Timor-Leste

Report of the Secretary-General on the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor

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S/2000/53
I. INTRODUCTION

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1272 (1999) of 25 October 1999, by which the Council decided to establish the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) for an initial period until 31 January 2001. In paragraph 18 of that resolution, the Council requested the Secretary-General to submit a report within three months of the date of adoption of that resolution and every six months thereafter. The current report covers the activities of UNTAET and developments in East Timor since 25 October 1999. Eleven regulations issued by UNTAET during this period are being circulated as Addendum 1 to this report.

2. During the reporting period, UNTAET initiated its operations throughout East Timor, developed consultative mechanisms with the East Timorese at all levels and established the basic elements of its administrative structure. A number of basic legislative measures were adopted, in consultation with the East Timorese. Internal security has greatly improved, owing to the activities of the International Force in East Timor (INTERFET), the establishment of which the Security Council authorized in its resolution 1264 (1999) of 15 September 1999. For most people, there is now no threat of violence and they can circulate freely. However, in some areas along the border with West Timor, particularly in the Oecussi enclave, there were a number of incidents involving pro-integration militia members. Humanitarian assistance has brought some relief, but conditions are very difficult owing to the extent of destruction, lack of opportunity to earn a living and high prices. Crime is on the rise, especially in Dili and other urban sectors, mainly owing to the large number of unemployed.

II. MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

3. At the initial stage of UNTAET's establishment, Ian Martin, who was the Special Representative for the East Timor Popular Consultation and head of the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET), served as acting head of UNTAET until the arrival of Sergio Vieira de Mello, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Transitional Administrator in East Timor. Mr. Martin and his staff did their best to ensure a smooth transition to UNTAET. During this period, there was a complete vacuum of administrative authority and of policing and justice. INTERFET inevitably had to fill the latter, while UNTAET, with minimal staff and functioning in appalling conditions, was not yet able to assume the former effectively. East Timorese leaders were keen to take charge and tackle the enormous problems. The National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT), a coalition of the pro-independence groups, and the Armed Forces for the National Liberation of East Timor (Falintil) moved into the vacuum of local authority, and in some places asserted a security role. The situation improved as José Alexandre (Xanana) Gusmão, President of CNRT, who had returned to East Timor on 22 October 1999, began to play an effective leadership role.

Establishment of the National Consultative Council

4. Mr. Vieira de Mello arrived in East Timor on 16 November 1999 and immediately initiated contacts with Mr. Gusmão and other East Timorese personalities to create a proper framework for involving the East Timorese in the administration of the Territory. Based on those discussions and the understanding reached, the National Consultative Council of East Timor (NCC) was established as the primary mechanism through which the representatives of the East Timorese people participate in the decision-making process (regulation 1999/2 of 2 December 1999). NCC is composed of 15 members: seven representatives from CNRT, including Mr. Gusmão; one from the Catholic Church; and three representatives of political groups outside CNRT which had supported autonomy. Regarding the latter, the Forces of the East Timorese People (BRTT) and the Timorese Nationalist Party (PNT) have so far taken up their seats on NCC, while discussions are under way concerning the representation of the Forum for Unity, Democracy and Justice (FPDK). UNTAET has four seats on NCC, including the Transitional Administrator, as chairman. NCC is authorized to create joint sectoral committees, composed of East Timorese and international experts to provide it with advice in the various fields of administration. Two sectoral committees, one on macroeconomics and finance, the other on the civil service, have been convened, while committees on local administration, infrastructure, agriculture, health and education are in the process of being set up. There have been five sessions of NCC. The Council's decisions so far have been made by consensus. It has endorsed all regulations issued since it was established.

5. The inclusion of pro-autonomy groups in NCC, after extended discussions between the former and CNRT, and UNTAET's intercession, was an important step on the path to reconciliation. A further step was taken on 12 December 1999 when Mr. Gusmão met at the border between East and West Timor with Mr. Joao Tavares, principal commander of the pro-autonomy militias. Mr. Tavares subsequently announced that he would disband his militia in West Timor.

Relations with Indonesia

6. These steps towards reconciliation were greatly facilitated by the strong will on the part of both the Government of Indonesia and CNRT to establish good relations. At the invitation of President Wahid, a CNRT delegation led by Mr. Gusmão visited Jakarta from 27 November to 1 December 1999. The delegation was very well received and was assured by President Wahid and other senior government officials that Indonesia was determined to build friendly relations with East Timor and to help ensure its stability. The Indonesian Government also promised that it would assist with the repatriation of East Timorese refugees from West Timor, control the militia there, free political prisoners, resume air links and favourably consider assistance to enable post-secondary students to resume their studies at Indonesian institutions. Mr. Gusmão and his delegation, for their part, carried a strong message that the East Timorese wanted to normalize relations with Indonesia. Shortly after the visit, the Indonesian Government released the remaining East Timorese political prisoners.

