Former SRSG Haq and Prime Minister Gusmão inspect assets to be tranferred when UNMIT closes
More than seven months before UNMIT’s planned closure in December 2012, plans are ready for the transfer of buildings, communication networks, vehicles and other assets from the peacekeeping mission to national partners in Timor-Leste.
Late last year, Prime Minister Gusmão established a task force to manage the transfer of UNMIT services and equipment. Chaired by the Vice Minister of Finance, Rui Hanjam, the task force inspects UNMIT equipment, coordinates handovers of assets to government departments, and ensures that recipients of UNMIT donations have the ability to use and maintain equipment in the future.
Task force members include representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Secretariat of State for Transport and Communication, the Directorate for the Management of State Property, the Ministry of Justice's Directorate for Land and Property, the PNTL's Logistics Directorate, and the Asset Management Directorate of the Secretariat of State for Defence.
As the first task force of its kind in peacekeeping, the group is working hard to ensure that Timor-Leste derives the maximum benefit from the UN’s investments in peacekeeping. Members have inspected many of the UNMIT support services the Government plans to continue after UNMIT's departure. These services include facility, fleet and warehouse management, as well as UNMIT's geographic information services (GIS). The Government has already dedicated more than 30 staff to training in these and other support services, with support from UNMIT. To help the Government budget for the continuation of these services after the mission closes, UNMIT has provided information on their cost, as well as staffing and equipment requirements.
According to the plan, the UN will start to hand over more than 56 policing facilities in October 2012. Running and maintaining power generators and other equipment associated with these sites will then become a Government responsibility, while UNMIT provides backup support during the transitional phase. By April 2013, all UNMIT sites and facilities will have been returned to the Government and Obrigado Barracks in Dili may be home to a new, significantly smaller UN mission.
For the first time in peacekeeping, UNMIT also plans to hand over its radio network to the Government. This way national police and others can continue to rely on dedicated country-wide communication systems. The vehicles UNMIT is planning to donate once its mandate comes to an end would also retain all communication equipment.
Taken together, these steps represent significant progress forward for the task force – and innovations in peacekeeping.