The International Federation for East Timor was founded in 1991 by East Timor solidarity groups from four continents as a clearinghouse for non-governmental organization (NGO) initiatives on East Timor and to support those initiatives, particularly in United Nations fora. IFET is accredited with the U.N. Department of Public Information and has a U.N. Representative in New York. Our secretariat is in the Philippines. IFET participates in U.N. hearings and conferences, supplies analyses and statements to the media, and lobbies the U.N.-Portugal-Indonesia East Timor talks to ensure that the human and political rights of the East Timorese people are respected.
Our international federation is a powerful tool to influence the U.N. and national governments. A strong IFET with members from many countries will be listened to. We currently have more than 30 members (see list at left) from 19 countries, including both single-issue East Timor groups and others with a wider range of concerns.
The middle of 1999 is a crucial time for East Timor, with a U.N.-conducted popular consultation on autonomy v. independence scheduled for August 8. IFET will deploy NGO observer/monitors in East Timor for this vote, which is taking place amidst increasing violence and threats by Indonesia-backed paramilitary militias. The presence of a large number of nonpartisan international observers can help deter violence and ensure that the East Timorese are able to campaign and vote without fear.
IFET invites all NGOs concerned with ensuring that the East Timorese people are able to exercise their legal and moral right to self-determination to join IFET, so that we can more fully reflect the worldwide support for East Timor. Through IFET, organizations in solidarity with East Timor communicate to ensure the effectiveness and strength of our common struggle.
IFET has not received direct funding and depends on membership contributions of affiliating groups to cover communication and publication costs; there are no paid staff. We hope your group can contribute on a sliding scale: funded groups or groups in First World countries are asked to contribute $100/year, but dues are not mandatory for membership. We are seeking additional emergency funding for the 8/8 observer project.
Please note: This is not the application for those who wish to be part of the IFET Observer Project to East Timor. That application is available at http://etan.org/ifet/apply3.html.