7. Mr. Vieira de Mello visited Jakarta from 12 to 14 December 1999 and met with President Wahid and the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Defence, Political and Security Coordination, and Mines and Energy, as well as other senior officials, including the Armed Forces Command. Among the issues discussed were the possibility of official Indonesian representation in East Timor, UNTAET liaison arrangements in West Timor, the resumption of air service to East Timor by Indonesian carriers, future commercial links and cooperation on banking and financial services. It was agreed to set up a working group with the task of proposing measures to accelerate the return of refugees from West Timor and for settling in Indonesia those who choose not to return.

8. Agreement was also reached on the need to engage in early negotiations on a range of issues involving assets and liabilities. Regarding the so-called Timor Gap Treaty, which was concluded in 1989 between Australia and Indonesia to regulate the exploration and exploitation of offshore petroleum resources between the two countries, talks are under way to ensure the early conclusion of the practical arrangements necessary for UNTAET, acting on behalf of East Timor, to replace Indonesia in the treaty institutions.

9. On 3 January 2000, the Indonesian commercial airline Merpati conducted a test flight to Dili. In addition to senior management from the airline, the Governor of West Timor, a senior official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a member of the Indonesian Parliament and other officials were on board. This was the first official Indonesian delegation to visit East Timor since the departure of the Indonesian troops. Regular flights are expected to begin in February.

10. The Secretary-General has invited President Wahid to visit East Timor and President Wahid has accepted. His visit is being planned for late February.

Cooperation with other international organizations

11. Given UNTAET's comprehensive mandate for humanitarian relief, governance and development, an effort was made to coordinate and integrate from the start the different activities and actors to ensure that their efforts were mutually supporting and reflected the same set of priorities. On 27 October, the United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal was issued to address the urgent need for humanitarian relief. Meanwhile the World Bank, with the backing of the United Nations, had taken the lead in putting together a joint assessment mission that included experts from a number of agencies as well as East Timorese to assess longer-term requirements over the whole range of issues that would have to be addressed. The International Monetary Fund undertook a concurrent mission. The missions were in the area from late October until mid-November and produced substantive proposals for the reconstruction and development of the Territory and its administration.

12. Those proposals, some of which had important long-term implications, were further discussed with the East Timorese and then translated into a consolidated estimate of external funding requirements that was presented to donors at a meeting in Tokyo on 17 December 1999 which was convened jointly by the United Nations and the World Bank and hosted by Japan. A total of $522.45 million was pledged, of which $148.98 million is for humanitarian activities and $373.47 million for civil administration, reconstruction and development. In the latter category, $31.52 million was pledged for the United Nations Trust Fund, of which $8.1 million has been received so far. The World Bank has agreed with the Asian Development Bank that the latter will participate in the trust fund being established by the World Bank. The usual consultations with donors to clarify the precise nature of their pledges are ongoing. The generosity of the donors and of Japan as both host and major donor is gratefully acknowledged.

13. UNTAET has established a structure to ensure the overall coordination of all external funded programmes. At United Nations Headquarters, as usual in the case of multidisciplinary peacekeeping operations, a Task Force on East Timor has been established to ensure coordination among the Secretariat departments, agencies, funds and programmes concerned, as well as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

III. SECURITY

14. The internal security situation greatly normalized following the arrival of INTERFET. For most people there is now little threat of violence and they can circulate freely. However, the crime rate has increased, especially in Dili and other urban centres. This is attributed to the large numbers of unemployed and the re-emergence of long-standing conflicts within the society. There have also been a number of incidents of returning refugees believed to have had pro-autonomy sympathies being attacked and their houses burnt. Falintil has been cantoned at Aileu.

15. Deep poverty and the absence of opportunities to earn a living are causing growing frustration. On 15 January, violence erupted when approximately 5,000 people gathered outside an UNTAET centre to interview for 2,000 positions. When the crowd grew impatient and unruly, United Nations civilian police and INTERFET decided to postpone the recruitment. On hearing this, a number of those gathered started throwing stones at the building. Several people were injured, including an INTERFET officer. In another incident, an East Timorese guard at a warehouse was murdered in a fight with three men (including a Sunday school teacher) who had accused him of stealing and selling rice intended for distribution to the local population. A hostile crowd gathered, and INTERFET had to intervene to control the situation.

16. Since the beginning of January, there have been a number of violent clashes in Baucau and Dili between groups of East Timorese (ranging in number from 60 to 200), many of whom were armed with machetes, stones, sticks and some reportedly with firearms. The most serious of these incidents occurred on 1 January, when some 80 youths got into a fight arising out of an argument at a church dance. Several were injured, of whom one died in hospital. Those involved in the incidents in Baucau have been identified as belonging to two rival groups. INTERFET has set up checkpoints in the area to search for weapons.

