Sumario: November 14, 2002: Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ellen Margrethe Løj, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the UN, on behalf of the European Union, at the public meeting of the Security Council. The situation in Timor-Leste (New York)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe associated with the European Union - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Associated Countries - Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, as well as the EFTA country of the European Economic Area - Iceland, align themselves with this statement.
Allow me to commend you in your capacity as president of the Security Council for convening this open meeting on UNMISET. The European Union welcomes this opportunity to congratulate the people and the elected representatives of Timor-Leste on the birth of their new nation - as well as Timor-Leste's admission to the UN.
In its efforts to build a nation, the people of Timor-Leste has shown great political maturity, choosing to support democracy and to establish sound and friendly relations with their neighbours as the only viable path to peace and progress.
The European Union welcomes and supports the efforts of the new government, under President Xanana Gusmão, to consolidate the fragile political institutions in Timor-Leste. Furthermore, the EU supports the efforts to ensure and uphold democratic institutions and the Rule of Law while building the new nation. We support the government's commitment to respect human rights - including its firm rejection of the death penalty.
We welcome the positive development in the neighbourly relations between Timor-Leste and Indonesia. The first decisions on border delineation have recently been taken. We hope the cooperation in this field will continue in the same friendly spirit - and we believe that the present steps bode well for the future cooperation between the two countries on a number of crucial issues. Cooperation is highly called for on bringing those responsible for serious crimes committed in 1999 to justice - as well as on refugee issues. The European Union supports the efforts of the Government of Timor-Leste to welcome back the refugees still remaining in West Timor.
In spite of the achievements of the past three years and in spite of continued progress, there are still major tasks to be accomplished in the coming months and years. Timor-Leste faces a number of challenges, as one of the poorest nations in South East Asia. There is a critical need for continued support of the international community.
The United Nations continues to have an important role to play in the nation building of Timor-Leste. We note with satisfaction that UNMISET's operations generally have progressed according to schedule. UNMISET should stay in Timor-Leste as long as it is deemed necessary to fulfil its mandate. A strategy has already been set out, including deadlines for downsizing personnel. This strategy must be kept under review in order to make sure that it accurately takes into account developments in relation to both the internal and the external security situation.
The EU is concerned over the recent atrocious events in Bali, which constitute a worrying indicator of increased international terrorist risks in the region. The EU commends the ongoing efforts by the Timorese authorities to ensure external security - in parallel with its efforts to maintain internal security, the rule of law and its enforcement. We nevertheless worry about the potential vulnerability of a country still in the process of building its security institutions. In this regard, we underline the importance of the continued international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and of the adoption of adequate measures to prevent, combat, and eliminate terrorism.
Many EU nationals have participated in the successive UN Missions in Timor-Leste and will remain present in the UNMISET. The EU has made considerable efforts to support the new nation - and the EU as well as its member states will continue its development cooperation with Timor-Leste.
Thank you, Mr. President.