SECURITY COUNCIL HEARS 52 SPEAKERS IN OPEN DEBATE ON SITUATION IN EAST TIMOR19990911
Many Speakers Stress Need for International Force for East Timor; Indonesia Says It Does Not Support Such a Course at Current Stage
The Government of Indonesias failure to fulfil its obligations under the 5 May Tripartite Agreements, particularly the obligation to provide peace and security following the recent popular consultation in East Timor, was the focus of an open debate today in the Security Council. Fifty-two speakers addressed the situation in East Timor, with many of them calling on Indonesia to agree to the dispatch of a multinational force to the Territory.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the declaration of martial law by Indonesia in East Timor had not had the effect of restoring order. Lawlessness and disorder had reigned in Dili this week despite the presence of Indonesian police and military who were unwilling or unable to control the situation. "Despite all our efforts, the security situation has steadily deteriorated and the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) has been forced to close all but one of its offices", he said. All non-essential staff, including 280 local personnel and their families, had been relocated out of the Territory. Only 86 international personnel remained in the headquarters compound in Dili.
He said that extremely urgent action was required to provide for the basic needs of food, water and health care in East Timor. Earlier today, the recently dispatched Security Council mission had visited East Timor to see the situation on the ground. He urged Indonesia to agree without delay to the deployment of an international force to East Timor. The time had come for Indonesia to seek the help of the international community in fulfilling its responsibilities, which included guaranteeing the safety and protection of the civilian leaders of the pro-independence camp.
The international community was asking for Indonesia's consent to the deployment of such a force, he noted. He hoped that it was clear that it did so out of deference to Indonesia's position as a respected member of the community of States. Regrettably that position was now in jeopardy because of the tragedy that had engulfed the people of East Timor.
The representative of Portugal said that those who were trying to expel UNAMET from East Timor aimed to force the United Nations out of the Territory. It was hard to believe that the security forces of a Member State had been carrying out that action. Never in the Organizations history had institutions of one Member State so clearly and blatantly attempted through violence to destroy a process organized and conducted by the United Nations. The Organization could notSecurity Council - 1a - Press Release SC/6724 4043rd Meeting (AM & PM) 11 September 1999
afford once again to intervene in a conflict only to stand by helplessly while the process lost its course. After all the assurances given by the Indonesian authorities, the United Nations could not just walk out and leave the East Timorese to die.
While it fully understood the willingness of a number of countries to provide security assistance, the Indonesian Government did not foresee the need for the introduction of a multinational or peacekeeping force at this stage, that countrys representative said. Such an operation would be counter-productive. Furthermore, a peacekeeping mission could hardly be effective when there was no peace to keep. Instead it would evolve into a peace-enforcing mission. His delegation would prefer that a peacekeeping force be introduced during phase III of the Agreements, when the Indonesian Peoples Consultative Assembly officially rescinded Decree No. IV of 1978 that had integrated East Timor into Indonesia. He stressed, however, that Indonesia had accepted the results of the consultations and would honour its outcome.
Speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated countries, the representative of Finland said the East Timorese people had made a clear and democratic choice in favour of independence, and that irreversible choice must be respected. It was the Indonesian Government's responsibility to ensure security, stability and public order in East Timor, to disarm militias and to hold accountable the perpetrators of the killings. The Union condemned in the strongest terms the escalation of violence and urged the Government of Indonesia to take immediate steps to restore law and order and to cooperate with the United Nations.
Australia had made it clear to the Government of Indonesia that it was ready to help to contribute to and lead a multi-nation security force, the representative of that country told the Council. A number of other concerned countries had said they were ready to join in that effort. Australia was also working with its United Nations partners and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to address the disastrous humanitarian situation.
The representative of Cuba said his country firmly rejected any unilateral military measures by a State or a group of States. The Government of Indonesia had the capability to restore peace and order in East Timor. Any international action would require authorization and a mandate by the Security Council in accordance with the United Nations Charter. It would also require approval of the Government of Indonesia, which -- it should be remembered -- had launched the initiative leading to the 5 May Agreements and the public consultation of 30 August.
Statements were also made by representatives of Brazil, United States, France, Argentina, Canada, Gabon, China, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Belarus, Republic of Korea, Ireland, Philippines, South Africa, Egypt, Sudan, Cambodia, Mozambique, Norway, Ecuador, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, Chile, New Zealand, Germany, Libya, Italy, Uruguay, Greece, Pakistan, Spain, Viet Nam, Papua New Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Singapore, Sweden, Iraq, Angola, Cape Verde, Iran, Belgium, India, Denmark, Luxembourg, Austria, Slovenia and the Netherlands.
The meeting began at 11:20 a.m., was suspended at 1:33 p.m., resumed at 2:45 p.m. and adjourned at 6:20 p.m.Council Work Programme
The Security Council met today to consider the situation in East Timor.
KOFI ANNAN, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that one week ago he had informed the Council that the people of East Timor had voted in favour of a transition towards independence. The conditions under which the popular consultation had taken place on 30 August were far from ideal. The extremely large turnout, however, and the judgement of the international observers and the Electoral Commission left no doubt as to the integrity and validity of the ballot. The international community should now proceed, without hesitation, to implement the result of the ballot.
He said that, unhappily, no sooner had the result of the ballot been announced, than East Timor had begun a descent into chaos. The scale of the violence, death and destruction had been far beyond what any international observers had anticipated. What was happening in East Timor might well fall into various categories of international crime. The individuals who had ordered and carried out those crimes must be held accountable.
He said there had been an overwhelming international public response to the plight of people of East Timor in their hour of darkness. He had been in constant telephone contact with many heads of State all over the globe and, in particular, with President B.J. Habibie of Indonesia, whom he had spoken with throughout the week. His goal had been to create conditions that would enable the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) to carry out its mandate. The first such condition was the restoration of law and order which, under the 5 May Agreements, was the responsibility of the Government of Indonesia.
He said that "despite all our efforts, the security situation has steadily deteriorated and UNAMET has been forced to close all but one of its offices". Yesterday the Mission had relocated all non-essential staff, including 280 local staff and their families, out of East Timor. Only 86 international personnel remained in the headquarters compound in Dili. Lawlessness and disorder had reigned in Dili this week despite a significant presence of Indonesian police and military who were unwilling or unable to control the situation, he added.
He said the declaration of martial law by Indonesia in East Timor had not had the effect of restoring order. On Wednesday and Thursday, UNAMET convoys had been attacked by armed militias, despite having an escort of Indonesian troops. Yesterday, soldiers of the Indonesian army tasked with guarding the UNAMET compound had joined the pro-integration militia who were terrorizing those inside the compound. Approximately 1,000 East Timorese had taken refuge in the United Nations compound. The condition under which they were being accommodated was precarious. The plight of those unfortunate innocent victims was just one aspect of an unfolding humanitarian disaster in East Timor.
With access to all of East Timor now denied to the international community, "we cannot be certain of the full dimensions of the humanitarian crisis, or the requirements for survival of the population that has been uprooted", he said. It was clear, however, that extremely urgent action was required to provide for the basic needs of food, water and health care. Earlier today the Security Council mission had visited East Timor to see the situation on the ground and the impediments being faced by UNAMET. He understood that they had been to visit the whole city and see for themselves the extent of the destruction. He looked forward to their report within the next day or two.
He said the time had come for Indonesia to seek the help of the international community in fulfilling its responsibility to bring order and security to the people of East Timor. That must include guaranteeing the safety and protection of the civilian leaders of the pro-independence camp. Once again, he urged Indonesia to agree without further delay to the deployment of an international force.
