|Statement by Counselor Yang Tao at the Security Council Debate on the Situation in Timor-Lestet|
I welcome the presence here today of President José Ramos-Horta. His briefing was very encouraging. I also thank Special Representative of the Secretary- General Haq for her briefing and her work. Since the Council's review of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) late last year, the situation in Timor-Leste has achieved further positive progress. At present, the overall situation in the country remains stable. State institutions are working normally and police capacity-building has been especially successful. Economic and social development is advancing steadily, with good prospects for development. All of this is the result of the unremitting efforts of the Government and people of Timor-Leste, as well as of the critical, vigorous support of the international community and the United Nations over the past many years.
Timor-Leste will hold presidential and parliamentary elections this year, and UNMIT's peacekeeping activities will come to an end. This will be a crucial year for Timor-Leste's development. As to the next phase of priority work for the international community, I should like to make the following proposals.
First, we must work tirelessly to support the Government of Timor-Leste in its capacity-building. The Government and people of Timor-Leste, under the leadership of President Ramos-Horta, have energetically pursued capacity-building for many years and striven to take control of the fate and future of their country, for which China expresses its appreciation. The development and long-term security of Timor-Leste will ultimately depend on the efforts of its Government and people. China hopes that the international community will further enhance its support to the capacity-building efforts of the Government of Timor-Leste, especially in the crucial areas of institution-building, security, justice, the economy, education, health and women's issues. In this process, the opinions of the Government and people of Timor-Leste should be taken into account and their leadership respected.
Secondly, priority efforts must be made to ensure the successful holding of the presidential and parliamentary elections in Timor-Leste. The upcoming elections are a major event in the country's political life and are of particular significance. China hopes that the international community and the Government of Timor-Leste will join forces to ensure orderly and calm presidential and parliamentary elections. We support UNMIT in its ongoing close coordination with the Government of Timor-Leste as it provides necessary support and plays a constructive role.
Thirdly, it is essential to ensure a stable and smooth transition process. Ever since its establishment, UNMIT has made a positive contribution to the stability and development of Timor-Leste. China supports the extension of the Mission's mandate and the Joint Transition Plan prepared by UNMIT and the Government of Timor-Leste. We also support the Secretary-General's proposal for a phased drawdown of UNMIT. We hope that the parties concerned will prepare further arrangements to improve the transition process and help conclude UNMIT's mandate in a stable and orderly manner with a view to ensuring Timor-Leste's stability and full capacity to achieve sustainable development. UNMIT will thereby become a success story in the peacekeeping activities of the United Nations.
As to the future United Nations presence in Timor-Leste, China hopes that the Secretariat will enjoy close cooperation with the Government and fully heed and respect its opinion. We expect the Secretariat and the Secretary-General to offer further proposals to the Council in that respect. As a developing country, China has always actively sought out friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation with Timor-Leste.
Going forward, we will continue to provide our assistance and support to Timor-Leste within our capacities.