UN Security Council Decision On East Timor
25 October 1999
SECURITY COUNCIL ESTABLISHES UN TRANSITIONAL ADMINISTRATION IN EAST TIMOR FOR INITIAL PERIOD UNTIL 31 JANUARY 2001
Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1272 (1999), Council Authorizes Strength of 1,600 Police, 9,000 Military Troops
The Security Council this morning established the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) for an initial period until 31 January 2001. It will be responsible for the administration of East Timor and empowered to exercise all legislative and executive authority, including the administration of justice.
By unanimously adopting resolution 1272 (1999), the Council also mandated UNTAET to: provide security and maintain law and order throughout East Timor; ensure the coordination and delivery of humanitarian, rehabilitation and development assistance; support capacity-building for self-government; and assist in the establishment of conditions for sustainable development.
It decided that UNTAET's main components will be: a governance and public administration component, including an international police element with a strength of up to 1,640 officers; a humanitarian assistance and emergency rehabilitation component; and a military component, with a strength of up to 8,950 troops and up to 200 military observers. The Secretary-General will appoint a Special Representative who, as Transitional Authority, will be responsible for all aspects of the United Nations work in East Timor and have the power to enact new laws and regulations and amend, suspend or repeal existing ones.
The Council stressed that Indonesian authorities were responsible for taking immediate and effective measures to ensur the safe return of refugees in West Timor and other parts of Indonesia to East Timor, the security of refugees, and the civilian and humanitarian character of refugee camps and settlements. In particular, Indonesian authorities must curb the militia's violent and intimidating activities there. It condemned all acts of violence in East Timor and demanded that those responsible be brought to justice.
The Council welcomed the Indonesian authorities' commitment to allow refugees and displaced persons in West Timor and elsewhere in Indonesia to choose whether to return to East Timor, and stressed the importance of allowing safe and unimpeded access by humanitarian
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organizations in carrying out their work. Reiterating the urgent need for coordinated humanitarian and reconstruction assistance, it called upon all parties to cooperate with humanitarian and human rights organizations so as to ensure their safety, the protection of civilians, in particular children, the safe return of refugees and displaced persons and the effective delivery of humanitarian aid.
The new mission and the multinational force deployed pursuant to resolution 1264 (1999) -– INTERFET -- should cooperate closely with a view to the earliest possible replacement of the multinational force by UNTAET's military component, according to today's text. The Council stressed the importance of cooperation between Indonesia, Portugal and UNTAET in implementing today's resolution, and the need for UNTAET to cooperate closely with the East Timorese people with a view to developing local democratic institutions, including an independent East Timorese human rights institution, and transferring functions to them.
Recognizing that UNTAET would need to draw on the capacity of Member States, United Nations agencies and other international organizations, including the international financial institutions, the Council welcomed the Secretary-General's intention to establish a trust fund. That fund will be used for purposes including the rehabilitation of infrastructure, building basic institutions, the functioning of public services and utilities and the salaries of local civil servants. Member States and international agencies were encouraged to provide personnel, equipment and other resources to the mission.
Speaking before adoption of today’s resolution, Portugal's representative stressed the need for constant coordination between UNTAET and the East Timorese leadership. The Council must guarantee that: the transfer of power between INTERFET and UNTAET took place without disruption; East Timor's territorial integrity was fully respected; humanitarian assistance was distributed to those in need; and that refugees in Indonesia were guaranteed security. The Council must also ensure that Indonesia guarantee that the territory of West Timor not be used by the so-called militias as a platform to destabilize East Timor.
Indonesia's representative rejected allegations that Indonesian armed forces were behind incidents occurring in East Timor. He said Indonesia had never wavered in its commitment to the East Timorese people. It had extended every cooperation to the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET), and provided security personnel so that the popular consultation could be held in a secure environment. On 19 October, the 1978 decree integrating East Timor with Indonesia had been rescinded. The new mission must carry out its duties with impartiality and ensure that all sides had a place in East Timorese society, he stressed.
Speaking for the European Union and associated States, Finland's representative expressed concern at the humanitarian situation in East
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Timor. She called on Indonesia to cease all support to the militias, curb their activities, demobilize them and secure the border effectively.
Malaysia's representative said due recognition should be given to the unique roles that Portugal and Indonesia had played in the context of history and, in the case of Indonesia, in the geopolitical context. It was important that a future East Timor government come to terms with those realities, and begin forging constructive and mutually beneficial relationships with them, especially with its important neighbour.
Several speakers stressed the need to replace the multinational force by the military component of UNTAET as soon as possible. Canada's representative said the Council could and should have authorized a United Nations-commanded operation for East Timor in its resolution 1264 (1999) on 15 September. The decision delaying a United Nations force had been purely political, he added.