The international community was asking for Indonesia's consent to the deployment of such a force, he noted. He hoped that it was clear that it did so out of deference to Indonesia's position as a respected member of the community of States. Regrettably, that position was now in jeopardy because of the tragedy that had engulfed the people of East Timor.
ANTONIO MONTEIRO (Portugal) said those who were trying to expel UNAMET from East Timor aimed to force the United Nations out of the Territory. As hard to believe as that was elements of the security forces of a United Nations Member State had been carrying out that action. That was a very dangerous precedent to set. Never in the Organizations history, he said, had institutions of one Member State so clearly and blatantly attempted through violence to destroy a process organized and conducted by the United Nations.
He said the United Nations could not afford once again to intervene in a conflict only to stand by helplessly while the process then lost its course. After all the assurances given to the United Nations by the Indonesian authorities and to the Timorese people, the United Nations could not just walk out and leave the East Timorese to die on their own. It was the Organizations legal and ethical obligation to protect the East Timorese who expected no less and deserved so much.
He said the Security Council should ensure that Indonesia immediately took concrete and verifiable steps to stop the killings and restore order to East Timor; took action to cease the forced dislocation of the civilian population; and create the conditions for their safe return. The Council must ensure that Indonesia allowed unimpeded access to all United Nations humanitarian agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide relief to internally displaced persons and all those in need; that it created the necessary security conditions to allow UNAMET to fulfil its mandate; and that it allowed United Nations staff being temporarily relocated to do so in conditions of safety and security.
Portugal also urged the Council to ensure that Indonesia ceased the harassment of UNAMET by the militias and elements of the security forces; guaranteed the security and physical integrity of those East Timorese who were forced to seek refuge inside the UNAMET compound; and took all necessary steps to arrest those responsible for the violence in East Timor. He said that by refusing the immediate establishment of a multinational force under United Nations mandate, Indonesia was assuming full and sole responsibility for the massacres being perpetrated in the Territory.
Portugal appealed to Indonesia to identify, detain and bring to justice all those responsible for the atrocities in East Timor, he said. His Government would continue to work within the framework of the 5 May Agreements and under the guidance of the Secretary-General for a successful transition to the independence freely chosen by the people of East Timor. It stood ready to support any international action to ensure the re-establishment of peace, security and order in East Timor.
GELSON FONSECA (Brazil) thanked the Council President for convening the meeting in response to requests by his Government and Portugal. This was a critical and tragic moment for East Timor and the international community. The Security Council was dealing with an urgent and serious threat to international security.
He said ways must be found to induce the Indonesian Government to comply with the 5 May Agreements -- which led to the referendum on East Timors future. If necessary, he said, the Council must consider additional action under the appropriate provisions of the United Nations Charter. The Council could no longer wait while there was disorder in East Timor and people were being massacred at the hands of criminal militias, he said.
The Secretary-Generals statement yesterday had offered effective guidance for the Councils deliberations, he stated. Brazil fully shared his assessment on the disturbing events in East Timor. As the Secretary-General had said, those events could amount to crimes against humanity. Brazil was indebted to the Secretary-General for his strong leadership.
He said the international community must not remain passive or hesitant in the face of the atrocities committed against the East Timorese. Responsibilities under the historic 5 May Agreements had been freely taken up by the parties. The Government of Indonesia must maintain law and order in East Timor. Unfortunately, the Indonesian authorities had been unable to contain the violence. Brazil called upon them to accept the assistance of the international community in ensuring the necessary security conditions for the implementation of the 5 May Agreements.
Brazil was ready to participate in an international force to help Indonesia bring about peace and stability in East Timor, as soon as it was mandated by the Security Council. He said the United Nations Charter provided the appropriate framework for the Security Council to take action. No option should be excluded. The Council must be firm and resolute. The international community must be prepared to take recourse to all available means at its disposal within the Charter to guarantee that peace was restored in East Timor and that the 5 May Agreements were fully put into effect.
RICHARD C. HOLBROOKE (United States) said the United Nations authority was being challenged simultaneously both in Kosovo and East Timor. The UNAMET had worked successfully to allow the people of East Timor to express its will, and on 30 August, the people had demonstrated dignity and courage. However, on the day when the results should have been celebrated, the world had witnessed violence. The situation was appalling: hundreds had been killed, and the United Nations personnel had been placed in danger.
The Government of Indonesia must understand that, unless it followed the right course, it would suffer irreparable damage in its international relations, he said. There were clear indications that Indonesian troops were backing and encouraging the atrocities on the ground. Today, the message was clear: the Indonesian Government must allow the international presence in East Timor. He endorsed fully yesterday's remarks by the Secretary-General.
Several Governments had proposed to enter immediately into negotiations with the concerned parties, he said. Those talks would be of critical importance in the process of resolving the problem. There were reports that the Indonesian Government might accept the presence of an international force, and he urged it to turn those hints into reality immediately. The United States wanted to work hand in hand with the Government of Indonesia, but its ability to do so would be severely impaired if Indonesia did not take steps to remedy the situation in East Timor. Today's meeting would not solve the problem immediately, but it must convey the message that Indonesia risked international isolation. The international community had the obligation to see that the people of East Timor could decide their fate democratically and of their own free will.
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said that what was occurring in East Timor could not be tolerated any longer. The United Nations had encouraged a negotiating process leading to self-determination that seemed exemplary. Everyone had applauded the efforts of Portugal, Indonesia and the United Nations in that process. Today everything seemed to be collapsing because of the rebellion of one segment against international order and the Indonesian Government. Note must be taken of the extremely alarming scale of the disaster. Violence had caused large flows of refugees and displaced persons. Dili had been devastated by the militias. The question today was a simple one: "are we back in 1994 dealing with Rwanda or back in 1998 facing Kosovo? Are we going to prevent forced exodus and massacres"? The measures taken by the Indonesian authorities were not effective. The choice of independence was being contested by force of arms.
He said no-one wanted the isolation of the Government of Indonesia and he hoped that it would see the need to honour its agreements. That was a heavy responsibility that was not being shouldered today. If the Indonesian Government could not discharge its responsibilities and implement the 5 May Agreements, it must accept the offer of assistance from the international community to help it achieve its goals. France hoped that the Council would be ready to pronounce itself in the light of assessment of its mission to Indonesia and East Timor. If the Council decided to establish a force, France would participate in it.
FERNANDO PETRELLA (Argentina) said that on 30 August the people of East Timor had expressed their views freely and democratically. That was due in one part to the courageous decision taken by President Habibie. The registration of voters had proceeded without major problems and there was a high degree of participation in the ballot. Indonesia's cooperation at that stage had also been essential. Portugal had also played an important role. The wealth of information today, however, showed that things were far from that positive scenario which had been glimpsed two weeks ago. The Council's initiative to send a mission to Indonesia had to be commended and supported. That showed that it was not deaf to the serious humanitarian violations that were on its agenda. The question at this moment was how an end could be put to the serious situation of violence and disorder in East Timor. The first step in controlling the situation had to be taken by the authorities of that country, and particularly by its armed forces.
He appealed to those sectors in Indonesia which had departed from the norms of international law to stop their actions. If Indonesia could not control that situation then it must seek international assistance and cooperation. The crimes and abuses against civilians and UNAMET personnel were indeed abhorrent. United Nations personnel and associated personnel should all have the guarantee of freedom of movement. He hoped that process of independence in East Timor could be completed, that Indonesia would agree to international support and that there would be an end to anarchy.