17. In Dili a serious fight broke out on 19 January between two groups armed with machetes, stones and sticks; the fight was watched by a large crowd of spectators. INTERFET personnel intervened and fired warning shots into the air. While protecting one individual, they were themselves targeted. A number of persons were injured.

18. There have been a number of incidents on the borders between West and East Timor, including the Oecussi enclave, involving the use of military weapons and direct fire at INTERFET troops and at East Timorese civilians. In October, according to INTERFET reports, five incidents occurred in the border region (in the vicinity of Suai, Alto Lebos, Bobonaro and Motaain) in which INTERFET forces exchanged fire with armed militia groups, resulting in the confirmed deaths of four militiamen, and the wounding of two INTERFET soldiers and 11 militiamen. The most serious of the incidents occurred on 10 October when INTERFET forces, patrolling towards the village of Motaain, were engaged by militiamen, Indonesian army personnel and Indonesian police. A joint investigation was carried out and found that the incident was attributable, at least in part, to conflicting maps.

19. Following the above incident, United Nations military observers deployed border liaison teams to West Timor for cross-border liaison and confidence-building. On 25 November 1999, the Indonesian armed forces (TNI) and INTERFET signed a memorandum on border management (Motaain Agreement). The agreement provides for the establishment of a joint border commission and calls for regular coordination by the parties and the establishment of secure checkpoints for refugee border crossings.

20. However, between the end of December and the middle of January, there were eight incidents involving exchange of fire at the border between TNI and INTERFET. On 29 December, two TNI soldiers fired at civilians who were about to cross the border near Memo (Bobonaro); INTERFET troops fired warning shots. In another serious incident on 10 January in the vicinity of Bobometo (Oecussi), militiamen established a roadblock and kidnapped an elderly East Timorese man. INTERFET detained two of the militiamen, who stated that their purpose was to kill somebody connected with the United Nations forces and indicated that "Moko" Soares (Sakunar Militia Leader) had ordered the action to bolster his standing within the West Timorese community and to keep face with TNI. The kidnapped man was later released by TNI under the supervision of United Nations military observers.

21. On 12 January, TNI, INTERFET and UNTAET signed a memorandum regulating their cooperation in the border areas, including the handling of incidents. The memorandum also formalizes the deployment of United Nations border liaison teams within West Timor.

22. Since then, there have been six further serious incidents on the border of Oecussi with West Timor. Three incidents occurred on 17 January 2000. The first was in the vicinity of Mahata on the central western border, where approximately 40 militiamen and 60 East Timorese traded insults and stones across the border and some of the militiamen were seen crossing into East Timor, setting fire to a house and then firing towards the East Timorese group. When INTERFET troops moved to the area, the militiamen withdrew to West Timor. In the second incident, a group of approximately 20 militiamen fired at an INTERFET post located near Passabe. INTERFET returned fire and the militiamen withdrew towards the West Timor border, firing as they went; one of them was wounded. Later in the same area, militiamen armed with two military rifles and located on the East Timor side of the border fired two shots at an INTERFET patrol. INTERFET returned fire and the militiamen withdrew to West Timor.

23. The following day, again near Mahata, INTERFET troops sighted two separate militia groups within the Oecussi enclave. One militia group aimed their weapons at the INTERFET troops, who fired six rounds. The militiamen fled towards the border. The other group withdrew without incident. On 19 January, an INTERFET patrol in the area of Bobometo reported shots fired by unidentified persons at a group of East Timorese civilians, wounding two men. The attackers then moved back across the border into West Timor. Spent cartridges were later found close to the border inside East Timor.

24. As of 24 January, 185 military observers were deployed in the mission area from the following countries: Australia (19), Bangladesh (30), Bolivia (2), Brazil (4), Denmark (2), Egypt (10), Ireland (3), Jordan (5), Malaysia (20), Nepal (5), New Zealand (12), Pakistan (30), Philippines (20), Russian Federation (2), Sweden (2), Thailand (11), United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (4) and Uruguay (4).

Transfer from INTERFET to the United Nations force

25. INTERFET will hand over to UNTAET during February. A joint plan for the transition was agreed and signed in Dili on 8 January. It will be carried out in phases, beginning in the first week of February in the eastern sector (Baucau), followed by Oecussi, the central sector (Dili-Same) and finally the western sector. The transition will be completed by 28 February. Much of the United Nations force will transfer from INTERFET; only one of seven battalion groups is to be newly deployed.

