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UN On East Timor

Extract From UN Press Briefings

Daily Press Briefing - 4 - 23 June 1999

**East Timor

The Secretary-General's report on East Timor came out this morning. In it, he says that registration for the consultation on autonomy will be delayed for three weeks, and will now begin on 13 July. His determination of whether conditions exist for a free and fair ballot will also be postponed for three weeks, while the balloting itself, he says, will be delayed for two weeks.

As reasons for the changes, the Secretary-General cited both security concerns and logistical problems. "It is therefore my intention," his report says, "that UNAMET (United Nations Mission in East Timor) not begin the operational phases until it is fully deployed, which would give the Indonesian authorities time to address the pending security concerns".

Also on East Timor, there's a new report on the racks from the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) on East Timor.

The ACABQ notes that, in view of the time constraints that affected the preparation of the budget for the United Nations Mission in East Timor, it would not recommend any reduction in the current estimate, which is $52.5 million. The Committee does, however, believe that efforts should be made to achieve savings during the implementation of the operation, and it requests the Secretary-General to report to this General Assembly's next session.

You may be aware that the Special Committee on Decolonization took up that issue yesterday, along with Western Sahara. Over a dozen petitioners from non-governmental and parliamentary organizations addressed the Committee on the subject of East Timor. You can pick up the Department of Public Information (DPI) press release which has the details. The Committee is continuing its consideration of East Timor today, and DPI is covering those meetings as well.

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