POLICE Minister Anne Tolley is travelling to New York from 8 -14 October to represent the Government at a two-day meeting focusing on the lessons learned from the UN Integrated Mission in Timor Leste (UNMIT) transition process.
The meeting will be co-hosted by New Zealand and Timor Leste, and will involve a range of UN member states.
New Zealand has provided $89 million in development assistance to Timor Leste since 1999, including support with policing, justice, education and customs.
“New Zealand has been proud to partner Timor Leste in its emergence from conflict into independence, stability and increasing prosperity,” says Mrs Tolley.
“We’ve been pleased at the smooth transition since the withdrawal of UNMIT at the end of 2012, and believe the time is right to consider some of the initial lessons learned from this process.
“New Zealand continues to support the security and justice sector in Timor Leste through a four year-long Community Policing project led by NZ Police.”
Minister Tolley will deliver a keynote address at the meeting, which will also be attended by representatives from Timor Leste including Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão, Finance Minister Emilia Pires, and former President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos Horta.
Since 1999 New Zealand Defence and Police personnel have been deployed to Timor Leste in significant numbers. Following the withdrawal of UNMIT in December 2012 and the withdrawal of the International Stabilization Force in March 2013, New Zealand’s Defence and Police presence has reduced. New Zealand now has five NZDF personnel and two New Zealand Police officers based in Timor Leste, as well as New Zealand-based Police mentors who visit Timor Leste several times a year.