ROBERT R.FOWLER (Canada) said that the current situation in East Timor was obscene in its dimensions. The numbers of dead and displaced were growing steadily, as was the wanton destruction of property. The Government of Indonesia must immediately assume its responsibility for security in East Timor, as stipulated in the 5 May Agreements, or, if incapable or unwilling to do so, allow the international community to assist them to provide a safe environment for the people of East Timor. If Indonesia continued to refuse to uphold its commitments, then it would face the opprobrium of the international community.
Indonesia had agreed to ensure that the killings and terror ceased, but both persisted unabated, he continued. The Government of Indonesia had imposed martial law to restore peace and order, yet soldiers and police stood idly by, or partook in the violent rampages of looting and burning. Indonesia must come to grips with the reality of what was actually happening in East Timor and stop it. It must also take immediate measures to ensure safe and unhindered access for humanitarian personnel. Canada stood ready to consider favourably international appeals to help alleviate East Timor's pain, but for that to happen, Indonesia must make credible guarantees of security for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and translate those guarantees into reality.
DENIS DANGUE REWAKA (Gabon) said that the Agreements of 5 May called on the Secretary-General to organize the popular consultation to find a peaceful resolve to the situation in East Timor. The people of East Timor had made their decision. His delegation had been surprised by the violence that was currently occurring. The Indonesian Government's decision to introduce martial law had not changed the situation. He urged that Government to accept the assistance offered by the international community to resolve the situation. That way, the United Nations presence could be re-established in East Timor. Indonesia played an important role in the peace and security not just of the immediate region, but of the whole world. It was his most ardent wish that the Indonesian Government would continue the process of reform that it had undertaken.
QIN HUASUN (China) said that the people of East Timor had made the choice for their future, and China appealed to all concerned sides to respect their will. It hoped that the various parties in East Timor would join hands in building a stable and prosperous future for the Territory. China was gravely concerned over the continuing violence and resulting humanitarian crisis in East Timor. It hoped that measures taken by the Indonesian Government would achieve desirable results as soon as possible.
The Chinese delegation appreciated the United Nations close cooperation with the Indonesian and Portuguese Governments on East Timor and the efforts made by UNAMET for the smooth conduct of the popular consultation. The issue of East Timor must be solved through the United Nations, he stressed. The deployment of any peacekeeping force should be at the request of the Indonesian Government and endorsed by the Security Council. China was willing to be actively involved in United Nations efforts in that respect.
STEWART ELDON (United Kingdom) said that if Indonesia was unable to meet its obligations under the 5 May Agreement it must allow the international community to assist in restoring order and in securing an orderly transition to independence for East Timor. The United Kingdom had repeatedly made clear to Indonesia its willingness to provide practical help and support to restore security in East Timor, he said. Those offers had so far been declined by Indonesia on the grounds that it was capable of restoring security itself. But its attempts to do so to date had done little to improve the situation on the ground, he said.
Every country in the Asia-Pacific region was calling for action to restore order, he said. How could the Indonesian Government assure that things were under control and nothing needed to be done? The United Kingdom looked forward to receiving the report of the Security Council mission following their visit to Dili. It welcomed the Governments agreement to allow international humanitarian assistance to enter East Timor. Humanitarian flights and humanitarian workers must be allowed in as a matter of urgency. The Indonesian Government must provide them with security, or allow others to do so.
Above all, the Indonesian Government must meet its obligations under the tripartite Agreement of 5 May. It must allow UNAMET to operate throughout the Territory. The UNAMET was central to the process to which Indonesia had agreed. It remained essential that the Indonesian military take immediate steps to restore safety and security in East Timor in accordance with their international obligations. If they did not meet those requirements, he stressed, Indonesia must understand that it would be held responsible by the international community.
The United Kingdom, which was a long-standing friend of Indonesia, wanted to see a strong united and democratic Indonesia. It did not question Indonesian sovereignty or unity. But it was horrified at the tragedy going on in East Timor. The United Kingdom appealed to the Government of Indonesia, in the name of its obligations to the international community and in the name of humanity, to take action, or accept the help of others to do so.
SERGEY V. LAVROV (Russian Federation) said that today's meeting was an adequate reaction to the worsening of the situation in East Timor. The Government of the Russian Federation was seriously concerned about the reports of massive upheavals, violence against civilians and murders of innocent people. Acts of violence must be halted immediately, and necessary steps must be taken to ensure security of the population and international personnel.
Along with the rest of the international community, the Russian Federation had welcomed the signing of the Agreements between Indonesia and Portugal and between those countries and the United Nations on East Timor, he continued. However, the results of the public consultation had caused a sharp escalation of violence on the part of the opponents of the independence of East Timor. The Government of Indonesia must ensure the implementation of the public consultation. Under present conditions, priority should be given to the whole arsenal of political means at the disposal of the United Nations, which should be directed at resolving the situation in East Timor. In particular, the Government of Indonesia should immediately take all possible measures to stop violence there.
If the situation was not brought under control, the deployment of an international force would be possible only if two necessary conditions were met: if the Security Council adopted a relevant resolution to determine the mandate of such a force; and if the authorities of Indonesia agreed to accept such a force. Together with other countries, the Russian Federation would be prepared to expeditiously consider additional measures to resolve the situation in East Timor.
PENNY WENSLEY (Australia) said that the deplorable situation in East Timor had arisen because of the failure of the Indonesian military to honour Indonesia's commitment to provide security in East Timor for the United Nations consultation and transition process. She called on Indonesia to agree immediately to the deployment of a United Nations-authorized international force to provide the necessary security for UNAMET to resume its role. It was necessary not to forget why the United Nations was in East Timor: it was there because it had been asked -- by the Government of Indonesia, as well as the Government of Portugal -- to play a role in implementing the historic agreement between those two countries on resolving the question of East Timor. It had been invited by the Government of Indonesia to assist in the implementation of the popular consultation of the East Timorese people.
She called on the Indonesian people to give an unequivocal commitment to respect the result of the 30 August ballot and to expedite the transfer of control of East Timor to the United Nations, in accordance with the 5 May Agreements. The most urgent task in the immediate future was to restore security in East Timor. That remained the responsibility of the Government of Indonesia, which must do everything in its power to stop the violence, bring the militias under control, allow the return of internally displaced persons and begin the process of restoring normality to the territory. That must happen immediately.
She said that her country had made it clear to the Government of Indonesia that it was ready to help to contribute to and lead a multi-nation security force to assist Indonesia in restoring law and order and to enable the full return of the United Nations. A number of other concerned countries had said they were ready to join her country. Her country was also working with its United Nations partners and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to address the disastrous humanitarian situation. A great deal had been invested in the popular consultation of the East Timorese people, so a great deal stood to be lost. The failure of the international community to support them would amount to turning its backs on them.
ALYAKSANDR SYCHOV (Belarus) said that his Government was closely following the events in East Timor. His delegation shared the assessment of the situation which the Secretary-General had made immediately after the results of the popular consultation had been announced. Those results had not given grounds either for celebration of victory or declaration of failure. It was the beginning of a long and difficult process, in which the United Nations must play an important part.
The latest events in East Timor gave serious grounds for concern, he continued. Belarus welcomed the balanced approach adopted by the Security Council, which gave the chance for the Indonesian Government and the people of East Timor to resolve the difficulties of the transition period on their own. A political and diplomatic solution of even the most complicated crisis was always possible. The provisions of the Agreements between Indonesia, Portugal and the United Nations must be fully complied with. There was a priority need to consider all further steps by the United Nations, which was becoming the only guarantor of peace and stability in East Timor. Only by following the principles of the United Nations Charter could the truly historic task facing the Security Council be discharged.
