New York

17 October 2006

Secretary-General's message to the people of Timor-Leste on the release of the Report of the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry

Dear Timorese friends,

Your decades-long struggle for freedom, and your young State's first steps on the path of democracy and the rule of law, rightly earned the world's admiration and affection. All of us were saddened by the severe setback you suffered in the violence of last April and May. But in June you impressed us once again, when you asked for an Independent Special Commission of Inquiry to establish the facts and circumstances of those incidents. I immediately agreed to that request, and today I welcome the Commission's report.

The Commission was asked to clarify responsibility for the events of April and May, and to recommend measures that would hold accountable the perpetrators of any crimes and human rights violations committed during that period. In other words, it was asked to ensure that justice is done. Today, I urge you, as a nation, to accept the report's conclusions and recommendations, and to act on them in the constructive manner in which they were formulated. We know that a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Timor-Leste can be built only on the foundations of good governance, accountability, human rights and the rule of law.

Once again, the world is looking to Timor-Leste with hope and expectation. If you now live up to the democratic values enshrined in your Constitution, your country can yet emerge strengthened from this experience, with a renewed spirit of community and nationhood.

Kofi A. Annan