Memorandum of Understanding
between the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, the United Nations, and Australia
on the provision of assistance to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
26 January 2007
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (Timor-Leste), the United Nations and Australia, in its capacity as the lead nation of the international security forces (ISF) that are deployed to Timor-Leste in response to the requests of the Government of Timor-Leste as from time to time described in relevant decisions of the Security Council (the Participants),
Affirming their respect for the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Timor-Leste, and their commitment to work together to ensure the promotion of long-lasting stability in Timor-Leste;
Recalling the request of the Government of Timor-Leste of 24 May 2006 for military and police assistance, the exchange of letters between Timor-Leste and Australia on 25 May 2006 and the Status of Forces Arrangement concluded between Timor-Leste and Australia, on behalf of the ISF, on 26 May 2006;
Recalling Security Council resolutions 1690 (2006), 1703 (2006) and 1704 (2006);
Recalling Security Council resolution 1704 (2006), operative paragraph 5, which calls upon ISF to fully cooperate with and provide assistance to the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) for the implementation of the latter’s mandate;
Recalling that the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (Constitution) defines the mandate of Falintil-Forças Armadas de Defesa de Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) and Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) (sections 146° and 147°);
Recalling that section 115° of the Constitution provides that the Government of Timor-Leste has responsibility for ensuring public order and social discipline;
Acknowledging the primary responsibility of the Government of the Timor-Leste for the maintenance of security and stability in Timor-Leste, and the roles of UNMIT and the ISF to assist and support the Government of Timor-Leste in this regard;
Mutually consent to the following:
Paragraph 1: Trilateral Coordination Body
(1) The Participants mutually determine to establish a Trilateral Coordination Forum which will serve as the mechanism for the Government of Timor-Leste, UNMIT and the ISF to discuss security issues relevant to the management and stabilization of the security environment in Timor-Leste, including security operations, and ensure full coordination between the Participants, through close consultation and information sharing.
(2) The Trilateral Coordination Forum will be chaired by the Prime-Minister of Timor-Leste, or one of the Vice Prime-Ministers at his or her request, and will include:
- the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
- the Minister of Defense;
- the Minister of Interior;
- the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense;
- the Commander of F-FDTL;
- the individual designated, during the period in which UNMIT is providing interim law enforcement and public security to assume the office of PNTL General Commander upon the final hand-over by UNMIT to the PNTL of responsibility for the conduct and the command and control of all police operations in Timor-Leste;
- the SRSG;
- the Deputy SRSG for Security Sector Support and the Rule of Law;
- the UNPol Commissioner;
- the Chief of UNMIT’s Military Liaison Group;
- the Commander of the ISF;
- the Deputy commander of the ISF.
(3) The Trilateral Coordination Forum will meet initially every week and whenever called by the Prime-Minister or requested by one of its members through the Prime-Minister; the frequency of the meetings can be adjusted as the Forum sees fit.
(4) The Trilateral Coordination Forum will be assisted by a committee for operational matters, nominated by the Participants.
Paragraph 2: Sharing of Information
The Participants will keep each other informed of their activities, consult regularly to ensure effective allocation and use of personnel, resources and facilities, will share information, and will refer issues up their respective chains of command where necessary.
Paragraph 3: Police
(1) The Participants recall, consistent with Security Council resolution 1704 (2006), that the mandate of UNMIT is, inter alia, to ensure, through the presence of United Nations police, the restoration and maintenance of public security in Timor-Leste through the provision of support to the Timorese national police (PNTL), as outlined in the Secretary-General’s report to the Security Council of 8 August 2006, which includes interim law enforcement and public security until PNTL is reconstituted, and to assist with the further training, institutional development and strengthening of the PNTL as well as the Ministry of Interior, and also assist in the planning and preparing of electoral-related security arrangements to adequately prepare the national police for performing their roles and responsibilities during the conduct of the 2007 elections.