26. When the transfer is completed, UNTAET's military component will constitute a military force of approximately 8,500 troops and military observers from 27 countries. UNTAET force headquarters is being established in Dili. The force will be organized into three sectors (East, Central and West) and one area of responsibility (Oecussi), each with a headquarters. Sector East will have three battalion groups; Sector Central one battalion group and a reinforced infantry company; and Sector West two battalion groups. The Oecussi enclave will have one battalion group. Two large engineer units with a total strength of approximately 1,000 are in the process of deployment. Medical support will be provided by a Level III unit in Dili, a Level II unit in Baucau and two smaller Level II units in the Sector West. Communications support will be provided by both civilian and military elements. Operations in East Timor require significant aviation support, which will consist of a combination of military and civilian aircraft. Until June, the force will receive logistic support from the Australian Force Support Group (supply, services and transport elements), which is now operating under INTERFET and provides support, among others, to those contingents that are not self-sustaining. After June, most of the support group will need to be replaced by either civilian contractors or other military units.

27. UNTAET's military component will carry out the tasks laid down in paragraph 75 of the previous report (S/1999/1024) and approved by Security Council in resolution 1272 (1999). The military capability of the United Nations force will be close to that of INTERFET and it will adopt a firm posture in maintaining security throughout the Territory. As the Security Council has already been informed, Lieutenant General Jaime de los Santos (Philippines) has been appointed as Force Commander. Major General Michael Smith (Australia) has been selected as his deputy.

28. In paragraph 18 of resolution 1272 (1999), the Security Council requested the Secretary-General to keep it closely informed regarding possible future reductions in the size of the military component of UNTAET if the security situation in East Timor improves. A comprehensive review will be conducted within the next six months to reassess the requirements of UNTAET and will recommend any adjustments that may be needed.

IV. HUMANITARIAN SITUATION

29. The humanitarian disaster which resulted from the violence visited upon East Timor immediately after the announcement of the results of the popular consultation has been the most pressing crisis facing UNTAET. A large proportion of the population was displaced from their homes, which were systematically looted and destroyed. The majority of the private residences, public buildings and essential utilities in East Timor were destroyed and hundreds of thousands were displaced, including an estimated 250,000 who became refugees in West Timor.

30. United Nations humanitarian agencies maintained a small presence in Dili throughout the crisis and returned together with non-governmental organizations to East Timor in late September 1999 to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive response. I appointed Ross Mountain as the Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. to ensure the coordination of operational activities and the preparation of the United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for the East Timor Crisis, which covers the period to June 2000. On 21 November 1999, UNTAET's Humanitarian Component, headed by Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Akira Takahashi, took over this responsibility.

Water

31. Before the popular consultation, less than half of East Timor's population had access to safe drinking water and sanitation. During the violence in September, many water systems were either damaged or destroyed, putting large parts of the population at risk of illness. A top priority for the humanitarian agencies has been the emergency provision of potable water. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Australian Agency for International Development have helped to restore the Dili water supply system. Management of the system, which is now operated by Dili's former water board, will shortly be transferred to UNTAET.

32. Five other districts that also sustained substantial damage to their water systems have also been assisted by humanitarian organizations. In Liquica, Maliana and Suai, which were hit particularly hard, Oxfam International has undertaken the rehabilitation of the water systems, relying mostly on local engineers and technicians who worked for the former water authority. Oxfam is also conducting training in water analysis and testing and is currently collaborating with UNTAET to develop a plan for Dili's waste management. Action Contre La Faim helped to rehabilitate the water system in Manatuto and will shortly begin repairs in Ermera. All of the agencies conducted hygiene campaigns designed to improve public health and reduce water-borne diseases. Working closely with Oxfam, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has provided water facilities at the reception centres for refugees. UNICEF is also organizing the repair of 900 hand pumps for 3,000 families in hard-hit villages around Dili.

Shelter

33. It is expected that a total of 35,000 homes will be repaired through UNTAET-sponsored shelter programmes. During the next several months, one vessel per week is expected to arrive in East Timor carrying shelter materials. The volume of imports for this programme is expected to reach 28,000 metric tonnes by the end of March.

34. Eight organizations working under the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are currently distributing shelter materials and cement to communities throughout East Timor. Hundreds of shelters in the districts of Covalima and Lautem have already been repaired. The materials for reconstruction and repair are provided to the communities, which decide their own priorities and undertake their own construction.

Food relief

35. Between 20 September and 1 January, the World Food Programme (WFP) and its implementing partners (Care, World Vision International and Catholic Relief Services (Caritas)) have distributed more than 10,500 metric tonnes of food to approximately 610,000 displaced persons. Using a logistic network developed and managed by WFP and involving helicopters, vessels and trucks, the organizations have distributed 10 kilograms of rice per person living in the eight western districts of Bobonaro, Covalima, Manufahi, Ainaro, Liquica, Dili, Ermera, Aileu and the Oecussi enclave, and in the eastern district of Lospalos.