MARJATTA RASI (Finland), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated countries, said that the Union had expressed its grave concern to the Indonesian authorities and urged them to discharge fully their obligation on security arrangements under the 5 May Agreements. The matter had been discussed with the United Nations Secretary-General and with different governments. It was clear that the international community shared the same concern, sense of urgency and gravity of the situation.
The popular consultation of 30 August was an accurate reflection of the views of the East Timorese people, who had made a clear and democratic choice in favour of independence, she continued. That irreversible choice must be respected. It was the Indonesian Government's responsibility to ensure security, stability and public order in East Timor, to disarm militias and to hold accountable the perpetrators of the killings. The Union condemned in the strongest terms the escalation of violence in East Timor and urged the Government of Indonesia to take immediate steps to restore law and order and to cooperate with the United Nations. It was essential that a secure environment be restored. She called on the Government of Indonesia to accept an international armed presence, under the mandate of the Security Council, to assist it in that task.
The Union was considering further action to support the efforts of the international community, she said. It was also increasingly concerned at the worsening humanitarian situation in East Timor. Conditions must be restored for the rapid resumption of humanitarian assistance, including access for United Nations agencies and humanitarian and human rights organizations to areas where the displaced had gathered.
LEE SEE-YOUNG (Republic of Korea) said that now that the free will of the East Timorese had been clearly confirmed in an orderly and democratic manner, "we firmly believe that the results of the popular consultation should be the sole foundation" for ending the tragedy in East Timor. Given the deterioration of the situation there even after the imposition of martial law, he called upon the Indonesian Government to continue to take the necessary measures in a more decisive and vigorous manner to restore law and order, protect human lives and to help facilitate the activities of UNAMET in carrying out its mandate.
In the process of taking those urgent measures, he continued, "we very much hope that Indonesia will be able to seek the help of the international community and accept the offers readily available individually or collectively". That would help it to fulfil its responsibility to restore order and security for the people of East Timor and help humanitarian assistance to reach those desperately in need. He reaffirmed the willingness and readiness of his Government to contribute to the efforts of the parties directly concerned and of the international community.
RICHARD RYAN (Ireland) said through organized intimidation and violence, there had been a widespread systematic campaign to negate the clear result of the transparent exercise in self-determination that had taken place in East Timor. There was growing evidence of a brutal policy, through killings and forced displacement, to reverse the result of the popular consultation by removing from East Timor large numbers of those who had voted for independence. Virtually all of those who would bear witness to those events to the outside world -- UNAMET, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), international humanitarian agencies, NGOs and members of the media -- had been forced to withdraw.
The responsibility for the turn of events in East Timor lay squarely with the Indonesian authorities. "It is now entirely clear to us all that they are not in a position to maintain security." Despite the proclamation of martial law, the Indonesian armed forces were unable or unwilling to even prevent militia from threatening the remaining UNAMET personnel in Dili. The Secretary-General said yesterday that there were reports that crimes against humanity had been committed. His delegation was aware of similar reports, including allegations of genocide. If that was the case, those responsible must be apprehended and brought to justice.
He said the international community had made an offer of assistance to the Indonesian authorities in restoring law and order, and the re-establishment of the conditions which would allow the people of East Timor to return to their homes in safety. Ireland urged the Indonesian Government to accept that offer without further delay. It also urged all those who might hold influence over the authorities in Indonesia to do all in their power to persuade them to accept the offer. The turn which events had taken was tragic but reversible -- if Indonesia now accepted the offer of help. If it did not, the result would undermine and fundamentally damage Indonesia's relations with its friends in the international community.
FELIPE MABILANGAN (Philippines) said the international community had always known that the resolution of the East Timor question would never be simple and easy. That belief was proving to be accurate. It was therefore important that the process established under the 5 May Agreements be continued to help the East Timorese achieve their collective aspirations. That process, under the solemn agreement of Indonesia, Portugal and the United Nations, should not be derailed by the action of some. The popular consultation was the culmination of years of effort to reach a just and fair settlement of the East Timor question that was acceptable to the entire international community. The generally positive conduct of the 30 August vote, however, would not have been possible without the earnest efforts of the Indonesian Government to fulfil its commitments under the 5 May Agreements, he noted.
Nevertheless, he said that it was difficult to deny that the recent incidents of violence in the Territory had gravely tarnished the accomplishments of the consultation process. It was therefore important that the violent groups and individuals who continued to sow terror and mayhem in the Territory be stopped immediately. Violent attacks against people could not be allowed to continue. If left unabated, violence in East Timor might further worsen the humanitarian situation that had now become extremely precarious in certain areas. It was important for the Philippines to see that the East Timorese be given a chance, with the full support of the international community, to chart their future after the completion of the process in the 5 May Agreements. His county would therefore be ready to provide assistance to achieve that objective.
Following a suspension at 1:33 p.m., the Council resumed its meeting at 2:45 p.m.
DUMISANI S. KUMALO (South Africa) said his Government and people condemned unreservedly the latest violence in East Timor. They were particularly appalled and saddened by the murder of countless unarmed and defenceless East Timorese people, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people and the attacks on United Nations and other international personnel by the militias.
The South African Government called upon the Indonesian Government to protect the people of East Timor, prevent the further escalation of violence in the Territory and to guarantee the safe return of displaced persons. It also asked the Indonesian authorities to create the conditions to allow the international community to assist in addressing the growing humanitarian catastrophe.
He said South Africa supported the recent offers of international assistance to the Indonesian Government to restore stability and security in East Timor and strongly urged its acceptance. Any urgent United Nations action would assure the world that the Organization was ready to stand up for suffering people wherever they were. The restoration of peace and stability to East Timor and the full implementation of the results of the 30 August ballot were not only in the interests of the East Timorese but of all the people of Indonesia.
South Africa remained steadfastly committed to seeing the peaceful settlement of the East Timor question and the granting of independence to the East Timorese people.
ABOUL GHEIT (Egypt) said the matter discussed today was highly sensitive. The popular consultation of 30 August had concluded a long process, which had been made possible by the Government of Indonesia and the assurances provided by President Habibie of safety and security. In view of the escalation of acts of violence, Egypt had to express its regret. The safety of UNAMET personnel was also a cause for concern. The results of the consultation reflected the will of the people of East Timor, and Egypt called on all parties to halt the violence and acts of provocation, so that the process could reach its desired results.
Constant attempts of the Indonesian Government had led to some signs of improvement in the territory, he continued. Those attempts had included the imposition of martial law and introduction of changes in the military command, as well as the bolstering of the military presence in East Timor. Egypt understood that a number of considerations were sensitive and delicate and that they must be approached with prudence and calm. It was necessary to avoid exacerbating the situation. Indonesia knew what measures should be taken, and his Government hoped that it would play its role and do what was necessary to restore peace and security in East Timor.
ELFATIH MOHAMED AHMED ERWA (Sudan) said that based on his country's firm conviction of the need to settle disputes by peaceful means in conformity with the United Nations Charter, it wished to hail the process of popular consultation that had been conducted in East Timor. His delegation offered its congratulations to the East Timorese on the results and praised the efforts of the Indonesian Government to create the necessary security conditions for the holding of the ballot. The referendum and the Indonesian Government's declared acceptance of the outcome, both before and after the process, clearly highlighted its commitment to find a serious solution to the conflict. Indonesia's welcoming and receiving the Council mission also revealed the serious endeavour of the Government to cooperate with the international community and end the violence in East Timor.
