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Commission welcomes UN recommendation on East Timor

The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of Brisbane has welcomed the recommendation by UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, that the Security Council approve an extension of the mandate for the UN's peacekeeping mission in East Timor.

The mandate is due to expire on 20 May, and Mr Annan has recommended that it be extended for one more year as a period of consolidation.

Mr Annan has expressed his wish that the mission should operate under a modified mandate with a mix of civilian advisers, police advisers, military liaison personnel and a small security force. These groups should provide a range of support services including the provision of assistance to the country's justice system and core administrative structures, contributing to the development of its national police, and helping to maintain security.

Commission Executive Officer Peter Arndt said the Secretary-General has recognised the great progress achieved by the people of East Timor since independence, but has understood the realistic concerns by East Timor's leaders about a premature withdrawal by the UN.

"Our Commission's contact with East Timor over the past six months indicates that the country's leaders were concerned about the UN's withdrawal in May because they did not think that their police and military were ready to provide adequate security for the country," Mr Arndt said.

"It is right and proper for the international community to provide this assistance to East Timor for as long as is necessary to ensure that a good development outcome becomes more likely," he said.

"Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II have all stressed the need for international organisations like the UN to provide support to build peace and to nurture sound development for people and nations in the developing world," he said.

"I hope that the Australian Government will be lobbying members of the Security Council to ensure that Mr Annan's recommendation is accepted," he said.

Commission Welcomes UN Recommendation on East Timor (Catholic Justice & Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane)

Annan's security concerns for E Timor ( Australian 3/1/04)
United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor
United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor
East Timor's Bishop Belo urges UN to extend mandate due to militia threat (Reliefweb/AFP 6/1/04)
East Timor Foreign Minister hopes for continued UN presence (ABC Radio The World Today 25/8/03)
Commission worried about UN withdrawal from East Timor (CathNews 10/9/03)
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (Archdiocese of Brisbane)

24 Feb 2004