UN Meets FRETILIN to discuss reform of the Security Sector

Dili, February 5, 2008 – The senior leadership of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) have met FRETILIN’s leadership to discuss the reform of the security sector.

Today’s meeting follows upon FRETILIN’s expression of willingness to become engaged in issues of national importance, such as security sector reform, to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon when he visited Timor-Leste in December.

Those representing FRETILIN today included the party’s Secretary-General, Dr. Mari Alkatiri, Vice-President Arsenio Bano, two Deputy Secretary-Generals and a number of parliamentarians and members of the Fretilin Central Committee.

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Timor-Leste, Atul Khare, convened this meeting to inform Fretilin and seek their views on UNMIT’s role in the review and reform of key security institutions.  

Mr Khare told the meeting that security sector reform is a priority area and its success will be critical in ensuring sustainability for the new nation.

“Any review on how to reform the security sector must look at the restructuring of the national police and an assessment of the F-FDTL, the private security sector, customs and other institutional areas such as the courts and correctional facilities.

The review must be comprehensive, holistic, ensure broad representation of all stakeholders and it must be owned by the Timorese people,” Mr Khare added.

Mr Khare stated that the objective of UN support was to assist in the creation of a security sector that is effective, accountable, transparent, non-partisan and sustainable, operating under civilian control, within a framework of the rule of law and respect for human rights.

It was agreed that such meetings would be held on an ongoing basis, every two weeks.  

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