In this paper, representing the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, I share recent experiences from Timor-Leste where I serve as Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s Special Representative.Today’s topic, transitions, is a timely one. In its history of over more than 60 years, peacekeeping has gone through a series of surges and periods of consolidation. Following the most recent surge of new peacekeeping missions in the early 2000s, we expect the next few years to represent a period of consolidation and drawdown. Our mission in Chad will close at the end of December; in Timor-Leste and Liberia, transition planning is already underway, in others like Cote d’Ivoire, it is a little further on the horizon. In all transitions, we have to manage the departure of peacekeeping missions in a way that helps consolidate and build peace. The topic is also timely as UN Member States are in the midst of important policy debates in the Security Council as well as the 4th and 5th Committees of the General Assembly, on the interface between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, the role of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Security Council, and on allocation of resources across multiple instruments like peacekeeping operations or special political missions, and development assistance. Thoughts about the role of these instruments are evolving and there is some way to go to make sure they all work together effectively.
Ms Ameerah Haq has been appointed as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste and Head of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) on 2 December 2009. She most recently served as the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan as well as the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan (2007–2009). Before that, she served as the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan as well as the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan (2004–2007). She was formerly the Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Director of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery at UNDP Headquarters in New York. She served as the United Nations Resident Coordination and UNDP Resident Representative in Malaysia from 1994 to 1997 and in the same capacity in Laos from 1991 to 1994. Ms Haq worked in the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific at UNDP Headquarters in various capacities from 1980-1990. She is a graduate of Western College in Oxford, Ohio (USA) and holds Masters Degrees in Community Organization and Planning from Columbia University (USA) and Business Administration from New York University (USA).