-building-related tasks which have also been carried out by UNMISET are taken over by bilateral assistance schemes or international development institutions. In this connection, we welcome that UNMISET has established eight working groups with a view to facilitating a smooth transition from a peacekeeping and peace-building operation to more traditional institution-building and sustainable development assistance. We also regard highly the initiatives by the leadership of Timor-Leste to properly address the grievances of veterans, which are a clear expression in our view of a sense of ownership on the part of Timor-Leste. Although there are still a number of tasks that have to be undertaken in the field of nation-building, the Government of Japan is confident that further progress for the consolidation of peace will be made through the continuing efforts of the people of Timor-Leste, with assistance from the United Nations and the international community. We welcome the convening of the donors' conference in March of next year, at which the international community will discuss issues of nation-building following the completion of UN peacekeeping operations.

Mr. President,

Needless to say, in concluding the peacekeeping activities of the UN, it is particularly important to ensure the peace and security of Timor-Leste. It is regrettable that the delineation of the land boundary between Timor-Leste and Indonesia has yet to be finalized. We do hope that both countries will continue to make their best efforts to resolve this matter at an early opportunity. My government recognizes that the resolution of the serious crimes issue will be critical for the future stability and development of Timor-Leste. We plan to continue to work with the people of Timor-Leste and other countries concerned on what sort of steps would be the most desirable to deal with this issue for the future success of Timor-Leste.

Mr. President,

Japan has been actively assisting in the building of a sustainable Timor-Leste and is determined to continue its contribution in that regard. My government has pledged assistance in the amount of $60 million over the first three years following independence, and has been steadily implementing that aid with the focus on peace-building and reconstruction in three key areas: 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. Japan is also dispatching so called "civil power," that is, groups composed of Engineer Group veterans of the Self Defense Forces and non-military engineering specialists, to train the Timor-Leste government staff to operate, maintain and manage the equipment and materiel which our Engineer Group has donated after the completion of its mission. We hope such support will be helpful in improving the life of the people, the basis of the nation-building that is now under way in Timor-Leste.

We also believe the UNDP's Recovery, Employment and Stability Programme for Ex-combatants and Communities in Timor-Leste (RESPECT), which Japan has been supporting, has been very useful for the nation-building of Timor-Leste. We wish to call upon UN members to extend their valuable support to similar projects in Timor-Leste.

Mr. President,

Finally, I wish to underscore once again how important this final period will be for Timor-Leste. Japan is convinced that, through the efforts of the UNMISET headed by Mr. Hasegawa, and his UNMISET staff, and the people of Timor-Leste, acting under 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)
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations Official Web Siteother site

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