36. In the three other eastern districts of Baucau, Viqueque and Manatuto, which were less affected by the violence, distributions were staggered. In the most vulnerable districts - Dili, Covalima and Bobonaro districts and the Oecussi enclave - two or three general distributions met the immediate staple food needs of more than 359,000 inhabitants. In terms of geographic coverage, all 64 sub-districts in East Timor's 13 districts received an initial ration. Agencies have continued to distribute supplies by helicopter to areas that are now inaccessible by road. By the end of January, over 441 hard-to-reach villages, representing a population of 280,000, will have received food supplies. In coordination with UNHCR, WFP has also distributed 600 metric tonnes (5 kilograms per person) to those who returned from West Timor and other locations. Distributions are now being shifted to vulnerable populations, whose number in the short term is expected to remain substantial. In addition, the relief organizations will sponsor food-for-work schemes in support of schools, hospitals and clinics, and community rehabilitation and development.

37. UNTAET has also coordinated efforts to facilitate community development and economic recovery through programmes in education, reconciliation and psychosocial trauma counselling, as well as through emergency infrastructure repairs, particularly power stations.

Refugees

38. An immediate and urgent task has been to arrange for the return of refugees to East Timor. So far there have been 131,935 returnees from West Timor and other parts of Indonesia. In West Timor, the conditions in the camps remain a serious concern. UNHCR estimates that over a six-week period at least 157 of the 4,000 refugees died in the Tua Pukan camp, located some 24 miles from Kupang, from malaria, diarrhoea and other illnesses.

39. East Timorese, pro-autonomy militias have established control over the refugee camps in West Timor and continue to impede access of United Nations personnel and prevent them from moving freely in the camps. It is therefore difficult to ascertain the wishes of the refugees who remain behind and to provide them with accurate information about the situation in East Timor. This is of particular concern to the many remaining refugees who are former civil servants or members of the Indonesian police and armed forces. Mr. Vieira de Mello visited the camps on 24 January and will pursue the matter with the Indonesian authorities.

V. GOVERNANCE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

40. A skeleton Governance and Public Administration Component has been established and is working to create the administrative structures to implement public policy and to deliver essential services. Jean-Christian Cady has been appointed as Deputy Special Representative for Governance and Public Administration. The immediate priorities are the restoration of essential infrastructure, the provision of basic social services, the recruitment of civil servants and the revival of trade and commerce. Although there is still a lack of international experts and skilled local personnel in many areas, the basic elements of public administration are expected to be in place by the end of February; by that time, most departments or equivalents will be established and will begin implementing policy. An embryonic professional civil service will begin to function. As the administration develops, the public and social services are also expected to improve. At the local level, district administrations have been set up with the deployment of district administrators. UNTAET will be represented down to the sub-district level.

41. A key objective is to ensure that the East Timorese themselves become the major stakeholders in their own system of governance and public administration, first by intensive consultation through NCC and district advisory councils, and then through the early and progressive development of their capacity to carry out all necessary functions. In all its current activities, the Governance and Public Administration Component has been in close touch with all sectors of East Timorese society, keeping them informed about major initiatives and soliciting their input. A community empowerment project, supported by the World Bank, is currently under discussion. Its aim is to establish a grass-roots community governance system to ensure that all communities have a degree of decision-making power over the allocation of public resources in their area.

42. An independent Public Service Commission was established on 21 January to oversee the selection and recruitment of a new, leaner East Timorese civil service and the setting up of administrative support arrangements, such as the establishment of a payroll and payment system. The structure of the civil service, its sectoral and total size and its salary scale are still being discussed. Pending decisions on these matters, arrangements are being made to pay stipends on a provisional basis to those East Timorese who are currently exercising civil service functions as volunteers or with a minimum food allowance from humanitarian agencies. However, it will not be possible to re-employ all those who previously served in the much larger Indonesian administration.

43. Unemployment remains a major concern. It is estimated that 80 per cent of the population is currently without visible means of support. The World Bank has estimated that over 50 per cent of the population is illiterate. Substantial efforts will have to be made to educate and train the population in the professions and in skilled labour. For the time being, humanitarian agencies are one of the largest employers in East Timor, accounting for over 3,000 jobs, many of them in the professional sectors. UNTAET will launch the first Quick Impact Projects in hard-hit districts to put people to work in the rehabilitation of their communities. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is about to start small-scale road rehabilitation projects which would provide employment to hundreds. Other labour-intensive projects are expected to be launched by international agencies in the coming weeks. NCC has endorsed the first six-month large-scale reconstruction plan proposed by the World Bank. It focuses, inter alia, on labour-intensive public works projects in a variety of areas.

Justice

44. The Transitional Judicial Service Commission was established on 5 January. The Commission proceeded to select an initial corps of 10 judges and prosecutors and has suggested a list of 6 defence lawyers from among 20 East Timorese who participated in a judicial training programme in December 1999. The judges and prosecutors were sworn in on 7 January; two more have been recommended for appointment and 20 further candidates will be eligible for appointment by mid-February. Training of judges, prosecutors and lawyers nevertheless remains an urgent requirement. More than 60 candidates have been identified so far and are attending initial training programmes. However, the poor infrastructure, including the almost complete absence of law books, buildings and the most basic equipment is a serious obstacle.

