Expected Council Action
In late November, Council members are expected to undertake a field mission to Timor-Leste. It seems that after the period of violence and instability in 2006-07, the formation of the new Timorese government has encouraged the Council to accept the importance of displaying, on the ground, evidence of an enduring commitment to Timor-Leste. The mission will also assess progress with the implementation of Council resolutions. South Africa is likely to lead the mission. The mandate of the UN Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) expires on 26 February.
The Proposed Visiting Mission
At press time, members appeared close to finalising the terms of reference for the mission, which could include:
reaffirming the Council’s commitment to the promotion of long-term stability in Timor-Leste;
encouraging all actors to engage in dialogue;
supporting and encouraging efforts to ensure justice and accountability and the implementation of UN recommendations, and stressing that UNMIT’s mandate is a significant contribution to that endeavour; and
assessing progress with implementing UNMIT’s mandate.
Discussions on the possibility of referring Timor-Leste to the Peacebuilding Commission were initially an option, but were excluded due to the Timorese government’s preference for leaving the issue for a later stage. However, the longer term future of UN involvement is likely to be in the minds of members.
During the mission, members are expected to meet Timorese government officials, key donors and UNMIT personnel. It is unclear how many Council members will participate, and at what diplomatic level, but it seems likely that it will be a small mission of possibly six to eight members.