United Nations

A/50/436


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

19 September 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Item 94 of the provisional agenda**


QUESTION OF EAST TIMOR

Progress report of the Secretary-General


1.   Since the  resumption of  talks between  Indonesia and Portugal  on the
question  of East  Timor in 1992,  I have  held, in  the context  of my good
offices, six  rounds of  discussions with the  Foreign Ministers of  the two
countries  aimed  at  finding  a  just,  comprehensive  and  internationally
acceptable solution to the question of East  Timor.  I have reported  to the
Assembly annually on the progress of these efforts.  The last two rounds  of
talks were held since  I submitted my last progress report (A/49/391), and I
will highlight here the salient points  that emerged from those  discussions
(see press releases SG/SM/5519 and SG/T/1974).

2.    The  fifth round  of  talks  with the  Foreign  Ministers  of  the two
Governments  was held  at  Geneva on  9 January  1995.   At that  round, the
Ministers,  inter alia,  noted  positively  my intention  to facilitate  and
offer the  necessary  arrangements for  the  convening  of an  all-inclusive
intra-East-Timorese dialogue.  The objective of  the dialogue was to provide
a forum for continuing  the free and informal  exchange of views, to explore
ideas  of a  practical  nature that  might have  a  positive impact  on  the
situation in  East Timor and  assist in the  establishment of an  atmosphere
conducive to the achievement  of a solution  to the question of East  Timor.
It  was understood  that the  East Timorese  dialogue would not  address the
political  status  of  East  Timor  and  would  not  constitute  a  parallel
negotiating track  or be  a substitute  for the  ministerial talks.   In the
interest  of creating and  maintaining a  propitious climate  for a fruitful
dialogue, I issued an appeal to all East  Timorese to exercise restraint and
refrain from  actions that  could have  a detrimental impact,  prior to  and
during

________________________

  *  Reissued for technical reasons.

    **  A/50/150.

95-28366 (E)   190995/...
*9528366*
 the course  of  the dialogue.    I  also expressed  the  need for  the  two

Governments to cooperate with  me in my initiative and to encourage all East
Timorese to respond constructively to my initiative and appeal.

3.   The Ministers  further agreed  to consider  at the subsequent  round of
talks  substantive  issues  identified  by  me  regarding  possible  avenues
towards a solution to the question of East Timor.

4.  On human rights, the Ministers  recalled the statement issued  following
the previous  round of  talks, in  May 1994,  in which  they had  concurred,
inter  alia, on  the  need  to improve  the human  rights situation  in East
Timor, and  the relevant Chairman's statements  adopted by  consensus by the
Commission  on Human Rights,  in particular,  with regard to  access to East
Timor,  the early  release of  the  East  Timorese imprisoned  and the  full
accounting  for the  persons dead  or missing  as a  result of  the  violent
incident  at  Dili on  12  November 1991.    The meeting  took  note  of the
intention  of  the Government  of Indonesia,  in the  terms conveyed  at the
meeting, to  take further steps for  the implementation  of the undertakings
contained therein.

5.    The  first meeting  of the  All-Inclusive Intra-East-Timorese Dialogue
was held  at Burg  Schlaining, Austria, from  2 to 5  June 1995 and  brought
together 30  East Timorese of various  shades of  political opinion residing
inside and outside East  Timor.  Two  representatives of the United  Nations
attended  the  meeting  without  taking  part   in  the  discussions.    The
gathering, the first of  its kind, was  held in a positive and  constructive
atmosphere  and adopted,  by  consensus, the  Burg  Schlaining  Declaration,
which inter alia, proposed  to me that further  meetings be held  within the
same framework; reaffirmed the need to  implement the necessary measures  in
the field of  human rights and  other areas with a view  to promoting peace,
stability,  justice and  social harmony;  reaffirmed  the necessity  for the
social  and  cultural  development  of  East  Timor  on  the  basis  of  the
preservation of  the cultural identity of  the people, including  tradition,
religion,  history  and  language, as  well  as the  teaching  of Tetun  and
Portuguese; and expressed the  need to create the  basis for the involvement
of  all  East  Timorese,  without  discrimination   of  any  sort,  in   the
development of  East Timor in  every sphere of  human life in  a climate  of
mutual understanding, tolerance and harmony.

6.  The participants  paid tribute to Rev.  Dom Carlos Filipe  Ximenes Belo,
the  Apostolic Administrator of  Dili, for  his contribution  to the debate,
such as the proposals  that were agreed upon  with a view  to improving  the
physical and spiritual conditions of the lives of  the people of East Timor.
They also  expressed appreciation  for the  consultations undertaken  by the
United Nations  with East Timorese  of various shades of  opinion, aiming at
their gradual  involvement,  as well  as  the  availability of  the  Foreign
Ministers of Portugal and Indonesia for  direct dialogue with East  Timorese
personalities.   I am encouraged by the result of this first meeting, and it
is my intention, with  the consent of the  two Governments, to  facilitate a
further  intra-East-Timorese   meeting  following  the   seventh  round   of
ministerial talks on 16 January 1996.

7.   I convened the sixth  round of talks between the two Foreign Ministers,
also at Geneva, on 8 July 1995, a  few weeks later than the  time originally
envisaged, in  order to allow  for the meeting  of the All-Inclusive  Intra-
East-Timorese Dialogue to take place.

8.  At that round, the  Ministers discussed developments since  the previous
round  in January, including the implementation of  the Chairman's statement
on the situation of human rights in East Timor, agreed  upon by consensus by
the Commission  on Human Rights at  its fifty-first  session, the importance
of which was stressed.

9.   The Ministers welcomed the  convening of  the All-Inclusive Intra-East-
Timorese  Dialogue, which constituted  a positive  effort to  help create an
atmosphere conducive  to the achievement  of a solution  to the question  of
East Timor.  They  also welcomed my view on the need for convening a further

meeting or meetings of  that Dialogue and my  intention to pursue the matter
with the two parties.

10.  Also  at the sixth  round, the  two sides,  without prejudice to  their
respective positions  of principle  regarding the political  status of  East
Timor,  began  discussions  on  the  substantive  issues  identified  by  me
regarding possible  avenues for  a just,  comprehensive and  internationally
acceptable solution.  In that context, they  discussed issues related to  an
eventual framework for the achievement of such a solution  and other related
issues,  including the  preservation and promotion of  the cultural identity
of the  East Timorese  people and  bilateral relations between  them.   They
agreed to continue to discuss these issues in conjunction with one another.

11.   I will  hold a  seventh round  of talks with  the two  Ministers on 16
January 1996 in London.


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