He said the Sudan was now following the deplorable and grave situation unfolding in East Timor. It was concerned by the preposterous conduct, especially that perpetuated by the anti-independence militia. In the heat of those deplorable events "we cannot forget or pretend to forget the honourable and principled position of the Indonesian Government vis-à-vis the popular consultation. He also drew attention to the arrangements adopted by the Government in the last few days -- martial law to contain the violence, the deployment of new forces to replace existing forces, the provision of humanitarian aid and agreements with the Red Cross on humanitarian arrangements. Sudan was of the view that any resolution on the deployment of a multinational peacekeeping force should be studied carefully.
OUCH BORITH (Cambodia) said Indonesia was undergoing a process of transition and change. The events in East Timor must therefore be seen as that country's efforts to introduce reform into its system. He extended congratulations to Indonesia on the initiative to give the people of East Timor a choice between accepting widespread autonomy or independence from Indonesia.
Cambodia was, however, concerned about the recent violence which had occurred in East Timor, and acknowledged the efforts made by the Indonesian Government to improve the situation at the latest stage, he said. He urged the Indonesian authorities to take further steps to bring the violence in the Territory to a speedy end and, together with the United Nations, to implement the May 5 Tripartite Agreements in a peaceful and cooperative manner.
CARLOS DOS SANTOS (Mozambique) said the people of East Timor and Mozambique shared a common history, and it was with satisfaction that Mozambicans had learned of the popular consultation of the East Timorese people in favour of independence. It was with grave concern that they had witnessed the massacre of the people of East Timor because they had, democratically, chosen to be free and independent. The Security Council must not accept the continuation of the massacre of the people of East Timor.
Mozambique agreed with the Secretary-General that the time had clearly come for Indonesia to seek the help of the international community in fulfilling its responsibility to bring order and security to the people of East Timor, and to allow the displaced to return home in safety. Mozambique expected the Indonesian leadership to fulfil the commitments they had entered into in the 5 May Agreements to bring an immediate end to the killing, destruction and suffering that the people of East Timor were being subjected to. The humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in East Timor demanded an immediate intervention by the international community, he stressed.
The Security Council must continue to discharge its Charter responsibilities and should not fail the people of East Timor, he said. He reiterated his Governments readiness to cooperate for UNAMETs success.
BRUNO RODRIGUEZ PARRILLA (Cuba) said his country believed that urgent measures should be taken to end the violence in East Timor. He was pleased to hear the statement by the Government of Indonesia which had reiterated its decision to honour the existing Agreements. Unilateral sanctions were not the way to restore the atmosphere of peace. Cuba firmly rejected any unilateral military measures by a country or a group of countries. The Government of Indonesia had capability to restore peace and order in East Timor. Any international action would require authorization and a mandate by the Security Council in accordance with the United Nations Charter. It would also require approval of the Government of Indonesia, which -- it should be remembered -- had launched the initiative leading to the 5 May Agreement and the public consultation of 30 August.
His delegation awaited with interest the report of the mission of Ambassadors which had visited Jakarta and East Timor, he continued. Urgent humanitarian assistance should be provided to alleviate the suffering of the people. For now, it was reassuring to hear that caution was prevailing and that no "new North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) doctrine" would be invoked. It was also reassuring to know that nobody was going to repeat the terrible mistake by solving a humanitarian crisis by bombs and missiles.
OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said his Government deeply regretted that the Indonesian Government had failed to maintain order and to provide security for the people of East Timor despite repeated urgings by Norway. Since Indonesia was unable to control the situation and re-establish the rule of law, it should immediately invite the international community to assist.
Norway was also gravely concerned about the fate of the large numbers of refugees that had been deported to West Timor, from where it had been impossible to get information. It insisted that the Indonesian Government allow international humanitarian workers access to those refugees. Furthermore, Norway supported the Portuguese proposal for a special session of the Human Rights Commission on East Timor. If the situation did not improve, he said it might also be expected of the international community to introduce sanctions.
Norway was ready to provide economic support to the efforts to promote peace, stability and development of East Timor, he said. Based on lessons learned from similar situations, Norway called upon the international community to be prepared for a massive human relief operation once security was restored.
MARIO ALEMAN (Ecuador) said he was shocked and horrified by the events in East Timor. As a member of the international community, his country could not remain silent or fail to react to the wanton violence being perpetuated against the East Timorese. Such acts fell into the murky area of savagery and barbarity and were a flagrant violation of human rights. They must be halted without delay. Ethics and morality could not be selective and the international community must react the same way wherever such acts occurred in the world.
His country regarded the holding of the popular consultation as a negotiated, fair and democratic way out of the crisis, he said. The violence in the aftermath of the consultation had, however, jeopardized the integrity of the Territory and was a threat to peace and security in the region. The international community had a duty to put an immediate stop to the terror and violence in East Timor. The para-military groups responsible for so many heinous crimes had to be disarmed. The Indonesian Government had not discharged its responsibilities. The deployment of multi-national troops would then seem to be the right thing to do; otherwise the credibility of the United Nations would be placed in doubt.
ALOUNKEO KITTIKHOUN (Lao People's Democratic Republic) said that along with other Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, his country had been closely following the situation in East Timor. On 30 August, the great majority of the people of that Territory had expressed their will, and his country took note of that historic event. Since then, in view of the complexity of the problem, the situation had become difficult. There was loss of life and material damage. In those circumstances, the Indonesian Government had done its utmost to normalize the situation as soon as possible.
Recognition should be given to the sincere efforts of that Government to bring about an internationally acceptable solution to the situation in East Timor, he said. It had already undertaken to abide by the results of the popular consultation and to face up to its responsibility for the security on the island. He could well understand the feelings of several friendly countries that were advocating the sending of an international force to resolve the situation. His country believed that the sincere view of Indonesia should be taken into account, as it was trying to redress the situation, which was certainly not an easy one. Doubtless, it would be good to let the Government of Indonesia shoulder its responsibilities.
The question of East Timor was one of the most complex questions of recent times, he said. Given that, it required serious in-depth consideration. Any initiative to resolve it required the consent of Indonesia.
JUAN LARRAIN (Chile) said his Government was deeply disturbed by the situation in East Timor. Members of the Chilean delegation to the popular consultation in the Territory had been able to see the persecution of the East Timorese who were pro-independence, and Chile urgently appealed to the Indonesian Government to re-establish law and order. It was essential, therefore, for UNAMET to resume its functions. If that could not be done, then it would be necessary for the Government of Indonesia to agree to the international community's offer to provide assistance. Chile was seriously considering participation in any such agreement.
He believed that the Indonesian Government had demonstrated determination and courage when it had taken the historic first step with regard to East Timor, and the popular consultation had been a milestone. Indonesia had chosen a route and it must continue to follow it. In the 5 May Tripartite Agreements the parties had called on the Secretary-General to provide an adequate United Nations presence in East Timor. That provided the Organization with the latitude to agree with Indonesia on the contribution of forces. The international community could no longer witness the events in East Timor passively.
MICHAEL POWLES (New Zealand) said the outcome of the 30 August ballot - which represented the true aspirations and democratically expressed wishes of the people of East Timor - could never be disguised or ignored. Those trying to subvert that outcome must be held accountable.
He said New Zealand had been a consistent supporter of United Nations efforts to resolve the situation in East Timor. It had welcomed the Tripartite Agreement of 5 May and had readily provided finances and personnel to the United Nations in East Timor. A small number of brave New Zealanders remained at UNAMET headquarters in Dili. His Government was greatly concerned for them and for the others there, as well as for all those whose safety was the responsibility of the Indonesian authorities.
