Subject: LUSA: UN Chief Warns on Downsized Post-independence Support

12 Mar 02 20:44 East Timor: UN Chief Warns on Downsized Post-independence Support

The reduced United Nations presence in East Timor after independence will leave the Dili government without legal and legislative support, internet access, telecommunications, and vehicle maintenance, the head of the UN transitional administration in Timor said Tuesday.

Sergio Vieira de Mello told the Dili Council of Ministers that these services, currently supplied by UNTAET, would not be offered by the succeeding UN mission, which takes over after independence on May 20. The Brazilian diplomat said simultaneous translation services in the Constituent Assembly would cease to be provided by international interpreters.

Vieira de Mello also told the Dili executive that current TV and radio services "could go off the air if a substitution mechanism is not implemented". This would have to be directly funded by donor countries, he added.

CJB -Lusa-

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from UNTAET Daily Briefing 12 March 2002

UN BRIEFS GOVERNMENT ON SERVICES THAT WILL STOP ON 20 MAY

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in East Timor Sergio Vieira de Mello today briefed the Council of Ministers on the services currently provided by UNTAET to government and the community that will no longer be provided by the UN successor mission after independence on 20 May.

Following are some examples of affected services mentioned by the SRSG:

· There will be no public television or radio, unless a substitute mechanism is implemented with direct donor funding;

· The judicial and legislative services currently provided to the government will no longer be provided;

· There will no longer be simultaneous interpreting for the Constituent Assembly, unless national staff are recruited;

· Other services provided by UNTAET, such as internet access; telecommunication; including network between districts; reproduction machines including photocopiers; vehicles workshop, will be no longer provided to the government, Central Public Administration, district administrations, NGOs and the communities in the districts, including the ones where the future mission will be present;

· The current administrative and technical support provided by international staff to the government and Public Administration will be reduced to 100 international consultants financed directly by the United Nations assessed budget. The recruitment of additional 200 international consultants to provide assistance to the government after the independence is not certain yet (these posts would be financed by various sources with United Nations Development Program support).

· And finally, the future United Nations mission will not only be substantially different and much smaller, but it will also be present only at the mission headquarters in Dili and five other districts.

The Transitional Administrator also discussed with the Council possible alternatives and measures that the Government needs to adopt on a short term with a view to minimise the impact of the lack of these services, as well as the assistance UNTAET can provide until independence.

Finally, the Council approved a proposal to open foreign embassies and accredit diplomats in East Timor, as proposed by Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation José Ramos-Horta. The Council decided that its policy shall be to encourage foreign governments to establish embassies in East Timor.


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