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By : Basilio Dias Araujo, MA (uk)

President of The Association of Victims of United Nations Negligence

 If one opens UN homepage, one would be surprised and disappointed to find out that the links inside the above page to important documents on decolonization is not accessible. The United Nations Information Center, whether deliberate or not, seems to hide those important and key documents on decolonization for the readers.

 It looks weird that although the Committee 24 still mentions the existence of 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories and the list does exist on the decolonization homepage, but almost none of the territories so listed can be accessed, including among others, the case of East Timor, Tokelau, US Virging Islands, Falkland Islands and etc.  

Amongst the numerous documents on decolonization,  the following are the most important ones :

 A.  UN Charter:     

n     Chapter XI (Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories)

n     Chapter XII (International Trusteeship System)

n     Chapter XIII (The Trusteeship Council)

 B.  UN Resolutions

    n     General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV)

n     General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV) defining the three options for sef-determination.

 C.  Other UN related Resolutions. 

Between the documents listed above, the most important one is the UN Resolution 1541 (XV). This resolution defines the three options for self-determination and the provisions to be met by a Non-Self-Government to  attain its full status of Self-Governing Territory.  

For the case of East Timor, for instance, one may pose the following questions:

 -         Has East Timor obtained its full status of Self-Government ?,

-         "Is East Timor considered a Trust Territory under UN Trusteeship System ?".

-         "Can the popular consultation of 30th of August 1999 be construed as the implementation of UN Resolution 1541 (XI) ?"

 Please note that the popular consultation held in East Timor was to ask the East Timorese whether they accept or reject the autonomy package offered by the United Nations and not asking whether they wanted to choose independence, association or integraation based on UN Resolution 1541 (XV). 

There was a contradiction of ideas in the article 6 of the 5th of May 1999 Agreement that may nullify the essence of this Agreement . The Article 6 reads as follows: 

"If the Secretary-General determines, on the basis of the result of the popular consultation and in accordance with this Agreement, that the proposed constitutional framework for special autonomy is not acceptable to the East Timorese people, the Government of Indonesia shall take the constitutional steps necessary to terminate its links with East Timor thus restoring under Indonesian law the status East Timor held prior to 17 July 1976, and the Governments of Indonesia and Portugal and the Secretary-General shall agree on arrangements for a peaceful and orderly transfer of authority in East Timor to the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall, subject to the appropriate legislative mandate, initiate the procedure enabling East Timor to begin a process of transition towards independence".  

In one side the article suggests that if the autonomy package is rejected, then the status of East Timor has to be restored to the status held by East Timor prior to 17 July 1976. On the other it gives the mandate to the Secretary General to initiate the procedure enabling East Timor to begin a process of transition towards independence. 

Please note that before July 1976 the status of East Timor was not under UN authority, nor portuguese (it has abandoned East Timor in a chaotic Civil War) nor Indonesian, but the Temporary Government (PSTT-Pemerintah Sementara Timor Timur) under the control of the pro-integration faction that declared integration into Indonesia on November the 30th 1975.  

The closing sentence of the above Article 6 gives the mandate to the Secretary General "to initiate the procedure enabling East Timor to begin a process of transition towards independence".  

The following question then arises: Can the sentence  "initiate the procedure enabling East Timor to begin a process of transition towards independence" be construed as post-implementation of UN Resolution 1541 (XV). While in fact there has never existed a self-determination process for a Non-Self-Governing Territory like East Timor to choose three options based on UN Resolution 1541. The options offered for the popular consultation was "Accepting or Rejecting Autonomy", not choosing independence, integration or association. 

If the UN package of autonomy was rejected, the most logic way should be that the UN has to find a new solution other than the autonomy package to be put before the East Timorese ?  

I realize that should the UN not hide the important documents on decolonization from its hompage, things would become clearer, unless UN does it intentionally in order to keep these issues obscure and let the UN solve the conflicts its own way by creating and spreading more new seeds of conflicts around the globe in order to maintain the existence of the Committee 24 in Charge of Decolonization under the United Nations.  

East Timor should become the worst example for the United Nations in finding a peaceful solution to a conflict. One has to remember that in 1983 the General Assembly accepted the establishment of a Tripartite comprising Indonesia, Portugal and the UN Secretary General, to find a comprehenssive and peaceful solution to the case of East Timor. The outcome was the contrary. A turmoil rather than a peaceful solution in East Timor. It seems that the UN failed to predict the outcome of the ballot in East Timor which may mean that the whole time wasted and money of the member States of the United Nations spent for this issue was in vain, because the UN experts that were paid with a very high salary failded to predict and anticipate a tragic situation that happened after the ballot in East Timor. It seems that the Secretary General and his staff were making East Timor a test case for a conflict resolotion then solving the case itself. It is a pitty that in this new modernized world there still exists people (UN Secretary General and his staff) who subjects other peoples lives into gambling and experiment although they are wellpaid by UN Member States. 

By seeing the above bitter experience, the UN should open its legal documents for the public to judge and assess whether the money paid by the tax payers around the world that are contributed to the UN is used properly. 

For those who read this information, I would appeal you to put pressure on the Untied Nations Information Center to up-date its information on decolonization since there are still 17 Non-Self-Governing Territores pending their solution, hoping that the UN will not repeat the same experience of East Timor in other countries by orchestrating fraudulent actions in order to create new job opportunities for the international unemployees/job seekers. 

Thank you for your kind support and attention, and please accept my appology if this information has disturbed you.

Jakarta, 27 November 2000, 


I will be available for briefings on call for a range of Issues on East Timor.

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