New Zealand had backed the purpose of the Security Council mission and pledged support for a continuing and future United Nations presence in East Timor. He reaffirmed his Governments willingness to assist in a collective effort to help Indonesia restore order in East Timor and care for the welfare of the East Timorese people. New Zealand urged Indonesia to permit, protect and support international relief agencies - both United Nations and non-governmental - that were ready to return to East Timor to deal with the looming humanitarian crisis in the Territory.
DIETER KASTRUP (Germany) said the introduction of martial law had not improved the situation in East Timor. Germany strongly condemned the killing of thousands of innocent East Timorese, the destruction of Dili and other parts of the island and the systematic deportations of the East Timorese population to other parts of Indonesia.
He said political and military leaders in Indonesia had clearly failed to provide the necessary security after the people of East Timor had exercised their right of self-determination. The grave violations of human rights must be brought to justice. Action had to be taken now, he said, adding that the militias must be disarmed, and the use of force and violence stopped immediately.
Germany was not willing to further tolerate the atrocities in East Timor, he said. The killings and the suffering of the East Timorese people must be stopped immediately. It wholeheartedly supported the Secretary-General that the time had clearly come for Indonesia to seek help from the international community in fulfilling its responsibility to bring order and security to the people of East Timor.
He said the international community must also start to concentrate its efforts on the need for urgent humanitarian assistance to be provided to the East Timorese people. Germany strongly called upon the Government of Indonesia to assist the deployment of international humanitarian staff and to provide all the necessary security for their work. He announced his countrys readiness to provide as a first step 1 million Deutsche Marks for humanitarian assistance.
Germany expected the Indonesian Government to take immediate measures in line with the commitments of 5 May. A breach of those commitments could not go without consequences, he said. Germany, as President of the Group of 8, would attach particular importance to developments in East Timor at the forthcoming meeting of the Groups Foreign Ministers during the fifty-fourth session of the General Assembly.
ABUZED OMAR DORDA (Libya) said the stepping down from power of Indonesia's President Suharto had meant that Indonesia had entered into a transition that had continued up to now. Within that transitional phase the question of East Timor had acquired special dimensions. Indonesia had accepted the arrangement that had been spelled out with regard to East Timor and the popular consultation as well. The referendum conducted a few days ago had meant the Government of Indonesia must act under the constitutional framework of the country. Those who, in good faith, wished to address the issue of East Timor must try to help Indonesia and its central Government to reach the final logical outcome according to the country's constitution. Indonesia was a sovereign country that would not compromise its sovereignty.
He said that no issue could be looked at without looking at its historic context. He noted that the threats of sanctions against Indonesia were being flagged around even before the Council had take up the issue. Any such efforts would be futile. While he could not support killing or looting or any other acts of that kind, why had there not been the same zeal by the international community when dealing with the killing of the people in Somalia. Threats of coercion against Indonesia would not prove useful. The Council should support the Government of Indonesia in its transitional phase rather than intimidate it. He expected the Council to wait until its mission had returned before taking any decisions.
FRANCESCO PAOLO FULCI (Italy) said immediate action was needed now to stop the atrocities in East Timor. Italy strongly appealed to Indonesia to allow basic humanitarian considerations to prevail. It also appealed to the international community not to remain indifferent and powerless in the face of the tragic events in East Timor.
The time had come for the United Nations to act, he said, adding that it was the Organization which had brokered the 5 May Agreements which had led to a democratic and free referendum. It was also the United Nations which had acted as a guarantor of that referendum. The Security Council must help to restore peace and order in East Timor.
He recalled that the Council, faced by the risk of a similar tragedy two years ago, had authorized in less than 24 hours the dispatch to Albania of a multinational force set up by a coalition of the willing. A potential humanitarian disaster had been averted thanks to that swift action. A similar prompt initiative was needed now, he said. Inaction or late action by the Council would further undermine the credibility of the United Nations in the eyes of the people of the world. Italy stood ready to contribute to a goodwill coalition initiated by Australia.
For the Council to act swiftly, the consent of Indonesia was urgently needed, he said. Italy wished to add its voice to the strong appeal of the Secretary-General and many Member States for it to be given. Those who ordered or perpetrated atrocities in East Timor should be brought to justice by the Indonesian authorities, he added.
JORGE PEREZ OTERMIN (Uruguay) said the matter discussed today was one of the most important ever. There was a backward movement away from civilization in East Timor. He was utterly disgusted and outraged by what was happening there. The United Nations and its Secretary-General were doing their utmost to remedy the situation; however, the United Nations was only what its Members wanted it to be. If there was failure, it was not the Organization, but its Members which had failed.
He said that Uruguay was doing what it could: it had provided military officers and civilian police, and it was prepared to send more. Two volunteers from his country still remained in Dili. Given the developments, it was now no longer a matter for civilian police. The situation required military action ordered by the Organization. The democratic process should be supported, and his country would continue to do so to the best of its ability, he added. The Indonesian authorities should immediately consent to the presence of an international force ordered by the United Nations.
LEONIDAS ROKANAS (Greece) said his Government was convinced that in view of the tragic situation in East Timor only a strong peacekeeping presence, within the framework of the United Nations, could effectively contribute to quelling the catastrophic violence, restoring law and order and ensuring respect for the wishes of the people of that Territory.
The international community should spare no effort, not only to help bring back peace, security and stability to the area, but also to provide humanitarian and development aid to enable the people of East Timor to finally reap the benefits of a normal life to which they were entitled. He hoped todays Council meeting would have a catalytic influence in achieving those goals.
INAM UL HAQUE (Pakistan) said the people of East Timor had given their verdict, which must be respected by both Indonesia and the international community. Pakistan encouraged the Government of Indonesia to honour its commitments. It urged Indonesia to take the necessary steps to restore law and order in East Timor and to ensure the security of the people as well as that of United Nations personnel. Pakistan also urged Indonesia to cooperate with the United Nations and to accept the Organizations assistance should it become unavoidable.
While it expected an immediate improvement in the situation, Pakistan said the Security Council must remain seized of the matter, playing its role as defined in the Charter. The process of popular consultations in East Timor under United Nations auspices was a historic event which could serve as an example for resolving similar problems in other parts of the world. The international community must not allow that process to fail, he stressed, adding that Member States must honour their obligations and comply with United Nations resolutions.
INOCENCIO F. ARIAS (Spain) said that the world was witnessing the barbarity in East Timor. How was it possible that the international community and the United Nations would allow such an atrocity? How had they lost control of the situation? he asked. The Government of Indonesia must answer that question and restore the prestige of the country by remedying the situation, which could not withstand any delay. The argument that it was gangs of uncontrolled militia that created disorder was not acceptable. Indonesia must restore law and order immediately, or else accept the offer of the presence of an international force. The choice was in the hands of the Indonesian authorities.
NGO QUANG XUAN (Viet Nam) said it was his countrys wish that the situation in East Timor be stabilized and that a favourable environment prevail to facilitate a lasting solution satisfactory to all the concerned parties. A durable settlement must be based on the 5 May Agreements. According to the reports his Government had received, Indonesia had taken a good number of efforts to restore peace and security in East Timor.
He said the deployment of any multinational force there must comply with the 5 May Agreements and should have the consent of the Indonesian Government as well as United Nations approval. Viet Nam believed that with the goodwill and cooperation of all the concerned parties and Member States, a satisfactory solution for East Timor would finally be achieved.
