The UN mission in East Timor is the most comprehensive transitional administration undertaken by the UN to date. While having a combined function of peacekeeping and civil administration, UNTAET was shaped by the standard procedures and principles developed for ordinary peacekeeping. This entailed a short time-scale for completion, international staff centrally recruited, no requirement for local expertise, no provisions for local capacity building, and no initial structures for local participation. Yet the purpose was to prepare the territory for independence. The lessons of UNTAET suggest that peacekeeping-cum-governance missions should be separated, not integrated, contrary to the Brahimi Report's recommendation.

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