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"Security Council (SC) Resolution 1272 of 25 October 1999 mandated UNTAET [UN Transitional Administration for East Timor] "to support capacity-building for self-government", and insisted on the "need for UNTAET to consult and cooperate closely with the East Timorese people in order to carry out its mandate effectively with a view to the development of local democratic institutions… and the transfer to these institutions of its administrative and public service functions" ETO - East Timor Observatory

Transition, half way to independence

East Timor Observatory

November 6, 2000

Ref.: GOV01-06/11/2000eng



Contents:
Summary
Background
The facts
1. Duration of the UN mandate
2. Up to July 2000 – UNTAET tries to affirm itself
3. After July – Sharing the power and the criticism
4. Conditions for independence
5. Elections
Conclusion
Note

Summary:

The building of the new State of Timor Lorosae by the UN transitional administration is not the building of an ideal State as imagined by international experts, created from scratch and delivered, "keys in hand" to the Timorese at the end of the transition period. Evolution from this to a more political conception, in which the Timorese participate more actively in the definition of the new State’s main features, seems to have been facilitated by the presence of two key men, one on either side – Sérgio Vieira de Mello and Xanana Gusmão. Many difficulties are still lingering, and many frustrated expectations are causing discontent among the Timorese. Criticism so far has naturally been levelled at the international officials holding the power and resources, but they could extend to the Timorese leaders who have now begun to share power with the former.    top

Background:

Security Council (SC) Resolution 1272 of 25 October 1999, instituted the UN Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET), conferring it "overall responsibility for the administration of East Timor" and empowering it "to exercise all legislative and executive authority, including the administration of Justice". These greatly surpass the powers normally held by a Government in a democratic regime, but are meant to respond to an exceptional situation. In addition to restoring security, reconstructing infrastructures and organising essential public services, the CS mandated UNTAET "to support capacity-building for self-government", and insisted on the "need for UNTAET to consult and cooperate closely with the East Timorese people in order to carry out its mandate effectively with a view to the development of local democratic institutions… and the transfer to these institutions of its administrative and public service functions"

Note: There is no reference here to the military forces, judicial authority and economic power – these are almost entirely in the hands of the foreigners. Timorese areas of authority, such as the media and trade unions, are still at an embryonic stage. The influence of political parties has been intentionally limited during the transition phase.    top

The facts:

1. Duration of the UN mandate

2. Up to July 2000 – UNTAET tries to affirm itself

a) UNTAET or CNRT – which has the stronger presence?

b) National Consultative Council, NCC c) Public Service Commission, PSC d) UNTAET under growing criticism 3. After July – Sharing the power and the criticism

a) Mixed UNTAET-Timorese Government

  • UNTAET: Police and Security Services, Jean-Christian Cady, French; Political Affairs, Peter Galbraith, US; Justice, Gita Honwana-Welch, Mozambican; Finance, Michael Francino, Canadian.

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    Timorese: Internal Administration (excluding Police), Ana Pessoa; Infrastructures, João Carrascalaõ; Economic Affairs (agriculture, trade, industry, natural resources...), Mari Alkatiri; Social Affairs (education, health, employment...), Father Filomeno Jacob.

    Sérgio Vieira de Mello also announced the appointment of Mariano Lopes da Cruz (pro-autonomy in Indonesia before the referendum) as Government Inspector-General (UNTAET Briefing, 15-7-2000). Mariano Lopes da Cruz had been put forward as a possible "Minister" of Internal Administration (Lusa, Dili, 12-7-2000).

    b) National Council of East Timor, NCET 4. Conditions for independence 5. Elections Conclusion:

    Xanana Gusmão accused the UN mission of failing to involve the Timorese in the process of transition to independence. "We are not interested in a legacy of cars and laws, nor are we interested in a legacy of development plans for the future designed by [people] other than East Timorese", said Xanana Gusmão in a reference to the hundreds of white UN four-wheel-drive vehicles seen around Dili and the succession of regulations being passed by the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor. "We are not interested in inheriting an economic rationale which leaves out the social and political complexity of East Timorese reality. Nor do we wish to inherit the heavy decision-making and project implementation mechanisms in which the role of the East Timorese is to give their consent as observers, rather than the active players we should start to be." (Sydney Morning Herald, 10-10-2000).    top

    Note: Documents and information relating to this subject have been compiled by the East Timor Observatory in a 40-page thematic Dossier entitled "Governance – ref. GOV01". The Dossier and/or further information may be ordered from the East Timor Observatory.    top


    Observatory for the monitoring of East Timor's transition process a programme by the 'Comissão para os Direitos do Povo Maubere'
    Coordinator: Cláudia Santos 
    Rua Pinheiro Chagas, 77 2ºE -  1069-069     Lisboa - Portugal
    ph.: 351 1 317 28 60  -  fax: 351 1 317 28 70  -  e-mail: cdpm@esoterica.pt
    URL: http://homepage.esoterica.pt/~cdpm

    East Timor Observatory
    ETO was set up by two Portuguese NGOs - the Commission for the Rights of the Maubere People (CDPM) and the ecumenical group Peace is Possible in East Timor,  which have been involved in East Timor solidarity work since the early eighties. The aim of the Observatory was to monitor East Timor's transition process, as well as the negotiating process and its repercussions at international level, and the developments in the situation inside the territory itself.
    E-mail: cdpm@esoterica.pt  Homepage: http://homepage.esoterica.pt/~cdpm/frameI.htm   top
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