Australia's representative said her country had accepted the leadership of the multinational force tasked with restoring peace and security, protecting UNAMET and facilitating the work of humanitarian agencies. But, Australia looked forward to the multinational force handing over its duties to UNTAET's military component. Maintaining peace and security in East Timor was the international community's ongoing responsibility, she stressed.
Also this morning, statements were made by the representatives of New Zealand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway, United Kingdom, Slovenia, China, Bahrain, Netherlands, Brazil, France, Argentina and the United States.
The meeting began at 10:13 a.m. and adjourned at 11:55 a.m.
The Security Council had before it the Secretary-General's report on the situation in East Timor dated 4 October (document S/1999/1024). He reports on the situation on the ground, proposes urgent ad hoc measures to respond and outlines the concept and structure of a United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).
The report is in response to Council resolution 1264 (1999) of 15 September, by which it had agreed that a multinational force should collectively be deployed in East Timor until replaced as soon as possible by a United Nations peacekeeping operation. It invited the Secretary-General to make prompt recommendations on a peacekeeping operation to the Council and to plan and prepare for a United Nations transitional administration in East Timor, incorporating a United Nations peacekeeping operation.
The Secretary-General reports that since the results of the popular consultation were announced on 4 September, pro-integrationist forces waged a campaign of violence and destruction; civil administration collapsed; the judicial system no longer functions; and some 500,000 of the territory’s 890,000 persons are displaced. In short, the situation was critical. At a meeting on 28 September, the Foreign Ministers of Portugal and Indonesia agreed that ad hoc measures were needed to fill the gap created by the early departure of the Indonesian civil authorities. They also reiterated their agreement for the transfer of authority in East Timor to the United Nations.
To address the situation, and after consulting with the parties to the 5 May Agreement, the Secretary-General says the following steps are urgently envisaged. As a matter of priority, 460 civilian police officers will be deployed, if security and logistic conditions permit. They will provide advice to the multinational force, which was given the broad mandate to restore peace and security by Council resolution 1264 (1999). The civilian police will prepare to assume responsibility for law and order, and make preparations for the recruitment and training of East Timorese police personnel. Also, as there is urgent need to provide legal advice and assess the legal and judicial systems, legal experts will be dispatched to East Timor.
Other urgent measures include deploying civil affairs officers and experts in local administration to all 13 districts to prepare for setting up an administration in all parts of East Timor, the report continues. Human rights officers will be deployed to address issues related to the rule of law and human rights. The United Nations has requested Member States to provide service packages and experts in utility sectors, and Mr. Annan appeals to them to respond urgently and generously.
East Timor’s transition to independence is expected to take two to three years, according to the Secretary-General. He proposes that UNTAET be endowed with overall responsibility for the territory's administration during that period and empowered to exercise all legislative and executive authority, including the administration of justice.
The Transitional Administration will be mandated to: provide security and maintain law and order; establish effective administration; assist in developing civil and social services; ensure the coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance, rehabilitation and development assistance; support capacity-building for government; and assist in establishing conditions for sustainable development.
Its objectives will include assisting and protecting East Timorese displaced or otherwise affected by the conflict, assisting in the development of a constitution, strengthening civil society and promoting economic and social development.
The UNTAET will operate under the Council’s authority, vested in the Secretary-General and exercised by his Special Representative, according to the report. It will establish a mechanism for consultation with Portugal, and organize consultations with Indonesia as necessary. Pending elections, the Special Representative will establish advisory bodies at all levels to ensure the participation of the East Timorese in the territory’s governance and administration.
The UNTAET will have three components: a governance and public administration component; a humanitarian assistance and emergency rehabilitation component; and a military component, the report continues. As Transitional Administrator, the Special Representative will be responsible for the mission's political, managerial and representational functions. He or she will be assisted by two Deputy Special Representatives, one heading the governance and public administration component and the other in charge of the humanitarian assistance and emergency rehabilitation component. He or she will also be assisted by a chief of staff and the Force commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force, which the Council, by resolution 1264 (1999), decided should replace the multinational force currently in East Timor.
The Special Representative will facilitate the creation of an independent East Timorese human rights institution, whose functions are to include investigating alleged violations of human rights, conducting public inquiries, providing guidance and assistance to the Special Representative and nascent Timorese governing institutions, and developing tools for human rights education. The UNTAET will also have public information offices, liaison offices and a substantial administrative component.
The Deputy Special Representative for Governance and Public Administration will have two core objectives: to lay the foundations for sustainable institutions in an independent East Timor; and design an agenda for sustainable economic and social development. He or she will oversee work in five divisions: judicial affairs; civilian police; economic, financial and development affairs; public services; and electoral operations.
