United States Ambassador and Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis today said Timor-Leste’s security sector reform efforts continue to bear fruit.
At a Security Council meeting on Timor-Leste, Mr. DeLaurentis highlighted that the collaboration among the United Nations, bilateral partners and multilateral actors has paid dividends in Timor-Leste.
“The continued cooperation between all stakeholders will provide critical support as this young country develops and prospers.” -Mr. DeLaurentis
He said the Secretary General’s report provides them with an important opportunity to discuss the needs of Timor-Leste to reflect on the progress of UNMIT’s planned withdrawal and to begin long-term planning for future United Nations engagement in the country.
“The United States is pleased and encouraged that the security situation in Timor-Leste continues to be stable. The transition of primary policing responsibilities last March from UNMIT to the Timorese national police was a critical step to in developing the capacity of national institutions to promote enduring security in Timor-Leste.” -Mr. DeLaurentis
He noted that the United States appreciates UNMIT’s essential support to the PNTL and recognize the PNTL’s successes in strengthening its own capacity. He added the U.S. government also also acknowledges and commends the commitment of the Timorese defense forces to enhance its professionalism and build its readiness including its ability to respond to natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies.
“Work remains to be done, however. Continued efforts to professionalize the national police and military are necessary. We encourage the government of Timor-Leste to focus on establishing well-defined roles for the police and military.” – Mr. DeLaurentis
He stressed that the United States is committed to supporting the continuing development of the military and police forces through professional exchanges, training, and exercises.