Timor-Leste has three dioceses: Dili, established in ; Baucau, established in ; and Maliana, established in These comments make it clear that the Secretary General's assessment of the security environment in East Timor in the lead up to the registration period an assessment which should therefore be delivered in mid June will be the next crucial stage in the implementation of the 5 May agreements. These attacks are designed to create a climate of fear and terror to undermine the consultation process which is why we are here. Debate on the possibility of a more extensive UN involvement before the planned ballot is likely to continue but in the wake of the 5 May agreements, pursuit of this concept seems unlikely. The Portuguese had recommended a referendum but that option was consistently resisted by Indonesia.
I am deeply concerned to learn from the assessment team that, as a result, the situation in East Timor remains extremely tense and volatile
In particular, the agreement provides the basis for explicit assistance from external sources to help in the process of political transition in East Timor.
Indonesian police will be solely responsible for the maintenance of law and order but: The Secretary General, after obtaining the necessary mandate, will make available a number of civilian police officers to act as advisers to the Indonesian Police in the discharge of their duties and, at the time of the consultation, to supervise the escort of ballot papers and boxes to and from the polling sites. A number of UN security guards will be deployed to protect UN personnel and a number of international civilian police will advise Indonesian police before and during the ballot. Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said that the presence of UN officials in East Timor in the pre-ballot period would help build confidence but that further violence was inevitable. But East Timor, if managed well, could prove the economic sceptics wrong in the long run.
In particular it has been suggested that a larger 'peacekeeping force' should be deployed.
A number of calls have been made for a commitment greater than that envisaged under the arrangements announced at the time of the agreements. However some comments can be made about the potential for external assistance. Registration: Eligible voters will be registered between 13 June and 17 July in centres in East Timor and in places around the world with large Timorese populations including Sydney, Darwin, Perth and Melbourne. However he was not able to give a guarantee that the East Timor population would be free from intimidation during the period leading up to the vote. More than one-third of its population faces food shortages on a regular basis. Nonetheless, it is useful to discuss in a preliminary way some of the issues that may arise in relation to efforts to provide United Nations-sponsored and supported assistance to the transition process in each of the two possible phases.
Ensuing decades of violence and deprivation killed as much as one-third of the East Timorese population, according to some estimates. While the autonomy proposal would devolve some substantial powers to East Timor, the extensive ongoing control by Indonesia especially over foreign affairs, defence and major economic policy areas would mean that the proposal is likely to be fully acceptable to most of the pro-integration advocates. UN officials in response, defended their right to make unannounced visits to villages which they argued are necessary to enable the UN to assess the state of security in East Timor. Statements by the military and police claiming that perpetrators have been disarmed and detained are merely for political impact. There have also been suggestions that the various militia could operate to form the basis of an armed resistance to the government in the event of the creation of an independent East Timor and conduct operations from across the border in Indonesian West Timor. There are many uncertainties in relation to developments in East Timor and the outcome for either phase clearly cannot be predicted.
Arguments for deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission have been advanced by representatives of the pro-independence groups, and non governmental organisations NGOs such as Human Rights Watch 68 , as well as the Australian Shadow Foreign Minister, Laurie Brereton. In addition, with the attention of the United States and members of the European Union currently preoccupied by the conflict over Kosovo, it seems unlikely that support could be marshalled for a large scale involvement in East Timor. Autonomy, it has been argued, would provide the time and the opportunity to marshal financial support to enable East Timor to establish and develop a series of vitally important public and private services and infrastructure. The United Nations in East Timor: Issues and Prospects The signing of the 5 May agreements has introduced a new phase both in the history of East Timor and in its relationships with Indonesia and the international community. The Portuguese had recommended a referendum but that option was consistently resisted by Indonesia. Masses in Timor-Leste are typically delivered in either Portuguese or Tetun an indigenous Austronesian language.
Senior UN officials were reported as saying that they were attempting to deal with a 'delicate teething period' following the signing of the 5 May agreements. Despite such a strong Church presence, Timor-Leste is a troubled place: one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, some 46 percent of East Timorese have never received any formal education. On 17 April a large rally of militia groups was held in Dili in front of their overall commander Joao Tavares. Indonesia's Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said that disarmament of the parties in East Timor required the cooperation of all groups including independence fighters hiding in the mountains, 'And that requires some doing' he said. Debate on the possibility of a more extensive UN involvement before the planned ballot is likely to continue but in the wake of the 5 May agreements, pursuit of this concept seems unlikely. Security: The Indonesian authorities will 'ensure a secure environment' for a free and fair vote.
Nor could they happen without assistance, especially in the early stages of a transition. The Timor Gap Treaty The potential petroleum resources in the area of ocean known as the Timor Gap are considered by many Timorese as one of the territory's most important economic assets. The Foundation said that attacks by militias and their political allies had brought an atmosphere of fear not seen since the period from to , when East Timor was a province closed to foreigners.