3 August 1999


Press Release
SC/6710



SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF UNITED NATIONS MISSION IN EAST TIMOR, ALLOWING MORE TIME FOR VOTING PREPARATIONS

19990803
Resolution 1257 (1999), Adopted Unanimously, Meets Request from Secretary-General for One-Month Renewal, Until 30 September

The Security Council this afternoon decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) until 30 September.

The Council took that action as it adopted resolution 1257(1999). By terms of the draft, the Council took note of a letter from the Secretary- General (document S/1999/830) informing the Council of his decision to postpone the popular consultation in East Timor until 30 August and requesting a one-month extension of the UNAMET mandate. In his letter, the Secretary- General said the decision to postpone the consultation had been taken for technical reasons, and also as a consequence of the delay in the start of registration, which occurred in mid-July and which had been necessary in order to seek an improvement in the security situation at that time. He said a reliable list of voters was fundamental to the integrity of the consultation process. He had been advised that UNAMET needed more time to collate the list of voters, publicize it and allow for a proper appeals procedure. The new date for the consultation was still more than three weeks later than the 8 August date originally envisaged.

The Secretary-General had requested a one month extension of the UNAMET mandate, to enable the Mission to perform the tasks assigned to it. He said the United Nations would continue to have a presence in East Timor after the consulation. It was currently planning for that phase and was discussing the matter with the Governments of Indonesia and Portugal. That had been the main issue at a recent meeting of officials on which the Secretary-General intended shortly to report to the Council.

The meeting was called to order at 12:40 p.m. and adjourned at 12:42 p.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 1257 (1999) reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Recalling its previous resolutions on the situation in East Timor, in particular resolution 1246 (1999) of 11 June 1999,

"Taking note of the letter from the Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council of 28 July 1999 (S/1999/830) which informs the Council of his decision to postpone the popular consultation in East Timor until 30 August 1999 and requests the authorization of a one-month extension to the mandate of the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET),

"1. Decides to extend the mandate of UNAMET until 30 September 1999;

"2. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

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