Under judicial affairs, UNTAET will be responsible for the administration of courts, prosecution services and prisons, the development of legal policies, the review and drafting of legislation for the goals and purposes of UNTAET, and the assessment of the quality of justice in East Timor, including training requirements, according to the plan. An independent judicial commission will be established to advise the Special Representative on judicial appointments. Prior to the transfer of authority to an elected government, UNTAET will develop legislation and documentation procedures for establishing an independent East Timor.
The Transitional Administration will develop interim law enforcement services and rapidly develop a credible, professional and impartial East Timor police service, the report states. International police personnel will be deployed, commanded by a Police Commander, to maintain law and order, recruit, train and establish an East Timor police force, and monitor and assist in the safe return of displaced persons and refugees.
With a total strength of 1,640 police officers, the United Nations police will consist of three units of international police, the document continues. The breakdown will be as follows: 1,250 officers in the civilian police unit, deployed throughout the territory, holding executive enforcement functions and carrying side arms, as necessary; an armed border/marine police unit consisting of 150 officers deployed to designated border-crossing points; and two units of armed rapid- reaction officers, with 150 persons each.
The Deputy Special Representative for Humanitarian Assistance and Emergency Rehabilitation will oversee the provision and coordination of humanitarian and emergency rehabilitation assistance, the report states. These activities will be undertaken within the framework of the United Nations Consolidated Appeal for the East Timor Crisis.
The Deputy will be responsible for: ensuring the comprehensive delivery of multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict; extending protection to and facilitating the voluntary return and reintegration of displaced persons and refugees; and undertaking emergency rehabilitation of critical infrastructures and services to promote social well-being and the restoration of civil society.
The multinational peacekeeping operation will be incorporated into UNTAET and form the military component of UNTAET, the report states. The UNTAET's military component will consist of two elements: a United Nations force and a military observer group. With a total strength of 8,950, the force will: maintain a secure environment throughout the territory; provide security for United Nations personnel and property; monitor the prompt and complete withdrawal of Indonesian military and security personnel; take measures to disarm and demobilize armed groups; and assist humanitarian activities as appropriate, including the return of refugees and internally displaced persons.
The force will need to have robust rules of engagement and a rapid reaction capability in order to carry out its responsibilities, Mr. Annan stresses. A group of up to 200 military observers will be required at the initial stage, to monitor and report on the military and security situation in East Timor, and the processes of cantonment, disarmament and demobilization of armed groups.
The Secretary-General requests the Security Council to authorize him to take the necessary steps for the timely deployment of the various components of UNTAET, and states that he will inform the Council of the financial implications in due course. The establishment of UNTAET will be a major challenge for the United Nations and the Secretary-General calls on all Member States and the United Nations agencies and programmes, as well as the international financial institutions, to provide experts and other necessary personnel. A number of UNTAET's tasks will be funded by voluntary contributions and a trust fund will be established for that purpose and used, among other things, to cover the cost of rehabilitation of essential infrastructure, the functioning of public services and utilities, and the salaries of the local civil servants. The Secretary-General calls on Member States to contribute to the trust fund generously on an urgent basis.
The Council also had before it a draft resolution (document S/1999/1083), sponsored by Brazil, Canada, Namibia, Netherlands, Slovenia, United Kingdom and the United States which reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions and the statements of its President on the situation in East Timor, in particular resolutions 384 (1975) of 22 December 1975, 389 (1976) of 22 April 1976, 1236 (1999) of 7 May 1999, 1246 (1999) of 11 June 1999, 1262 (1999) of 27 August 1999 and 1264 (1999) of 15 September 1999,
“Recalling also the Agreement between Indonesia and Portugal on the question of East Timor of 5 May 1999 and the Agreements between the United Nations and the Governments of Indonesia and Portugal of the same date regarding the modalities for the popular consultation of the East Timorese through a direct ballot and security arrangements (S/1999/513, annexes I to III),
“Reiterating its welcome for the successful conduct of the popular consultation of the East Timorese people of 30 August 1999, and taking note of its outcome through which the East Timorese people expressed their clear wish to begin a process of transition under the authority of the United Nations towards independence, which it regards as an accurate reflection of the views of the East Timorese people,
“Welcoming the decision of the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly on 19 October 1999 concerning East Timor,
“Stressing the importance of reconciliation among the East Timorese people,
“Commending the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) for the admirable courage and determination shown in the implementation of its mandate,
“Welcoming the deployment of a multinational force to East Timor, pursuant to its resolution 1264 (1999), and recognizing the importance of continued cooperation between the Government of Indonesia and the multinational force in this regard,
“Noting the report of the Secretary-General of 4 October 1999 (S/1999/1024),
“Noting with satisfaction the successful outcome of the trilateral meeting held on 28 September 1999, as outlined in the report of the Secretary-General,
“Deeply concerned by the grave humanitarian situation resulting from violence in East Timor and the large-scale displacement and relocation of East Timorese civilians, including large numbers of women and children,
“Reaffirming the need for all parties to ensure that the rights of refugees and displaced persons are protected, and that they are able to return voluntarily in safety and security to their homes,
“Reaffirming respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Indonesia,
“Noting the importance of ensuring the security of the boundaries of East Timor, and noting in this regard the expressed intention of the Indonesian authorities to cooperate with the multinational force deployed pursuant to its resolution 1264 (1999) and with the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET),
