Subject: LUSA: US is the only guardian of world peace, says FM Ramos Horta

Also: Former occupier Indonesia should get UN Security Council seat: East Timor

NOTE: This story, to my knowledge, is not meant as a parody. --EH

06-01-2004 21:09:00 GMT . Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-5733751 Temas:

East Timor: US is the only guardian of world peace, says FM Ramos Horta

Lisbon, Jan. 6 (Lusa) - The United States is currently the sole guarantor of world peace, rather than the United Nations, East Timor`s foreign minister, José Ramos Horta, said Tuesday.

"The UN does not ensure global peace. America is the only provider of peace in the world", Ramos Horta said at a Lisbon diplomatic seminar hosted by his Portuguese counterpart, Teresa Gouveia.

Dili's top diplomat, a 1996 Nobel Peace Prize winner, cited the UN`s non-action to end genocide in Cambodia and Uganda.

The continuing controversy over the existence, or otherwise, of weapons of mass-destruction in Iraq was "irrelevant", said Ramos Horta, as Saddam Hussein was "a man who unleashed a war against Iran, ordered the killing of thousands of Kurds, invaded Kuwait and started the first ecological war by torching 700 Kuwaiti oil wells, but continued to be treated as a head of state by the UN".

America's present "unipolar" stance imposes upon it "heavy responsibilities", including "taking the initiative in reform of the UN", Ramos Horta said, adding that these reforms must take into account new regional powers like "India, Brazil, Japan and even Indonesia", who all merit a permanent Security Council seat.

MDR/CJB Lusa

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Agence France Presse

January 6, 2004 Tuesday

Former occupier Indonesia should get UN Security Council seat: East Timor

LISBON, Jan 6

East Timor's Nobel Peace laureate and foreign minister on Tuesday said Indonesia, which brutally occupied his tiny country for over two decades, should be given a seat on the United Nation Security Council.

Speaking in Lisbon at a meeting of Portuguese diplomats, Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta said the United States, as the sole global superpower, should push for changes to the UN's executive council, notably by including new regional powers like Indonesia.

"This reform should take into account new regional powers like India, Brazil, Japan and even Indonesia," he said.

There have been persistent calls in recent years for the expansion of the Security Council, which currently has five veto-holding permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the US -- and 10 members elected for two-year terms.

One of the main criticisms of the Security Council is that the five permanent members, which reflect the global power structure at the time when the United Nations was set up in 1945, do not mirror current geopolitical realities.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, invaded former Portuguese colony East Timor in 1975 and annexed it a year later, in a move never recognized by the United Nations.

An estimated 100,000-200,000 East Timorese died in the early years of the Indonesian occupation, many from starvation or disease, as a guerrilla war was waged against Jakarta.

Despite violence and intimidation from Pro-Jakarta militias, organized and armed by the Indonesian military, East Timorese chose overwhelmingly to break away from Indonesia in a UN-organized vote in August 1999.

The militias and the military waged a scorched-earth campaign before departure, in which whole towns were burnt to the ground and an estimated 1,000 people were killed.

The territory finally gained independence in May 2002 after a period of UN stewardship. East Timorese leaders since then have stressed reconciliation with their giant neighbor.

Ramos Horta and Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Belo jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for their efforts to free East Timor from Indonesian rule.

ds/mkh


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