With six months to go before UNMIT’s anticipated close, all signs point to the transition being on track. The 129 activities outlined in the Joint Transition Plan guiding UNMIT’s planned withdrawal in December 2012 are about 60 per cent complete on average. We are making significant progress in policing. Preparations for the gradual withdrawal of UNMIT civilians and police, as well as the transfer of equipment and facilities are moving forward fast. These were among the findings presented at the 27 April meeting of the High Level Committee on Transition, hosted by President José Ramos-Horta.
Transition in the two sectors most vital for maintaining the peace and stability that have prevailed for some time, policing and democratic governance, have the highest rate of completion. Overall, 55 per cent of our handover preparations are now complete and we have identified the majority of qualified partners in areas where partnerships are required.
Policing is not only our largest focus area but also one that makes consistently good progress every month. The 34 police activities outlined in the Joint Transition Plan are now well underway.
Another vital and innovative component of the Plan is our national staff capacity building programme. After getting off to a slower than anticipated start earlier in the year, the addition of staff, improved management and monitoring systems, new courses and additional funds have brought us back up to where we need to be. In addition, in collaboration with the Government, we have started offering tailored courses to staff from Government ministries and departments. (Click here for an update on UNMIT’s national staff capacity building efforts.)
There was a bittersweet quality to the meeting as it was to be the final such gathering for both the President and SRSG Ameerah Haq. The two spent some brief moments reflecting on their years working together and expressed their mutual confidence that this truly “joint” endeavour would continue to bear fruit.
The Committee defined next steps to ensure that the pace of transition continues under the new Government’s leadership. Among these are the inclusion of a detailed progress report as part of the handover package to the new President and Government, ramping up training for both Government and UNMIT national staff, and the mobilization of government or donor resources for handover activities.
A hallmark of UNMIT's innovative work and the first of its kind in a UN Peacekeeping mission, the Joint Transition Plan maps the a path to UNMIT’s withdrawal in seven focus areas as well as provides for the need to adapt to meet changing needs on the ground.
These innovations and the lessons learned from UNMIT’s work can help to establish a viable model that can be used in other countries striving to emerge from conflict, overcome fragility and build sustainable peace. This transformation in how the UN engages in post-conflict environments is in line with the vision of the g7+ and the New Deal for engagement with fragile states. (Click here for more about the New Deal .)