“Expressing its concern at reports indicating that systematic, widespread and flagrant violations of international humanitarian and human rights law have been committed in East Timor, stressing that persons committing such violations bear individual responsibility, and calling on all parties to cooperate with investigations into these reports,
“Recalling the relevant principles contained in the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel adopted on 9 December 1994,
“Determining that the continuing situation in East Timor constitutes a threat to peace and security,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“1. Decides to establish, in accordance with the report of the Secretary- General, a United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), which will be endowed with overall responsibility for the administration of East Timor and will be empowered to exercise all legislative and executive authority, including the administration of justice;
“2. Decides also that UNTAET's mandate shall consist of the following elements:
“(a) to provide security and maintain law and order throughout the territory of East Timor;
“(b) to establish an effective administration;
“(c) to assist in the development of civil and social services;
“(d) to ensure the coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance, rehabilitation and development assistance;
“(e) to support capacity-building for self-government;
“(f) to assist in the establishment of conditions for sustainable development;
“3. Decides further that UNTAET will have objectives and a structure along the lines set out in part IV of the report of the Secretary-General, and in particular that its main components will be:
“(a) a governance and public administration component, including an international police element with a strength of up to 1,640 officers;
“(b) a humanitarian assistance and emergency rehabilitation component;
“(c) a military component, with a strength of up to 8,950 troops and up to 200 military observers;
“4. Authorizes UNTAET to take all necessary measures to fulfil its mandate;
“5. Recognizes that, in developing and performing its functions under its mandate, UNTAET will need to draw on the expertise and capacity of Member States, United Nations agencies and other international organizations, including the international financial institutions;
“6. Welcomes the intention of the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Representative who, as the Transitional Administrator, will be responsible for all aspects of the United Nations work in East Timor and will have the power to enact new laws and regulations and to amend, suspend or repeal existing ones;
“7. Stresses the importance of cooperation between Indonesia, Portugal and UNTAET in the implementation of this resolution;
“8. Stresses the need for UNTAET to consult and cooperate closely with the East Timorese people in order to carry out its mandate effectively with a view to the development of local democratic institutions, including an independent East Timorese human rights institution, and the transfer to these institutions of its administrative and public service functions;
“9. Requests UNTAET and the multinational force deployed pursuant to resolution 1264 (1999) to cooperate closely with each other, with a view also to the replacement as soon as possible of the multinational force by the military component of UNTAET, as notified by the Secretary-General having consulted the leadership of the multinational force, taking into account conditions on the ground;
“10. Reiterates the urgent need for coordinated humanitarian and reconstruction assistance, and calls upon all parties to cooperate with humanitarian and human rights organizations so as to ensure their safety, the protection of civilians, in particular children, the safe return of refugees and displaced persons and the effective delivery of humanitarian aid;
“11. Welcomes the commitment of the Indonesian authorities to allow the refugees and displaced persons in West Timor and elsewhere in Indonesia to choose whether to return to East Timor, remain where they are or be resettled in other parts of Indonesia, and stresses the importance of allowing full, safe and unimpeded access by humanitarian organizations in carrying out their work;
“12. Stresses that it is the responsibility of the Indonesian authorities to take immediate and effective measures to ensure the safe return of refugees in West Timor and other parts of Indonesia to East Timor, the security of refugees, and the civilian and humanitarian character of refugee camps and settlements, in particular by curbing the violent and intimidatory activities of the militias there;
“13. Welcomes the intention of the Secretary-General to establish a Trust Fund available for, inter alia, the rehabilitation of essential infrastructure, including the building of basic institutions, the functioning of public services and utilities, and the salaries of local civil servants;
“14. Encourages Member States and international agencies and organizations to provide personnel, equipment and other resources to UNTAET as requested by the Secretary-General, including for the building of basic institutions and capacity, and stresses the need for the closest possible coordination of these efforts;
“15. Underlines the importance of including in UNTAET personnel with appropriate training in international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, including child and gender-related provisions, negotiation and communication skills, cultural awareness and civilian-military coordination;
“16. Condemns all violence and acts in support of violence in East Timor, calls for their immediate end, and demands that those responsible for such violence be brought to justice;
“17. Decides to establish UNTAET for an initial period until 31 January 2001;
“18. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council closely and regularly informed of progress towards the implementation of this resolution, including, in particular, with regard to the deployment of UNTAET and possible future reductions of its military component if the situation in East Timor improves, and to submit a report within three months of the date of adoption of this resolution and every six months thereafter;
“19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
ANTONIO MONTEIRO (Portugal) said a successful Transitional Administration would require close contact and constant coordination between UNTAET and the East Timorese leadership. He hoped a cadre of well-trained East Timorese would develop, capable of performing administrative and public service functions necessary to support an independent East Timor. His Government would continue to work together with the Secretariat to put into place an efficient and effective mechanism of coordination on the ground. It would support all and every component of UNTAET both in human and material resources.
He expressed the hope that the newly elected Government of Indonesia would fully assume its responsibilities in the next stage of the process. However, the international community must remain vigilant. It must ensure that not only the letter but the spirit of the 5 May Agreement and the Council resolutions were complied with in practice.
He said the Council must guarantee that: a rapid and effective transfer of power between INTERFET and UNTAET took place without disruption; the territorial integrity of East Timor was fully respected; humanitarian assistance be distributed to all those in need without delay; and the security and safety of refugees in West Timor and other parts of Indonesia was guaranteed in accordance with international humanitarian law. The Council must also ensure that Indonesia guarantee that the territory of West Timor not be used by the so-called militias as a platform to destabilize East Timor.
For East Timor to become a beacon of democracy would require the unwavering support of all the Timorese, regardless of their political opinions, in their cooperation with the United Nations, he said.
MAKMUR WIDODO (Indonesia) said Indonesia’s responsibilities had begun more than two decades ago, when East Timor was plunged into civil war after being abandoned by its former colonial Power. The leaders of East Timor had appealed to Indonesia to accommodate the aspirations of the majority of its people. Through integration with Indonesia, East Timor had been able to finally seek peace and independence. Indonesia’s actions had reflected its commitment to assist the East Timorese in their moment of need, as well as improving the quality of their lives along with the rest of the citizens of Indonesia.
Since 1983, Indonesia had been earnestly engaged in the tripartite dialogue with Portugal, to find a just and internationally acceptable solution to the question of East Timor, he said. The signing of the 5 May 1999 Agreements on East Timor -- a direct outcome of Indonesia’s bold initiative -- reflected Indonesia’s sincere efforts to reach a solution within the framework of the tripartite dialogue. The Indonesian Government extended every cooperation to the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET). It provided security personnel so that the popular consultation could be held in a secure environment, facilitating a voter turnout so large that it astonished even the United Nations.
He said that when violent incidents erupted following that popular consultation, the Indonesian Government immediately declared a state of military emergency, thereby establishing a legal framework to enable the armed forces to take the necessary measures to restore law and order. Also, it was Indonesia that invited the assistance of the multinational force -- INTERFET -- to restore peace and security in East Timor, thus demonstrating Indonesia’s firm determination to bring order and normalcy to East Timor. Acts of arson that destroyed buildings and other infrastructure, as well as the homes of both pro-integration and pro- independence supporters, profoundly affected Indonesia. Indonesia had borne the financial burden to lift the East Timorese from an extremely backward way of life. In order to counter illiteracy, primitive agriculture and lack of roads and housing, the Indonesian Government had allocated over the past two decades, four times more expenditure than was given to other Indonesian provinces. Further, the Indonesian Government first launched the humanitarian operation to alleviate the plight of displaced persons.
In East Timor, two factions existed, whose divergent views had deep roots in East Timorese history, he said. Given the complexities of factors, certain quarters had attempted to hold Indonesia responsible for recent violence. The Indonesian Government was deeply concerned at unverified and exaggerated reports of human rights violations following the popular consultation. The Indonesian National Commission for Human Rights had established an independent fact-finding commission to investigate post-ballot human rights violations in East Timor. It would spare no effort to investigate and clarify reports of allegations. The so- called incidents of human rights violations must be viewed in proportionality to the prevailing realities. Alleged mass killings had not been supported by credible evidence. All quarters should refrain from casting aspersions on Indonesia until information was verified and the results of impartial investigations were made public. Self-righteous attitudes would not help rectify the situation, and could exacerbate the problem.
In response to the reference made by the representative of Portugal about the INTERFET report, he said his delegation rejected the allegation that Indonesian armed forces were behind the incidents occurring in East Timor. Indonesia had never wavered in its commitment to the East Timorese people, and would continue to abide by its responsibilities to see that the choice taken by them was respected. On 19 October, the 1978 decree that integrated East Timor with Indonesia had been formally rescinded, thus closing a chapter of East Timor as Indonesia’s twenty- seventh province. It was essential that UNTAET carry out its duties with impartiality and assure that all sides, irrespective of political affiliations, had a place in East Timorese society.
PENNY WENSLEY (Australia) said Australia had accepted the leadership of the multinational force tasked with restoring peace and security, protecting and supporting UNAMET and facilitating the vital work of humanitarian agencies. Security had been restored to most of East Timor, humanitarian agencies were able to conduct their work and the East Timorese people were returning to the homes from which they were driven. She looked forward to the time when the multinational force in East Timor would hand over its duties to the military component of UNTAET.
The maintenance of peace and security in East Timor, however, was an ongoing responsibility of the international community, she said. She urged Member States to decide early to contribute to the UNTAET peacekeeping force or lend their support in ways best suited to their individual circumstances.
She said the decision of the People's Consultative Assembly of Indonesia on 20 October to revoke its 1978 decision to incorporate East Timor into Indonesia marked the end of a painful national and international issue. She hoped it also marked the beginning of a new and positive relationship between the peoples of Indonesia and East Timor and reconciliation among the people of East Timor.
Australia, a near neighbour of East Timor, was a responsible member of the region and the wider international community was committed to assist UNTAET and the East Timorese people to prepare for independence and rebuild and develop their country.
MICHAEL POWLES (New Zealand) said his Government welcomed the adoption today of the resolution establishing UNTAET. It was a significant step forward on East Timor’s road to independence. New Zealand was committed to assisting the United Nations in this important task. A sizeable portion of that commitment was the substantial contribution of New Zealand Defence Force personnel to INTERFET. That contribution would be made available to the military component of UNTAET.
The replacement of INTERFET by the United Nations peacekeeping force within UNTAET should proceed without delay, he said. The reasons, symbolic and practical, for replacing the multinational force by the United Nations force were compelling. His Government considered, in particular, that the establishment of the United Nations peacekeeping force would enhance the security of the operation and allow for the burden sharing that should rightly lie at the heart of United Nations collective security measures.
YUKIO SATOH (Japan) said that for successful nation-building, the people of East Timor must overcome their differences and achieve national reconciliation. It was of vital importance for the people and future government of East Timor to build friendly and cooperative relations with its Asian and South Pacific neighbours. The outside world must encourage such efforts and respond to those efforts positively and productively.
The new mission would face a daunting task, and it was the responsibility of the entire United Nations membership to make it succeed, he said. It must ensure that UNTAET succeeded in establishing law and order in East Timor, as that was a precondition for nation-building. Japan had pledged a contribution of some $100 million to the trust fund with a view to facilitating the participation of Asian and developing countries. It was important to have a truly multinational force, particularly with the participation of Asian countries. It was the responsibility of the Indonesian Government to stop any sabotaging activities launched from its territory.
Second, UNTAET must succeed in improving humanitarian conditions in East Timor, he said. Equally important was ensuring the early return of the displaced Timorese who wished to return to East Timor. That task required the efforts of UNTAET, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other humanitarian agencies and non-governmental organizations. Third, the international community must make UNTAET succeed in creating the civil administration of East Timor and building the new nation’s capacity for economic and social development. That must be done with the participation of the East Timorese people.
His Government looked forward to a day when an independent East Timor was welcomed as a new member of the Asia-Pacific community and a fellow member of the United Nations, he said. It hoped sincerely that East Timor’s independence would become a success story of United Nations engagement and, with that in mind, would do its best to support UNTAET and the people of East Timor.
MARJATTA RASI (Finland), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated countries, welcomed Indonesia's decision to void the 1978 decree incorporating East Timor into Indonesia. She also welcomed the Council's decision to establish UNTAET. She emphasized the importance of a carefully managed transition period from INTERFET to the United Nations peacekeeping force to ensure continuity during that period. She remained concerned, however, at the humanitarian situation in East Timor. She called on Indonesia to cease all support to the militias, curb their activities, demobilize them and secure the border effectively.
The European Union underlined the importance of cooperation by Indonesia's authorities with international humanitarian agencies, she said. She commended the work of the Secretary-General in pursuing the consultation process towards the independence of East Timor. The Union would continue to follow the situation closely and support the work of the United Nations. It would take part in further assisting the rehabilitation and transition to peace in East Timor.
LEE SEE-YOUNG (Republic of Korea) said his delegation fully supported the Council’s resolution. The replacement of the multinational force by UNTAET’s military component should take place as soon as practicable. Also, UNTAET must begin its operation with its own fully disposable military component, given the primary importance of establishing law and order throughout the territory. His Government was prepared to consider making further contribution to the UNTAET’s operations within its capacity.
He said he hoped UNTAET would be able to fulfil its mandate as soon as possible, even before the time-frame in the resolution, in full cooperation with Indonesia, Portugal and other contributing States and, most importantly, with the full support and participation of the East Timorese people and their leadership. An early transition to full independence would be desirable not only for the East Timorese people, but also from the perspective of ensuring peace and stability in the region as a whole, and helping Indonesians to move forward towards a strong, democratic and prosperous nation.
OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) welcomed the sustained efforts of the Secretary- General to find a comprehensive and internationally acceptable solution to the question of East Timor and in pursuing the consultation process towards the independence of East Timor. He also welcomed the decision of the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly to void earlier decrees to incorporate East Timor.
He expressed concern about the grave humanitarian situation in both West and East Timor. He called on the Indonesian authorities to cooperate with international humanitarian agencies to provide support for East Timorese refugees in West Timor and to facilitate the return to East Timor by those East Timorese in West Timor and elsewhere in Indonesia. He welcomed the Council's decision to establish UNTAET. Norway's commitment to support the people of East Timor would continue beyond their immediate humanitarian needs.
STEWART ELDON (United Kingdom) said there was a pressing need not only to rebuild East Timor from the destruction it had suffered, but also to establish and build up an administrative framework for the transition to independence. By creating an administration and a judicial system, UNTAET could lay the groundwork for the independent East Timor for which its people voted so overwhelmingly.
He said achieving that objective would be a major challenge and a severe test for the United Nations. It was important that UNTAET be deployed as quickly as possible, but the job must be done right. That meant that the resources of the entire United Nations system must be mobilized, and the East Timorese people must be fully involved in every step of the process.
DANILO TURK (Slovenia) said that rarely in United Nations experience had it had to do so much directly. It was essential that Member States understand that their individual and collective contributions would be of decisive importance for the success of UNTAET and for the credibility of the United Nations. Success would be dependent on the resources committed to the task.
Some priorities required immediate attention, he continued. The humanitarian situation continued to be serious and the return of refugees must be accelerated. The Government of Indonesia had essential responsibility for the conditions of return for those refugees that were still in its territory.
It was important that the United Nations administration be sufficiently sensitive to the needs of the people of East Timor, he continued. Further, the atrocities committed against the civilian population must be fully investigated, and the Council informed on the result. Truth was the way towards reconciliation and justice was its guarantee.
SHEN GUOFANG (China) said the Council's action today to authorize the establishment of UNTAET demonstrated the United Nations commitment to the people of East Timor. China, Indonesia and East Timor were in the same region. His Government hoped the people of East Timor would, as soon as possible, develop stability, economic development and forge friendly relations with its neighbours. He supported the new mission and would be contributing personnel to it.
Ultimately, East Timor must be run by the people of East Timor themselves, he continued. It was, therefore, essential to implement and uphold the principle of having the people of East Timor participate to the greatest possible extent in the tasks of UNTAET. He would vote in favour of the draft.
HASMY AGAM (Malaysia) said that successful implementation of today's decision would require the assistance of Member States, including Indonesia, whose cooperation so far should be recognized. In shaping the future of East Timor, due recognition should be given to the unique roles that Portugal and Indonesia had played in the context of history and, in the case of Indonesia, in the geopolitical context. It was important that a future East Timor government came to terms with those realities, and began forging constructive and mutually beneficial relationships with them, especially with its important neighbour.
As a regional neighbour, Malaysia looked forward to a future independent East Timor playing a full role in regional affairs, he said. Geography dictated that East Timor was part of South-East Asia and/or the South Pacific. It would be up to the future government to determine its foreign policies, but being in close proximity to both subregions, it might be impossible for East Timor to isolate itself from either.
His Government had expressed the strong wish to contribute substantially to the proposed force for UNTAET as a demonstration of its continuing strong support for United Nations peacekeeping, in which it had actively participated over the years. That wish also reflected Malaysia's desire to assist East Timor as it found its feet as a new player in the community of nations. He, therefore, deeply regretted the doubts that had been raised by some quarters as to the appropriateness of Malaysian troops performing a major peacekeeping role in East Timor. The record spoke for itself. Notwithstanding some reservations on the text, Malaysia would vote win favour of it.
JASSIM MOHAMMED BUALLY (Bahrain) said he appreciated the efforts of the Secretary-General and his Special Representative in seeking peace and security for East Timor. It was now important to bring about reconciliation among the people of East Timor and to achieve the full support of the international community for East Timor.
He said that, during the drafting of the draft resolution, there had been an attempt to avoid certain sensitive areas. He stressed that without the cooperation of the Indonesian Government the whole process would not have taken place, beginning with the popular consultation in East Timor. Indonesia's most recent actions now proved that the Government was able to live up to the responsibilities it had undertaken.
He agreed with part of operative paragraph 12 in the resolution, by which the Council stressed that it was the responsibility of the Indonesian authorities to take immediate and effective measures to ensure the safe return of refugees from West Timor to East Timor and other parts of Indonesia. Defining the measures that should be taken, however, should be left to the Government of Indonesia and should not have been included in the second part of the draft resolution. Despite his reservations, however, he would vote for the draft before the Council.
PETER VAN WALSUM (Netherlands) said he wanted to remind Indonesia of its continuing responsibility for the fate of East Timorese refugees in West Timor and elsewhere in Indonesia. As the draft resolution indicated, Indonesia must ensure the safety of those refugees, and the neutrality of the refugee camps.
When the Council spoke of the task to be exercised through the UNTAET, it was important to remember that the East Timorese must ultimately assume responsibility for governing, he said. The United Nations should work to make itself superfluous. But, also, it must ensure that handing over responsibility was calibrated with developing capacity. Military resources on the ground must be commensurate with security challenges in East Timor, as they developed. A possible reduction should take place only when security conditions permitted. He endorsed the statement made for the European Union.
GELSON FONSECA (Brazil) said that with regard to operative paragraph 8 of the draft resolution, which stressed the need for UNTAET to consult and to cooperate closely with the East Timorese people, the role of the "Conselho Nacional da Resistencia Timorense" was of the utmost importance. That group should lead the process of national healing and reconciliation, a necessary condition for a smooth transition to independence.
While many had contributed to changing the situation in East Timor, he would like especially to call attention to the courage of the East Timorese people. He also congratulated the Indonesian Government for its timely decision to annul the measure that had annexed the territory of East Timor. It was now up to the international community, through the United Nations, to ensure that the future State of East Timor was built over solid and lasting democratic foundations. Brazil would contribute to that endeavour.
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said that all who had helped to bring about the peaceful conclusion and the realization of the principles of self-determination in East Timor should be congratulated. He hailed the decisive step taken by Indonesia to revoke the decree by which it had annexed East Timor.
He welcomed the draft resolution before the Council. The mission would set an example of a global approach to rebuilding in the territory, without which the long-term stability of East Timor would be imperilled. The UNTAET should be put into action as early as possible, particularly its military component. He urged the East Timorese to engage in a process of reconciliation that would be capable of protecting human rights.
FERNANDO ENRIQUE PETRELLA (Argentina) supported the mandate and structures outlined by the Secretary-General for UNTAET. He wished the future Special Representative all success in his important effort. The UNTAET was an unprecedented challenge to the United Nations. It was time now to look to the future. He thanked the personnel of UNAMET, and paid particular tribute to the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Jamsheed Marker, for their important contributions.
MICHEL DUVAL (Canada) said the people of East Timor had been sorely tested. They now needed a robust United Nations presence. Three aspects of the draft text were of particular importance. First, all parties were called on to cooperate in investigations of flagrant violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. That was essential, as justice was an integral part of reconciliation. Next, INTERFET must be replaced by a military component of UNTAET as soon as possible. The Council could and should have authorized a classic United Nations-commanded operation for East Timor in its resolution 1264 (1999). That could have been deployed as quickly as a multinational force. The decision delaying a United Nations force had been purely political. Finally, UNTAET must be financed through regular means. Piecemeal financing would not provide security for the people of East Timor.
PETER BURLEIGH (United States) said he supported the draft resolution to establish UNTAET. The resolution of the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly was also the right course of action. The international community must help the people of East Timor, first to rebuild their shattered lives and to construct the institutions that they would need to become an independent State. He stressed the need for continued attention to the plight of those East Timorese who fled violence in East Timor only to face continuing intimidation in refugee camps in West Timor. They must have security in the camps, access to international assistance and the right to return home.
He commended the members of the Council for their perseverance on East Timor. The United Nations response to the crisis in East Timor was an example of the potential and promise of the Organization.
He said the Council made appropriate arrangements for the transition from the multinational force to the peacekeeping operation. The transition would occur as advised by the Secretary-General, taking into account the views of the force commander and conditions on the ground. Peacekeeping assessments were used to support United Nations staff, peacekeeping forces and civilian police. Civil society projects should be supported by contributions from those who had shown strong interest in helping East Timor become a viable State.
He said the attacks on civilians, United Nations staff, non- governmental organizations personnel and journalists, as well as the forced displacement of East Timorese, were repugnant. It was imperative that credible bodies investigate the violations, identify those responsible and help bring them to justice.
The Council then unanimously adopted the draft resolution as resolution 1272 (1999).
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