45. In mid-January, INTERFET handed over its functions related to arrest and detention to the United Nations civilian police and the East Timorese judiciary. Since then, the newly appointed judges have conducted several pre-trial hearings of individuals arrested by the United Nations civilian police. As a next step, UNTAET will reopen the courts in Baucau in February to improve access to courts and enhance the Transitional Administration's capacity to combat crime and violence in East Timor. In this context, the refurbishing and the staffing of the prison system with experienced international wardens has become a matter of great urgency.

46. UNTAET worked closely with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to facilitate the visits, first of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on the question of torture and the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on violence against women, its causes and consequences from 4 to 10 November 1999; and secondly of the International Commission of Inquiry on East Timor from 25 November to 8 December 1999. Both missions took place pursuant to the resolution of the Commission on Human Rights adopted on 27 September 1999 at its fourth special session and subsequently endorsed by the Economic and Social Council. The special rapporteurs issued a report on 10 December 1999 (A/54/660) calling, inter alia, for the establishment of an international tribunal if Indonesia failed to take steps within "a matter of months" to clarify facts and bring the perpetrators of war crimes to justice. The report of the International Commission of Inquiry will be issued at the end of January.

47. UNTAET also facilitated two visits of the Indonesian Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Violations in East Timor, known as KPP-HAM, a body appointed by the National Commission on Human Rights. The first visit, during the third week of November, was an introductory visit to meet with East Timorese leaders, UNTAET and INTERFET officials and local NGOs. The second visit, in early December, included interviews with witnesses.

48. The precise death toll from political violence in 1999, and particularly the large scale and systematic destruction of private and public property after the results of the popular consultations were announced on 4 September, remains unknown. To date, 200 bodies have been recovered from grave sites throughout the Territory and hundreds of additional sites await excavation after the end of the rainy season.

49. The UNTAET human rights officers, in close cooperation with the United Nations civilian police and INTERFET's military police, have been working towards securing forensic expertise and equipment with the assistance of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and a number of Member States. A mortuary and forensic facility in Dili became operational on 24 January.

Police

50. The Police Commissioner assumed his position on 7 January 2000. To date 400 civilian police personnel have been dispatched to the mission area from 29 countries: Argentina (10), Australia (41), Austria (10), Bangladesh (9), Brazil (10), Canada (11), China (15), Egypt (4), Ghana (26), Gambia (25), Jordan (16), Malaysia (20), Nepal (9), New Zealand (10), Nigeria (21), Norway (1), Pakistan (4), Philippines (21), Portugal (4), Russian Federation (6), Senegal (19), Spain (3), Sri Lanka (29), Sweden (10), Thailand (2), United Kingdom (14), United States of America (44), Zambia (1) and Zimbabwe (5).

51. The United Nations civilian police have been deployed in all 13 districts. Sub-district police stations are being set up throughout East Timor as resources become available. The United Nations police are unarmed and follow the concept of community-based policing. However, the Police Commissioner may authorize the carrying of sidearms when he deems it necessary. In addition, two armed rapid-reaction units of about 120 each are to be deployed in the near future.

52. The civilian police have established an investigative capacity in each district, with assistance from Dili headquarters. In cooperation with the UNTAET human rights office, the civilian police and INTERFET have undertaken investigations into atrocities alleged to have taken place in East Timor before and after the popular consultation. While the majority of reported murders occurred after the results of the ballot were announced on 4 September, other cases pre-date the vote, such as the alleged murder of 61 persons in the church at Liquica on 6 April 1999.

53. Concerning the creation of the new East Timorese police, selection criteria have been finalized and application forms were made available as from the third week of January. The first class of 50 East Timorese police trainees will be ready to begin in February. Basic training will last three months and will be followed by up to six months of field training.

Border control

54. The systematic destruction of public infrastructure and records as well as the departure of the Indonesian administration in December 1999 left a vacuum in all areas, including customs and immigration arrangements in East Timor. A control mechanism is being established at both the airport and the port in Dili with the assistance of Member States. Since 3 January, passport control has been established at Dili airport, while customs officials are expected to begin operations there shortly. The training of an East Timorese customs service is about to start. Plans are also under way for the establishment of border controls along the land border. For those East Timorese who wish to travel abroad, a temporary travel document will be provided.

Public finance

55. Public finance in UNTAET includes central bank functions as well as tax and tariff policy, revenue collection and customs arrangements. The International Monetary Fund is providing valuable advice in most of these areas. Regulations on the central fiscal authority, a central payments office, a new taxation regime, use of currencies, commercial enterprises and transitional legal tender (the United States dollar) have been endorsed by NCC.

