Subject: UN: JRH at UN Human Rights Commission

http://www.unhchr.ch/

UNITED NATIONS

Press Release

xxxxxxxxxx

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF CZECH REPUBLIC OFFICIALS OF NINE OTHER COUNTRIES ADDRESS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

xxxxxxxxxx
17.03.2004

José Ramos-Horta, Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste, said the United Nations faced a choice between showing weakness in the face of terrorism or standing up for those aspiring to free and democratic systems of government. In Iraq, as in Kosovo, Afghanistan and his own country, the United Nations must lead the political transition and the World Bank the economic reconstruction, he said, and while the fight against terrorism was to be applauded, the international community must not sacrifice human rights nor lose sight of other battles against poverty, illiteracy and exclusion.

...

JOSE RAMOS-HORTA, Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste, said the United Nations faced a choice between showing weakness in the face of terrorism or standing up for those aspiring to free and democratic systems of government. In Iraq, as in Kosovo, Afghanistan and his own country, the United Nations must lead the political transition and the World Bank the economic reconstruction. And while the fight against terrorism was to be applauded, the international community must not sacrifice human rights nor lose sight of other battles against poverty, illiteracy and exclusion.

Saying he was cognizant of the integrity and dedication to human rights evinced by the NGO community in his country's struggle for independence, Mr. Ramos-Horta stressed that the United Nations' human rights system would be poorer and less meaningful if NGOs' rights and duties to report to the international community on the state of human rights in the world were curtailed.

In national developments over the past year, Mr. Ramos-Horta said, legislation had been introduced to establish an office of the Provider for Justice; an initiative to develop a national plan of action for human rights had been launched; and significant progress had been made by Timor-Leste's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation and its Serious Crimes Unit. The Government remained committed to pursuing accountability for the perpetrators of gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law during the events of 1999. However, the country continued to confront significant challenges in health, education, poverty, infrastructure and capacity building. What was required to stimulate the economy and strengthen the Government was overwhelming. This raised the question of treaty body reform, as the question of where to direct scarce national resources was raised when it came time for the country to report developments on human rights. It was imperative to develop a new streamlined process of reporting, towards which end Timor-Leste would work closely with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.


Support ETAN, make a secure financial contribution at etan.org/etan/donate.htm

Back to March menu
February

World Leaders Contact List
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu