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Letter dated 20 May 2009 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2009/261)
Source: United Nations Security Council
Date: 21 May 2009
I have the honour to refer to Security Council resolution 1867 (2009) of 26 February 2009 on the situation in Timor-Leste. By that resolution, the Security Council underscored that the concept of operations and rules of engagement for the military liaison group and the police component of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) need to be regularly updated as necessary and be fully in line with the provisions of the resolution. In the same resolution, the Council also requested me to report to it and to troop- and police-contributing countries within 90 days of the adoption of the resolution.
As the Security Council did not make any changes to the roles and tasks of the military liaison group, no adjustments were required to the military concept of operations. The concept of operations of the police component, however, has been carefully reviewed by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and UNMIT to meet the requirements of the mandate of the Mission, as outlined in Security Council resolution 1867 (2009).
The resolution supports the gradual resumption of policing responsibility by the Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) through a phased approach, while emphasizing that PNTL must meet the criteria mutually agreed by the Government of Timor-Leste and UNMIT. To ensure that the process is jointly owned and implemented, Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão and my Special Representative concluded an agreement on 13 May 2009 that provides a basic framework for the resumption process and the respective roles and responsibilities of PNTL and UNMIT police, in accordance with the agreement concluded on 1 December 2006 entitled "Arrangement on the Restoration and Maintenance of Public Security in Timor-Leste and Assistance to the Reform, Restructuring and Rebuilding of the Timorese National Police and the Ministry of the Interior" supplementing the agreement between the United Nations and Timor-Leste on the status of UNMIT and further to paragraph 5 of Security Council resolution 1867 (2009) and paragraph 21 of my report on UNMIT dated 9 February 2009 (S/2009/72).
In line with this agreement, a revised concept of operations for the police component of UNMIT is being prepared and is close to being finalized. It provides clear strategic objectives as well as the necessary operational guidance for the smooth implementation of the gradual resumption of policing responsibility by PNTL. It also clearly sets out the gradual change in the roles and responsibilities of PNTL and the UNMIT police whereby the latter will assume an increasing role in monitoring, advising and providing operational support to PNTL.
The rules of engagement for the police component did not require any revisions at this time, as the UNMIT police will continue to have significant responsibilities for interim law enforcement until PNTL has been fully reconstituted.
In close consultation with UNMIT, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations will continue to review, on a regular basis, the concept of operations and the rules of engagement to ensure that they adequately reflect the evolving situation as the resumption process progresses in order to enable UNMIT to carry out its mandate in the most effective manner. The Department will keep Security Council members, as well as troop- and police-contributing countries, informed.
(Signed) Ban Ki-moon