56. While no tax or tariff revenue is currently being collected, businesses have been instructed to register with UNTAET and have been advised that their operations are subject to back-collection of taxes at applicable rates. Most larger businesses currently active in East Timor are operated by foreigners and UNTAET, in cooperation with the World Bank, will seek means of encouraging East Timorese enterprise. Arrangements have been put in place to allow for basic commercial banking operations to commence. A Portuguese bank has opened a branch in Dili and an Australian bank is in the process of doing so. Discussions are also under way with the Indonesian financial authorities on the possible reopening of the branches of Indonesian banks to give East Timorese access to the accounts they held before September 1999.

Economy/Public and social services

57. The physical infrastructure of the Territory has suffered massive damage; towns and villages in many areas were almost totally destroyed. In reconstructing the infrastructure, priority is being given to such areas as electricity, water, roads and transport, telecommunications and ports and airports. Humanitarian agencies have conducted emergency repairs in some cases, notably water and sanitation, but much more still remains to be done.

58. The electricity and water supply in Dili has been kept running with assistance from Australia and the United Kingdom, but large parts of the country remain without electrical power as a result of damage to generators or irregular fuel supply. In urban areas, lack of electricity has led to water shortages.

59. Dili airport is now open to civil aviation. The first commercial flights were started between Dili and Darwin by an Australian airline company. Negotiations with other carriers are under way. Dili's airport and port are currently managed by INTERFET, a responsibility that will be transferred to the UNTAET military component. Rehabilitation work on the port is under way. Responsibility for telecommunications and the postal service has been temporarily entrusted to commercial enterprises, pending the establishment of a local service.

60. Agriculture accounts for the largest contribution to East Timor's gross domestic product. UNTAET is working with East Timorese and international agricultural experts towards the establishment of a Department of Agriculture. Over the next six months, UNTAET will focus on rice seeds, irrigation, poultry and cattle vaccination programmes. In close association with the East Timorese Agricultural Forestry and Fisheries Association, UNTAET has been compiling a list of available personnel and preparing training courses. It also provides coordination between UNDP, bilateral donors and East Timorese organizations, with a view to facilitating the implementation of projects, including one for agricultural mechanization and a road project to ensure the transport of coffee harvests.

61. In the education sector, the members of which make up a large part of the civil service, UNTAET is working on various projects in consultation with East Timorese and international organizations active in the field. In 11 districts, with assistance and support from UNICEF as well as the church and the local communities, many primary schools and some secondary schools now provide education to some 100,000 students, approximately half the primary and secondary school population. About 4,000 students receive food and monetary stipends from WFP and UNICEF. Teacher training has begun in four districts and a preliminary register of teachers has been compiled. Local committees for education have also been organized, providing support to schools and distributing recreation and sports kits to youths in six districts. Vocational training programmes for construction workers, auto mechanics, electricians and workers in other trades are being prepared with the assistance of an Australian university and a local NGO.

62. In the health sector, the rapid basic restoration of a network of 52 fixed health facilities, including 8 hospitals and 52 mobile clinics, has been undertaken with the cooperation of various NGOs and ICRC. Apart from treating common diseases and providing maternal and child care, some centres have integrated into their work a national malaria and tuberculosis programme. Some 90,000 bed nets have been distributed for malaria prevention by UNICEF and the International Rescue Committee. UNICEF has carried out a nationwide measles vaccination programme. Health education programmes are being implemented by Oxfam in Dili and elsewhere. An epidemiological surveillance system, designed by WHO, is in place. Through an East Timorese professional working group, an informal registry of health professionals is being maintained. The group, in consultation with UNTAET, convened a forum on the design of the national health system and work programme for the health sector for the current year.

63. As anticipated, the question of land ownership has been controversial, given the changes in East Timor over the past 24 years. Various persons have asserted rights over a range of properties, while others have simply occupied premises. A plan for an East Timor Land and Property Commission is under discussion. UNTAET is making arrangements for the allocation of public property. Rents from these properties will bring in revenues for the administration of East Timor.

VI. PUBLIC INFORMATION

64. UNTAET has worked actively to rebuild a reliable information and communication network through media capacity-building, international press relations and information campaigns. Radio UNTAET was established in early November 1999, building on the expertise developed by UNAMET. It broadcasts 24 hours a day and is currently available to between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of the population. The programmes include daily news in English and Tetun as well as features in Tetun, covering a broad range of developments in East Timor. In order to expand the current geographical coverage, UNTAET has repaired and used on an emergency basis elements of the East Timor radio network, which was severely damaged. However, many East Timorese lost their radio sets during the violence last year.

65. UNTAET has also been conducting an information campaign through the distribution of pamphlets aimed at clarifying the role of UNTAET, decision-making during the transition period and the role of the East Timorese in the process. Bulletin boards will be deployed throughout the Territory not only as a means of providing information to the public but also so that communities may display their own news. The UNTAET home page within the United Nations web site also provides expatriate East Timorese and the international community with updates on the current situation as well as the activities of the mission.

