Dili, 10 September 2010 – Today, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Timor-Leste (DSRSG) Shigeru Mochida and Vice Prime Minister José Luís Guterres presided over the ceremony marking the resumption of primary responsibilities for the conduct of police operations by Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) in Gleno, the administrative capital of the District of Ermera.
DSRSG Mochida congratulated Vice Prime Minister Guterres and the Timorese people on their achievement. Noting that infrastructural and logistical challenges will still need to be overcome the DSRSG pledged that the United Nations would increase its support including mentoring PNTL officers.
“The long term stability of the country depends to a large extent on the development of an effective and professional police service in which the community can have confidence. This is a big responsibility for all police officers, and we are all grateful to you for taking on this responsibility,” DSRSG added.
The Government of Timor-Leste and UNMIT are jointly implementing the resumption process district by district. PNTL is assessed in each district by a joint team comprising Government and UNMIT representatives, including UN Police and PNTL. The team applies mutually agreed criteria to assess the readiness of PNTL to resume primary policing responsibilities.
Ermera is the eighth district in which the PNTL has resumed primary policing responsibility since the resumption process began in Lautem District May 2009. In addition responsibility for the administration and management of the Police Training Centre, and the Maritime Police Unit and the Police Intelligence Service was handed over to PNTL in September and December respectively, last year.
UN Police will maintain their presence in the districts where the PNTL have resumed responsibilities, in order to monitor, advise and support the PNTL, including in the area of human rights protection.