TimorLeste UN official stresses need for credible State institutions

13 December 2007Building strong State institutions, particularly a credible security sector, will be vital if Timor-Leste is to resolve many of the issues that continue to plague the young nation, a visiting senior United Nations official said today. “Without a credible security sector that has the trust of the people, that is not seen… to be aligned with one group or another, the State of Timor-Leste will remain weak,” Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean Marie Guéhenno said in an interview with UN Radio.Mr. Guéhenno is currently in Timor-Leste, which the UN helped shepherd to independence in 2002, ahead of an official visit by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tomorrow. The peacekeeping chief said that the crisis which engulfed the tiny nation last year showed the weaknesses of the State, particularly its police force. While police training has been a key component of the UN’s involvement in Timor-Leste, building a credible and viable security sector will require “much more work” that goes beyond the training of an individual police officer, he said. “I think we have to be there for several more years,” Mr. Guéhenno stated, adding that the country had “major internal problems that need to be resolved.”While in Timor-Leste, Mr. Guéhenno has met with representatives of political parties, civil society and women’s groups, and visited a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs). His visit follows a recent mission by Security Council members who also had an opportunity to see first-hand the challenges facing the country, having met with a wide range of people from the Government, civil society and the UN family, including the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT).In its report on the 24 to 30 November visit, which the 15-member body discussed in a formal meeting today, Council members noted that rebuilding the confidence of the population in State and security institutions, addressing the fate of about 100,000 IDPs and resolving land and property disputes “are all very real challenges facing the nation in 2007 and beyond.” read more

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Mayors electric vehicle charging network Source London to go live in spring

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced that London’s city wide electric vehicle charging network, ‘Source London’, will launch in spring 2011. Source London, which will deliver 1,300 public charging points across London by 2013, is part of the Mayor’s plans for London to become the electric vehicle capital of Europe. The network will create a single visual identity for electric driving across the capital, and allow members to charge their vehicles at any one of these public charging points for no more than an £100 annual membership fee. Currently, electric vehicle drivers have to register in each separate borough they want to use charge points in. In preparation for this new network, a website, www.sourcelondon.net, has also been launched providing a ‘one stop shop’ of information on electric vehicles, including charge point locations across the city.The scheme has been led by Transport for London in close collaboration with the London boroughs and a wide range of private sector partners, who will play a key part in funding and providing locations for the network’s charge points. “Already there are more electric drivers in London than anywhere else in the UK, but we are now entering an incredibly exciting period in electric motoring”, said Mr Johnson, “Major manufacturers are gearing up to launch more affordable, practical electric cars over the next few years, whilst the cost of traditional fuels are making petrol-free driving an increasingly attractive option. By opting for electric in greater numbers, Londoners will also help to cut pollution levels and improve the city’s quality of living”. Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, said: “We recognise that for many people the car is an essential, not a luxury, and that is why we are prioritising spending on making the UK a world leader in ultra low emission cars. Following the first round of our Plugged-in-Places scheme, cities like London are laying the groundwork for a national charge point network. And thanks to our spending review settlement, which secured over £400m for measures to promote the uptake of electric and ultra-low emission vehicle technologies, more areas will soon be able to join them.”Mr Johnson recently confirmed a 100% discount from the congestion charge for electric drivers in the capital, as well as other low emission vehicles, which offers electric vehicle owners using the zone a potential saving of more than £2000 a year.The aspiration is to have 100,000 electric vehicles on London’s streets as soon as possible. A recent report by HSBC estimates that the global electric vehicle market could be worth £440bn by 2020 with the EU being the biggest market. Work to boost this market in London could help to generate millions of pounds for the UK manufacturing industry, create new jobs and green the UK economy.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

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