PETER DONIGI (Papua New Guinea) appealed to the Government of Indonesia to review its position on the maintenance of peace and security in East Timor. It was clear from media reports that the Indonesian military was either encouraging the militia or was in some cases directly involved in the atrocities in the Territory. Under the circumstances, the only course of action open to the Indonesian Government was to invite outside assistance into East Timor to address the situation. It must immediately conduct a phased withdrawal of all its forces in East Timor in tandem with the deployment of Security Council-approved peacekeeping forces.
Papua New Guinea believed strongly that the atrocities which had been committed should not go unpunished. Those who perpetrated the crimes against humanity must be held to account for their actions. The rule of law must prevail. That could not be done without the full support and cooperation of the Government and the Indonesian military. He called on the Indonesian Government to ensure that that would be done.
He said the United Nations could not stand by and watch helplessly as its wards -- the people of East Timor to whom the United Nations had a special relationship -- found themselves without a protector. The United Nations must proceed with all due haste to the next phases of the 5 May Agreements so as to guarantee freedom to the remaining people of East Timor.
JOAO SOARES DA GAMA (Guinea-Bissau) said that the public consultation of 30 August had brought hope that finally a true dialogue and reconciliation would take place in East Timor. There was also hope for a peaceful transition to the implementation of the will of the people. Instead, a wave of violence and terror was getting worse. Indonesia should fully shoulder its responsibility under the 5 May Agreements to guarantee peace and security in the Territory.
The international community must not remain passive in the face of the atrocities, he said. Guinea-Bissau appealed to the international community and to the Security Council to restore peace and security, in particular by dispatching an international peacekeeping force to the Territory. Economic and humanitarian aid should also be provided. He called on Indonesia to accept such aid. He deemed it indispensable that the international community do more to create safe and favourable conditions to guarantee a peaceful transition, taking into consideration the results of the public consultation.
KISHORE MAHBUBANI (Singapore) said that actions against United Nations personnel in East Timor, if not rectified, could be imitated by mobs and armies in other troubled countries. United Nations personnel in many parts of the world would thus be put at risk. The rogue elements in the army and police said to be among those responsible for the violence must be stopped. The results of the popular consultations had become a political fact which must be respected. The United Nations must press forward towards an independent East Timor. To do that, the first step was to restore law and order and stop the humanitarian disaster that was taking place.
The United Nations must remain engaged in the process. Singapore urged the Indonesian Government to act decisively and swiftly to restore stability in East Timor so that phase II of the UNAMET operation could be carried out.
The Councils response to East Timors problems would set the pattern for action in future similar tragedies, he said. The Council had an obligation to respond objectively and fairly to such tragedies. Selective justice only weakened the United Nations.
Singapore supported international efforts to end the violence and to get the independence process back on track. It should not be forgotten that East Timors problems were only one aspect of the crisis in Indonesias body politic and that the international community should be sympathetic to its needs and concerns, he added.
HANS DAHLGREN (Sweden) said his country was pleased to see the Security Council actively seized of the question of East Timor, which could endanger the maintenance of international peace and security. Sweden also appreciated the opportunity given through the debate for the international community to deliver a very clear message to Indonesia regarding its responsibility.
He said it was still the duty of the Government of Indonesia to secure law and order in East Timor. It was also clear that it had failed to do so. He said that failure must not be allowed to persist. Indonesia must be made to accept offers from the international community to assist in establishing order and security, following an endorsement by the Security Council. The rest of the world should help make clear to Jakarta that such acceptance must be given now, without delay. In extending such pressure on the Government of Indonesia, the international community should be ready to use all possible means at its disposal. If it refused, it would have to take responsibility for what could be no less than crimes against humanity.
He urged the Security Council to continue to consider what further action would most effectively bring safety and dignity to the people of East Timor, while making clear that the process of its independence was irreversible.
SAEED HASAN (Iraq) invited all parties in East Timor to exercise restraint and to solve the problem in a peaceful manner. Iraq had followed the peaceful popular consultation process with satisfaction and had appreciated the efforts of the Indonesian Government to reach a just and internationally acceptable solution to the problem. The outbreaks of violence and the destruction of property were deplorable and unacceptable. The right course of action lay in extending a helping hand to the Government of Indonesia to help it control the situation in East Timor. However, the international community seemed uninterested so far. Resorting to threats of political seclusion or interference with foreign troops would complicate the situation.
He warned against giving the question of East Timor, a humanitarian issue, dimensions that might be greater than its size. Quoting the Secretary-General's report of the other day, he said that the humanitarian challenge was heightened by the fact that the international community did not respond in a uniform way to all crises. Kosovo received so much attention, yet other situations like Ethiopia and Eritrea did not warrant the same interest, while many others went almost entirely unreported. The sole criteria for response should be based on human need. Any other response would bring criticisms of inconsistency.
JOSEFA GUILHERMINA COELHO DA CRUZ (Angola) said that only recently her Government had added its voice to those of other Portuguese-speaking countries to express its pleasure at the fact that the people of East Timor had determined their will. As the situation had deteriorated sharply since then, Angola now requested the Indonesian Government to take control of the situation, which resembled a true massacre. It was a cause of grave concern.
It was essential that the Government of Indonesia demonstrate good faith and assume all of its obligations under the 5 May Agreements to avoid genocide. Indonesia should heed the appeal of the Secretary-General and request the assistance of the international community and restore order and security to East Timor. It should also allow the displaced persons to return to their homes in safety. The Council should exercise its authority and dispatch a peace mission - the sooner the better.
JOSE LUIS MONTEIRO (Cape Verde) said that after refusing to accept the occupier for 24 years, the people of East Timor were being cruelly punished by not being allowed to take up their choice of independence. The 5 May Agreements had seen every party involved keeping their word except the occupying Power. For months there had been openly practised organized violence. After the 30 August consultation, which had been fairly tranquil, there was a feeling that something real and good had happened in the world. Then savagery had descended upon the East Timorese. Expressing admiration for UNAMET, he said their conduct was an honour for the United Nations. The attack yesterday against the UNAMET compound in Dili had confirmed just how disturbing the presence of the Mission was to those who wanted to be rid of it.
An end must be put to the terror and suffering inflicted on the people of East Timor, he stressed. It was not a question of what was happening in the past few days, but what had been happening for months and months. "Our efforts must continue", he said. There was need for a multinational force and the provision of international humanitarian assistance. He believed that members of the Council had irrefutable evidence that something should have been done yesterday. What confirmation was the Council awaiting? he asked.
HADI NEJAD-HOSSEINIAN (Iran) said that without the cooperation of the Government of Indonesia, the action taken in East Timor would not have yielded such gratifying results. Now, the more important development which the international community expected to witness following the initial stage would also require the cooperation of the Government of Indonesia as the main party of the five-point Agreement. It was necessary to safeguard the success of the United Nations in organizing and holding the referendum. Now it was necessary for the international community to make a concerted effort, with the help of the Government of Indonesia, to put an end to the violence in East Timor as early as possible.
Iran supported any measure the United Nations would deem necessary to help put an immediate end to the violence in East Timor, he continued. Any intervention in the current crisis without prior coordination with the United Nations and the Government of Indonesia would exacerbate the situation. The only solution was continuation of negotiations to reach a political settlement under the auspices of the United Nations. He hoped that, through dialogue, mutual understanding and cooperation, peace and stability could be brought to East Timor.