(2) The Government of Timor-Leste and the Government of Australia confirm that the provisions of the exchange of letters between Timor-Leste and Australia on 25 May 2006 and the Status of Forces Arrangement concluded between Timor-Leste and Australia, on behalf of the ISF, on 26 May 2006, no longer govern the conduct of police operations in Timor-Leste.
(3) The Participants acknowledge that the United Nations and the Government of Timor-Leste will operate in a manner consistent with the Arrangement on the restoration and maintenance of public security in Timor-Leste and on assistance to the reform, restructuring and rebuilding of the Timorese National Police (PNTL) and the Ministry of Interior concluded between the Government of Timor-Leste and the United Nations on 1 December 2006 which defines the roles of, and relationships between, UNMIT and the Government with respect to the matters described in its title.
Paragraph 4: Military
(1) The Participants recall, consistent with Security Council resolution 1704 (2006), that the mandate of UNMIT is, inter alia, to support the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, to liaise on security tasks and to establish a continuous presence in the three border districts alongside armed United Nations police officers assigned to district police stations, through the impartial presence of United Nations military liaison officers.
(2) The Government of Timor-Leste and the Government of Australia have mutually determined that the ISF will at all times remain under Australian operational control, and act in accordance the provisions of this Memorandum of Understanding and the relevant provisions of the invitation from the Government of Timor-Leste, the exchange of letters between Timor-Leste and Australia on 25 May 2006 and the Status of Forces Arrangement concluded between Timor-Leste and Australia, on behalf of the ISF, on 26 May 2006.
(3) It is noted that the F-FDTL maintain their full role as defined by the Constitution of Timor-Leste and its Laws.
(4) The Participants further confirm that the F-FDTL, ISF and UNMIT will cooperate with each other with respect to the maintenance of security and stability in Timor-Leste.
(5) The Trilateral Coordination Forum will be consulted on the process of normalization of F-FDTL activities.
(6) In order to ensure full cooperation, the Participants mutually determine to exchange liaison officers between the ISF, UNMIT, and F-FDTL to coordinate their operational activities.
Paragraph 5: ISF support to UNMIT
(1) The Participants further confirm, consistent with Security Council resolution 1704 (2006), that the ISF will fully cooperate with and provide assistance to UNMIT for the implementation of the latter’s mandate.
(2) The Participants acknowledge that the United Nations and the ISF will operate together in a manner consistent with the Technical Arrangement between the United Nations and the Government of Australia, concerning cooperation with and assistance to UNMIT, to be concluded later in New York between the United Nations and the Government of Australia regarding the military assistance and support that the ISF is to provide to UNMIT.
(3) Beyond the military functions of the ISF, and their support missions under the Technical Arrangement with UNMIT, the Forum will, through consultation and information sharing, also ensure coordination between the Participants of additional missions which may be undertaken by the ISF by agreement between the Government of Timor-Leste and the Government of Australia.
Paragraph 6: Resolution of Disputes
Any dispute regarding the interpretation or application of this Memorandum of Understanding will be resolved amicably and expeditiously through consultation between the Participants, and will not be referred to any third party, or national or international tribunal for settlement.
Paragraph 7: Amendments
The Participants mutually determine that this Memorandum of Understanding may be amended by the written consent of all the Participants and will be revised as necessary.
Paragraph 8: Duration
The Participants mutually determine that this Memorandum of Understanding will take effect on the date of signing by all Participants. This Memorandum of Understanding will cease to have effect on the date of departure of the last element of the ISF or UNMIT, whichever is the earlier, or as otherwise mutually determined.
Signed at Dili, Timor-Leste, this twenty-sixth day of January 2007
For the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste:
H.E. Mr. José Luis Guterres
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
For Australia, in its capacity as lead nation of the international security forces:
H.E. Ms. Margaret Twomey
Ambassador of Australia to he Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
For the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste
H.E. Mr. Atul Khare
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste