Doc. 8580

19 October 1999

Situation in East Timor

Recommendation 1421 (1999)

Reply from the Committee of Ministers

adopted at the 684th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (13 October 1999)

The Committee of Ministers welcomes Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1421 (1999) on the situation in East Timor which it has decided to transmit to member Governments.

It draws the attention of the Parliamentary Assembly to the appended “Declaration on East Timor” adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 15 September 1999, at the 679th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies, referring to its previous Declaration (of 26 November 1991) on this subject and, in particular:

-       emphasising that the population of East Timor must be able to enjoy the independence it has freely chosen;

-       pointing out that it is for Indonesia to honour its commitments and fully implement the 5 May 1999 Agreement between Portugal and the United Nations; and

-       welcoming the adoption on 14 September 1999 by the UN Security Council of Resolution No. 1264 mandating the deployment of a multinational force in East Timor.

Appendix to the reply by the Committee of Ministers to Recommendation 1421 (1999) of the Parliamentary Assembly on the situation in East Timor

DECLARATION ON EAST TIMOR

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 15 September 1999 at the 679th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted the following declaration at today’s meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies:

1.       The Committee recalled its Declaration of 26 November 1991, in which it reaffirmed, inter alia, its support for a just, comprehensive and internationally acceptable settlement of the question of East Timor, respecting the principles of the United Nations’ Charter, also taking into account the need to defend human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the full respect of the legitimate interests and aspirations of the population of this territory.

2.       The Committee strongly condemns the atrocious acts of violence and terror committed in East Timor, involving elements of the armed forces and police, following the outcome of the popular consultation of the East Timorese people on 30 August 1999 under the auspices of the United Nations. It demands the immediate cessation of all such acts and that those responsible be brought to justice.

3.       The Committee emphasises that the population of East Timor must be able to enjoy the independence it has freely chosen. It is for Indonesia to honour its commitments and fully implement the 5 May 1999 Agreement between Portugal and Indonesia, including the security commitments.

4.       The Committee of Ministers welcomes the adoption on 14 September 1999 by the UN Security Council of Resolution No. 1264 mandating the deployment of a multinational force in East Timor. The Committee also welcomes President Habibie’s prior announcement that Indonesia would accept such a force. There should be no obstacles to its creation and its immediate deployment.

5.       In view of the urgent humanitarian needs, the Committee of Ministers calls on the Indonesian government to allow prompt access of international humanitarian organisations and agencies to East Timor and to guarantee the safe return of displaced persons to their homes and unhindered assistance to these persons and other victims.