Message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations

The Timorese people have achieved remarkable progress since they courageously voted for independence in 1999. I congratulate them on advancing towards the goal of an independent and prosperous Timor-Leste.

The completion by the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste of its mandate by the end of this year will bring to a close over a decade of United Nations peacekeeping support in the country. We can all be proud of this partnership for peace.

I especially applaud the Timorese people and Government for the impressive results they have achieved since the restoration of independence on 20 May 2002. The United Nations family – our peacekeeping missions along with our humanitarian and development agencies, funds and programmes – has been privileged to stand side by side with the Timorese through the difficult process of nation-building.

National institutions, in their infancy in 2002, are now safeguarding stability and democracy. Successive governments have taken concrete steps to improve the lives of citizens and lay the groundwork for development. The judiciary has made important gains in upholding the rule of law. Both the national police and the armed forces have bolstered their ability to ensure the safety and security of Timorese citizens.

Above all, the people of Timor-Leste have shown unswerving resolve to overcome great challenges, and the nation’s leaders have exercised wisdom and responsibility in guiding the country through testing times.

As we look ahead to the many remaining tasks, we can draw inspiration from these successes.

I am particularly gratified that Timor-Leste has transitioned from receiving peacekeeping assistance to contributing personnel to United Nations operations in other troubled parts of the world. There could be no greater testimony to the value of peacekeeping than to have Timor-Leste partner with us in this flagship United Nations activity.

This multimedia website showcases the energy that Timor-Leste and its people bring to culture and celebrations, peaceful elections, education, sports, street life and markets – all aspects of the nation-building that will continue into the future. I hope all of those who view it will draw inspiration to tackle the many global problems we face.

Even as UNMIT departs, the United Nations will remain steadfast in our support for the people and Government of Timor-Leste as they build a better future.

Viva Timor-Leste!


Ban Ki-moon
United Nations Secretary-General
New York, 2012