66. UNTAET has actively supported efforts to develop the media in East Timor. It has provided technical support to Catholic Radio Kmanek and Radio Voz de Esperança (formerly Radio Falintil) and is cooperating with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and others to this end. An independent expert is now in Dili to advise on a regulatory media framework in accordance with international standards.

VII. PERSONNEL AND LOGISTICS

67. As of 24 January, 991 civilian staff (351 international and 640 local staff) were in the mission area, while 391 additional international staff were in the process of recruitment. While the deployment of staff is proceeding, there is still a shortage of experts, which is a major constraint on the capacity of UNTAET. These shortages are in the fields of electricity; water; public health; education; telecommunications; road maintenance; post; airport, port and harbour management; procurement; treasury; budgeting; and prison management.

68. Most of the facilities built for or used by UNAMET were destroyed or heavily damaged last September. So was the infrastructure in East Timor. These difficulties have affected all facets of the operation and have slowed its establishment. Setting up the logistic support has thus been a major challenge for the United Nations and will continue to require a great deal of effort.

INTERFET has provided important assistance.

VIII. OBSERVATIONS

69. The first three months of the operation of UNTAET have seen strenuous efforts to move forward on a broad range of problems, each important and very urgent, while still in the process of establishing the operation in extremely difficult conditions.

70. From the start, UNTAET has sought to establish close consultation with the East Timorese. The National Consultative Council has been a unique means for UNTAET to hear and to respond to the needs of the East Timorese and for the latter to participate in important policy decisions, whose consequences will be with the people of East Timor well beyond UNTAET's limited presence in the Territory. Mechanisms for consultation on sectoral and local issues are in place and are being developed further. UNTAET has benefited greatly from the close cooperation with the East Timorese groups represented on NCC, notably CNRT led by Mr. Gusmão. The sheer range of issues to be addressed places significant demands upon the limited capacity of UNTAET as well as of its East Timorese partners who, like their compatriots, have suffered severe personal and material losses. Maintaining the unity of purpose they have demonstrated so far will be a key element in ensuring a smooth transition to independence.

71. In setting the foundations of an independent East Timor, fundamental and urgent policy decisions must be made in a multitude of areas. At the same time, there are urgent humanitarian needs and public services requirements. UNTAET has established the basic elements of an administrative structure and is actively coordinating humanitarian assistance efforts. The devastating effects of the systematic destruction and violence last September, however, and the consequent cessation of civil and public services will continue to be serious impediments for the foreseeable future. Moreover, widespread unemployment and the disruption of the education system and other social and public services, combined with the very high prices of food and other daily necessities, bear the potential for serious social problems. It will therefore be a high priority in the next three months to produce tangible results for the people of East Timor by creating employment and providing a range of public services, while supporting the reintegration of displaced persons from West Timor. Expanding trade will be important in order to increase supply and lower prices.

72. The generous resources pledged at the Tokyo conference will enable UNTAET and its East Timorese partners to operate more effectively and better meet the needs of the East Timorese people. It will be important to ensure that these funds can be utilized quickly. In particular, the United Nations Trust Fund is to cover the costs of the East Timor administration, which are estimated at $28.3 million for 2000, assuming projected revenues of $15 million. Out of $31.52 million pledged in Tokyo, a total of $8,176,211 has been disbursed to the Fund so far. It was agreed in Tokyo to hold another meeting in Lisbon in June 2000 at which the requirements will be reviewed in the light of developments on the ground. The East Timorese have received UNTAET with a great deal of goodwill and very high expectations as the embodiment of the international community's promise of support. However, they are in desperate straits and are understandably impatient for UNTAET to deliver on this promise. To that end, every effort will be made to maintain the excellent cooperation achieved between the United Nations and its agencies, funds and programmes, the Bretton Woods institutions, non-governmental organizations and the donors.

73. I am gratified by the positive development of the relations between East Timor and Indonesia. The manner in which President Wahid and his Government received Mr. Gusmão in Jakarta, President Wahid's forthcoming visit to East Timor and other steps mentioned in the present report hold promise that the relationship will be on a sound footing. I am thus hopeful that outstanding matters will soon be resolved, in particular the return of the East Timorese refugees from West Timor and control of the situation along the border between East and West Timor. I intend to visit Indonesia and East Timor in the middle of next month.

74. Finally, I wish to express my deep appreciation to INTERFET for its effectiveness and professionalism in the discharge of its mandated responsibilities, under the command of Major General Peter Cosgrove (Australia), and for the support that it has provided to UNTAET. I should also like to pay tribute to Mr. Vieira de Mello and his team for what they have accomplished so far in very difficult conditions. In addition, I wish to express my appreciation to the Governments that have supported UNTAET by contributing funds, personnel and other assistance. The task of setting up UNTAET is by no means completed but it is well under way, and what the mission has been able to accomplish with its limited means makes me confident about the future.