3 September 1999


Press Release
SC/6723



SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES SUCCESSFUL POPULAR CONSULTATION IN EAST TIMOR, CONDEMNS VIOLENCE BEFORE AND AFTER BALLOT

19990903

Presidential Statement Also Requests Secretary-General To Report as Soon as Possible on Implementation of Ballot Result

While welcoming the successful popular consultation of the East Timorese people on 30 August, the Security Council tonight condemned the violence which both preceded and followed the ballot, and expressed its condolences to the families of United Nations local staff and others so tragically killed.

As the Council met for a second time this evening to consider the situation in East Timor, in a statement read out by its President, Arnold Peter Van Walsum (Netherlands), it underlined the need for the result of the popular consultation to be implemented in an atmosphere of peace and security without further violence and intimidation. In accordance with its responsibility for maintaining peace and security under the Agreements of 5 May, it was for the Government of Indonesia to take steps to prevent further violence.

The Council also looked to the Indonesian Government to guarantee the security of the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) personnel and premises. It was ready to consider sympathetically any proposal from the Secretary-General to ensure the peaceful implementation of the popular consultation process.

The Council called on all parties, both inside and outside East Timor, to respect the result of the popular consultation. It urged the East Timorese people to work together to implement their decision as freely and democratically expressed in the ballot, and to cooperate in the building of peace and prosperity in the Territory. The Council now looked to the Indonesian Government to take the constitutional steps to implement the results of the ballot, in accordance with the Agreements of 5 May.

The Council expressed its support for the courage of those who turned out in record numbers to express their views, and regarded the popular consultation as an accurate reflection of the views of the East Timorese people. It also paid tribute to the extraordinary work of the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, and commended the courage and dedication of the Special Representative for the East Timor popular consultation, and of the staff of UNAMET in organizing and conducting the popular consultation in extremely difficult conditions.

The Council recognized that the 5 May Agreements would not have been possible without the timely initiative of the Indonesian Government and the constructive attitude of the Government of Portugal. It also commended the sustained efforts of both Governments through the good offices of the Secretary-General, to find a just, comprehensive and internationally acceptable solution to the question of East Timor, and expressed its appreciation to the Indonesian Government for its cooperation with the United Nations.

The Council requested the Secretary-General to report as soon as possible on the implementation of the ballot result, including recommendations on the mandate, size and structure of the United Nations presence in East Timor in the implementation phase -- Phase III.

The meeting began at 10.18 p.m. and was adjourned at 10.26 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of the statement, to be issued as S/PRST/1999/27, reads as follows:

"The Security Council welcomes the successful popular consultation of the East Timorese people on 30 August 1999 and the letter from the Secretary- General to the President of the Council of 3 September 1999 (S/1999/944) announcing the ballot result. The Council expresses its support for the courage of those who turned out in record numbers to express their views. It regards the popular consultation as an accurate reflection of the views of the East Timorese people.

"The Security Council pays tribute to the extraordinary work of the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General. It also commends the courage and dedication of the Special Representative for the East Timor popular consultation and of the staff of the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) in organizing and conducting the popular consultation in extremely difficult conditions.

"The Security Council calls on all parties, both inside and outside East Timor, to respect the result of the popular consultation. The Council urges the East Timorese people to work together to implement their decision as freely and democratically expressed in the ballot and to cooperate in the building of peace and prosperity in the territory. The Security Council now looks to the Indonesian Government to take the necessary constitutional steps to implement the result of the ballot, in accordance with the Agreements of 5 May 1999 (S/1999/513, annexes I-III).

"The Security Council recognizes that the Agreements of 5 May 1999 which led to the popular consultation of the East Timorese people would not have been possible without the timely initiative of the Government of Indonesia and the constructive attitude of the Government of Portugal. It commends the sustained efforts of the Governments of Indonesia and Portugal, through the good offices of the Secretary-General, to find a just, comprehensive and internationally acceptable solution to the question of East Timor, and expresses its appreciation to the Government of Indonesia for its cooperation with the United Nations in the process.

"The Security Council condemns the violence in East Timor which both preceded and followed the ballot of 30 August 1999. It expresses its condolences to the families of United Nations local staff and others so tragically killed. It underlines the need for the result to be implemented in an atmosphere of peace and security without further violence and intimidation. In accordance with its responsibility for maintaining peace and security under the Agreements of 5 May 1999, it is for the Government of Indonesia to take steps to prevent further violence. It also looks to the Government of Indonesia to guarantee the security of UNAMET personnel and premises. The Security Council is ready to consider sympathetically any proposal from the Secretary-General to ensure the peaceful implementation of the popular consultation process.

"The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to report as soon as possible on the implementation of the ballot result, including recommendations on the mandate, size and structure of the United Nations presence in East Timor in the implementation phase (Phase III).

"The Security Council will remain seized of the matter."

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