The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Media Release

FA095 - 26 August 2006

East Timor:  Establishment of New UN Mission

I welcome the adoption overnight (25 August) of a UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR 1704) establishing United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) for an initial period of six months.

UNMIT will consist of a significant civilian component, including up to 1,608 police personnel, and an initial component of up to 34 military liaison and staff officers.

The new UN Mission has a mandate from the Security Council to support the process of political reconciliation; to assist with the elections which are due early next year; to support the East Timorese National Police; to further strengthen national institutions; particularly the justice system and to help ensure the provision of relief assistance to those in need.

Australia will make a significant contribution to the new mission, including providing up to 130 police personnel in the initial stages of the deployment of UNMIT.

In addition to our contribution to the new mission, the Australian led international security forces, which have already been on the ground for three months and have been doing an excellent job in ensuring peace and stability in East Timor, will cooperate with and assist UNMIT. We believe the international security forces are best placed to provide the security support necessary in East Timor.

Australia, as a long-term and steadfast friend of East Timor, will continue to make a major contribution to the efforts of the international community, including through the UN, to ensure the conditions necessary for a stable and prosperous future for the Timorese people.

Media Inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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