BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home       Urgent Actions

NOTE: Mar 20 Dear BACK DOOR, The petition [for women's quotas] is over, the battle lost! for now ... Best wishes, Catherine Scott, Catholic Institute for International Relations
See this letter of support for this campaign:

Mar 1 ETAN/US: Letter on women and upcoming election
"Although they have made many contributions to their society through the independence movement, literacy campaigns, and other community service efforts, East Timorese women remain one of the most marginalized segments of the population. ... We hope that UNTAET will, at the behest of the East Timorese society it serves and in keeping with the United Nations’ commitment to women’s empowerment worldwide, rule in favor of a requirement for at least 30 percent women candidates in the upcoming elections in East Timor." Charles Scheiner, National Coordinator, East Timor Action Network

From: (Catherine Scott, CIIR)

Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 11:56:06 EST



East Timorese women have enlisted the support of Xanana Gusmao, Jose Ramos Horta and Sergio Viera de Melo for quotas for the election of a minimum of 30% women to the East Timorese Constituent Assembly - but the UN is still refusing to budge.

The UN Electoral Assistance Division in New York refuses to set what they regard as a precedent for UN supervised elections in the future by allowing women's quotas to be a feature of the forthcoming election in East Timor, and are threatening to pull out of supervising the elections if the quotas are pursued.

The women are now appealing to Kofi Annan to address the issue and initiate a change of policy.  Groups who share their concern that the UN's own policies on women's advancement should be addressed in this way, are asked to continue to lobby for quotas to be allowed. Time is running out, as the legislation governing the elections is due to be finalised by the end of next week.

Please write in support of the women's concern that the UN's own policies on women's advancement be addressed and changed:

Kofi Annan, Secretary General, United Nations, UN Plaza, 10017,  New York, USA
Fax: 1 212 963 4879

For further info see this petition: Until Mar 5 2001 CIIR: Women's Representation to ETimor's Constituent Assembly
"East Timorese women have been politically marginalised for long enough.  They have made it clear that they want to have a much stronger voice in the new East Timor. ... CIIR calls upon individuals, NGOs, solidarity groups and East Timor networks everywhere to add your support to REDE's concerns and to lobby the United Nations in New York, your governments, and UNTAET to take into account the legitimate aspirations of East Timorese women." CIIR
Catherine Scott,
Asia Policy Officer,
Catholic Institute for International Relations,
Unit 3, Canonbury Yard,
190a new North Road,
London N1 7BJ
Tel: 020 7354 0883
Fax: 020 7359 0017
Email Catherine Scott:
Catholic Institute for International Relations
"Tackling the causes of poverty and injustice internationally through advocacy and skillsharing."
CIIR works with people of all faiths and none.
Email Catherine Scott: Homepage:  ETimor Webpage:
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