Dili, 30 April 2002


The UN Charter and the Geneva Convention were selected by East Timor’s Council of Ministers today to be among the first eight key international conventions and treaties signed by the fledgling nation immediately upon its independence on 20 May.

Upon the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the East Timor’s Second Transitional Government approved the following list of treaties and conventions for signing in a 20 May ceremony:

The entire package will be presented to the Legislative Assembly for provisional approval. The Assembly will transform itself into the National Parliament upon independence, and will be asked to officially ratify the conventions in the near future.

The Council also decided to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty. Ratification of this treaty will take place in October, when East Timor becomes a United Nations member state. Additionally, it decided to submit to Parliament for approval a package of human rights-related treaties and conventions, as well as other international legal instruments on international law, labour, culture, education and environment.

Separately today, the Council decided that it would give final approval to East Timor’s 2002-2003 budget and projections for the next three years during an extraordinary meeting on 3 May.


UN Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello today swore in Madalena Brites Boavida as the new Minister of Finance of East Timor’s Second Transitional Government.

Chief Minister Marí Alkatiri warmly welcomed fellow Fretilin party member Madalena Boavida to the job, noting that the long-time economist had accepted a tough task at a particularly busy moment for the transitional government.

“We need qualified and competent people to work as a team,” Alkatiri said in a ceremony attended by the entire Council of Ministers. “It is not easy to nominate someone to be the Minister of Finance in the last weeks prior to [East Timor’s] independence, let alone in the last preparation phase for the upcoming donors meeting.”

Vieira de Mello, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in East Timor, selected Maria Madalena Boavida upon the recommendation of Alkatiri after Fernanda Borges resigned from the post last week.

With just two weeks to go before the Dili Donors Conference on 14-15 May, the SRSG remarked: “The East Timorese as well as the community of donor countries should have confidence in East Timor’s government when comes to financial management.”