DIRK WOUTERS (Belgium) said his country fully agreed with statements made today and yesterday by the Secretary-General. Belgium was shocked by the reports coming out of East Timor. "The situation is a challenge to our conscience", he said. He underscored the outstanding courage of the UNAMET members in East Timor in the face of constant threats and intimidation. For the first time the people of East Timor had an opportunity to express themselves about their future and they had done so en masse.
He said there was now need to ensure that the result of the popular consultation was no longer called into question. Improvement in the humanitarian situation in East Timor required restoration of security in East Timor. He noted that Indonesia had failed in that task, despite the presence of the army, police and a state of emergency. The violence continued and threatened the lives of many. Belgium appealed to the Government of Indonesia to accept the international community's offer of assistance, which it needed to restore peace and order in the Territory.
SATYABRATA PAL (India) said his country was deeply concerned that, following the popular consultations in East Timor, which had been made possible by Indonesias cooperation, there had been such appalling violence there. India deplored the killings and the intimidation that had taken place. Clearly, the immediate need was to restore law and order.
The Indonesian authorities had said they would do everything possible to discharge their responsibility to maintain security in East Timor, he said. They had imposed martial law and were trying to move with a sense of urgency to do what needed to be done to prevent further violence. That must be recognized. The Indonesian authorities needed the encouragement and support of the international community. India hoped and trusted that they would quickly be able to bring the situation under control, and to create the conditions under which the security and the well-being of all sections of the population in East Timor would be assured.
In Indias view, action by the United Nations must continue to be in the framework of the 5 May Agreements. Any peacekeeping force must be accepted by the Indonesian authorities and approved by the Security Council, he added.
JORGEN BOJER (Denmark) said the Indonesian authorities had not fulfilled their obligation to maintain peace and security in East Timor as laid out in the 5 May Agreements and the international community must respond. The international community had offered to assist the Indonesian authorities in restoring law and order and the re-establishment of the conditions which would allow the people of East Timor to return to their homes in safety and the political process to which they had clearly committed themselves to proceed. Like many others who had spoken before the Council, Denmark urged the Government of Indonesia to accept the offer without delay.
Like the rest of the international community, Denmark longed for Indonesia to play its part as a strong and respected member of that community, he said. The Indonesian Government must allow an international security presence, as proposed by the Secretary-General in his speech earlier today, to enter East Timor immediately to create conditions necessary for the United Nations process to move forward.
SYLVIE LUCAS (Luxembourg) said that, barely a week before, the results of the popular consultation had been announced. At that point, the international community had been full of hope that the people of East Timor would be able to democratically decide its future. Today, those hopes had been dashed. The Indonesian Government, which had undertaken responsibility for guaranteeing order and security in East Timor, had not lived up to its promises. She joined a number of other delegations which called upon the Government of Indonesia to accept without delay the offer of the international community and to allow it to dispatch a force to the Territory under the auspices of the United Nations.
It was necessary to halt the violence, restore peace and allow the displaced people to return to their homes, she said. The humanitarian situation in the territory was getting worse by the day. International humanitarian organizations must have access to both East and West Timor, and the security of their personnel must be guaranteed. She hoped that conditions conducive to UNAMETs activities would be restored in the near future.
JOHANNES WIMMER (Austria) said that those responsible for crimes in East Timor must be held accountable. There were uncanny parallels between the situation in East Timor and the events in the recent conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Kosovo. The international community must not accept that the human rights of an entire population were blatantly ignored.
He called on the Government of Indonesia to live up to its responsibilities and guarantee the safety of the people of East Timor and the personnel of UNAMET. Further, he called on the Government of Indonesia to accept the offer of the international community in order to restore peace and security in East Timor and allow the swift implementation of the results of the popular consultation. The matter could only be addressed effectively if safe conditions were restored. Also, humanitarian organizations must have immediate access to the Territory.
MAKARIM WIBISONO (Indonesia) emphasized that his country was gratified that the whole process -- beginning with the various phases called for by the 5 May Agreements of socialization, registration, campaigning as well as the popular consultation itself -- took place in an atmosphere of calm and tranquility. It was only through its strong determination and unstinted efforts that the popular consultation had been conducted in a free and fair manner, allowing the East Timorese to vote without any hindrance or intimidation. In that context, Indonesia had been and would continue to be supportive of the efforts of the United Nations, and would not renege on its commitments in carrying out its mandate in accordance with the 5 May Agreements. He stressed that Indonesia had accepted the results of the consultations and would honour its outcome.
He emphasized Indonesias sincere efforts to restore law and order in East Timor -- the state of military emergency declared on 7 September provided the legal framework for that. He informed the Security Council that the situation was presently being brought under control. Despite some random instances of shooting and burnings, no other incidents of violence had been reported following the military emergency. Consequently, he said the capital of Dili and the surrounding areas were returning to normal.
There was need for self-restraint on all sides. This was not the time for condemnation or accusation, but rather a period to exert collective endeavours to improve current conditions in the Territory. Neither should there be a time-frame for restoring law and order, he said. His delegation believed that, rather, the results of the state of military emergency should be given time to materialize. The Indonesian authorities had taken prompt action to restructure the chain of command of the security forces, thereby placing the security of East Timor on a more solid foundation.
The Indonesian Government was focusing attention on the humanitarian situation, he said. Adequate measures would be taken for the safety and security of personnel involved in facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
While it fully understood the willingness of a number of countries to provide security assistance, the Indonesian Government did not foresee the need for the introduction of a multinational or peacekeeping force at this stage, he said. Such an operation would be counter-productive, however well intentioned it might be. It had to be recognized that the complexities of the East Timor question could lead to no quick and easy answers. The conflict had its roots even well beyond the civil war of 1975. Therefore, it could not be merely over-simplified by rivalries of competing factions.
Furthermore, he said a peacekeeping mission under the present circumstances could hardly be effective when there was no peace to keep -- it would evolve into a peace-enforcing mission. The Government of Indonesia preferred the introduction of the peacekeeping force during phase III, when the Indonesian Peoples Consultative Assembly officially rescinded Decree No. IV of 1978 that integrated East Timor into Indonesia. Another Decree for that purpose was required.
The Indonesian Government considered the visit of the Security Council mission important for its members to gain a first-hand insight into prevailing realities. The Security Council should take full cognizance of Indonesias positive actions leading up to the popular consultation, as reflecting its sincere commitment to give substance to the letter and spirit of those historic agreements. Such a commitment was concrete testimony that Indonesia would, to the best of its ability, fulfil its obligations.
SAMUEL ZBOGAR (Slovenia) said that one week had passed since the will of the people of East Timor had been announced in the Security Council. The Council had assured the people of East Timor that their will would be implemented. The humanitarian situation on the island was disastrous, and his delegation shared the concern expressed by other countries. The Council had closely followed the situation in the Territory, and yesterday the Secretary-General had urged the Indonesian Government to let the international community dispatch an international force to East Timor in order to bring an end to the crisis.
The mission sent by the Council would have its final talks in Jakarta tomorrow, he said. Now it was time for the Security Council to act in order to prevent a disaster. The views of the Member States expressed today, together with the expected report of the Council mission, would form a good basis for action.
ARNOLD PETER VAN WALSUM (Netherlands) said that, as a former colonial Power in the region, the Netherlands had always hesitated to criticise Indonesia. However, as a Member of the United Nations and the Security Council, it was directly involved in the implementation of the Agreements of 5 May. He was shocked at the way Indonesia had failed to fulfil its obligations under that Agreement, particularly the obligation to maintain peace and security in East Timor. The focus of today's meeting had naturally been on that failure. However, the Council was determined that the Agreements be implemented in full. Indonesia must agree to an international force being dispatched to the Territory.
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