New York, 23 February 2010
Statement by H.E. Mr. Ivan Barbalic, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations
at the UN Security Council Debate
We join other delegations in thanking the Secretary-General for his most recent report (S/2010/85) on the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). In addition, we extend our thanks to His Excellency Mr. José Luís Guterres, Deputy Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, and to Ms. Ameerah Haq, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste, and express our appreciation to her for both the current and future proposals on the mandate of UNMIT. We also extend our thanks to Mr. Ian Martin, former Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste and head of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste, for his leadership resulting in the comprehensive findings and the recommendations of the technical assessment mission.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has aligned itself with the statement that will be delivered later on by the representative of the European Union.
Allow me now to comment on the points we consider crucial for the joint efforts by the United Nations and Timor-Leste Government to achieve sustainable peace, stability and prosperity in the country.
The positive Timorese political undertakings in 2007 and 2009 should serve as a springboard for the upcoming municipal and national elections. We share the view that the national and municipal elections to be organized in 2010 and 2012 will be of critical importance. In this context, we commend the domestic authorities for the successful organization and completion of the elections in 2009. Furthermore, President Ramos-Horta’s recent pledge to engage with national and local leaders on issues of national interest may be viewed as a constructive prelude to fostering political dialogue. In this light, the recent activities such as the “Road to peace and national unity” dialogues as well as the “Dili, City of Peace” campaign are noteworthy. Bosnia and Herzegovina believes that such efforts may serve as encouraging indications of an additional strengthening of the security and justice
Strengthening security sector reform is crucial for sustainable peace and security in Timor-Leste. A clear delineation of responsibilities between the Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) and the Falintil-Forças Armadas de Defesa de Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) has to be defined, and a comprehensive reform process of both should be carefully developed and completed.
While we commend the process of resumption by the PNTL of the primary responsibilities for police operations in several districts since May 2009, we are also hopeful that the rest of the country’s districts will follow through by the end of 2010. The appropriate completion of the certification process thus remains essential, as does further capacity-building of the PNTL at the national and district levels. Bearing these commitments in mind, we agree that there is a need for a carefully mapped-out approach to the drawdown of UNMIT police, taking into account all the lessons learned from the 2006 and 2008 events. We look forward to hearing more about the UNMIT team’s plans, supporting the approach explained in the comprehensive report of the technical assessment mission.
We are deeply convinced that only truth and justice can lead the country towards full reconciliation and prosperity. We commend the consensus achieved among all stakeholders to institutionalize the recommendations of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation and the Commission for Truth and Friendship regarding investigations of crimes against humanity and other serious crimes committed during the crisis. The more successful the fight against impunity is, the better the prospects for true reconciliation and national unity will be.
Socio-economic problems must be addressed in an effective and coordinated manner, with all stakeholders on board, including the private sector, civil society and foreign donors. Infrastructure projects, foreign investment and an improvement in youth employment will contribute, inter alia, to poverty reduction and the promotion of sustainable economic growth.
We are pleased to note the significant improvements in dealing with internally displaced persons. Bosnia and Herzegovina is aware of the challenges that large numbers of internally displaced persons entail. The reintegration of internally displaced persons is linked both with achieving and maintaining lasting peace and with strengthening democratic institutions and processes.
However, the slow progress on the gender and human rights fronts is a matter of concern. This is principally significant in terms of domestic and sexual violence against women and children. It is crucial that domestic violence and sexual assault cases be formally prosecuted in accordance with the new Criminal Code. In this vein, we also encourage the continuation of programmes for the prevention of gender-based violence, under the auspices of the United Nations Development Fund for Women and UNMIT.
Finally, Bosnia and Herzegovina commends the effective interconnectivity that the technical assessment mission has undertaken with relevant United Nations entities regarding its review of progress and challenges in Timor-Leste. We are of the view that the technical assessment mission’s current findings and recommendations are valuable for paving the future road towards stability and progress in Timor-Leste. With this in mind, Bosnia and Herzegovina supports the extension of the UNMIT mandate for another 12 months.