International Federation for East Timor
There are four areas of decision-making within the Observer Project:
July 19, 1999
The constituent groups that compose the IFET Observer Project Working Group;
The International Steering Committee (ISC) of IFET;
The Executive Body (EB) of IFET's operation based in Dili; and
The IFET Observer Project Assembly.
I. The Constituent Groups
1) Constituent group coordinators oversee tasks which include:
the recruitment and selection of observer volunteers;
the development of training materials and the organizing of trainings for
communicating with the Dili office and the international coordinator on
who their volunteers are, their skills, and their arrival and departure
dates to and from East Timor;
fundraising for individual, constituency, and a share of common project
II. The International Steering Committee
1) The ISC shall be comprised of representatives of every constituent
group of IFET and at least one member of the IFET Observer Project EB.
2) The ISC shall make decisions by 2/3 majority (based on the number
of respondents within a time frame the Committee will decide).
3) One member of the ISC shall serve as a contact person (with 24 hour
availability) to respond to emergency situations. One of the duties of
this person shall be to activate the entire international network in times
4) The responsibilities of the ISC include:
formulating appropriate responses to any potential problems between the
governments of Indonesia and Portugal and the United Nations as related
to the UNAMET mission and mandate, and to any problems between the aforementioned
countries, the U.N., and the IFET Observer Project;
formulate broad policies as they relate to the Observer Project within
discussing with New York-based U.N. staff matters related to the successful
establishment of the IFET Observer Project within East Timor;
coordinating the arrival of human, material, and financial resources into
East Timor to assist the Observer Project;
budgeting, financing and fund-raising;
the development of criteria for volunteer selection/screening;
outreach to constituencies and potential coordinators in countries where
we do not (yet) have an IFET Observer Project component; and
in conjunction with the Assembly, making the decision to terminate, or
to alter significantly the nature and functions of, the Project in the
case of extreme circumstances.
III. The Executive Body
1) The EB shall consist of approximately 5 people, all of whom will
spend most of their time in Dili. An additional member of the EB shall
be chosen by the International Steering Committee from among its own members
abroad. The EB has the authority to select new and/or additional members,
subject to the approval of the ISC.
2) Constituent groups shall nominate individuals (not necessarily individuals
from their own group or country of national origin) to serve as members
of the EB. Through its delegate to the ISC, every constituent group shall
vote for 5 candidates. IFET volunteers currently in Dili would also be
able to put forth candidates and vote as a body. There should be at least
one EB member from Europe, from the Americas, from Asia, and from Australia
or New Zealand.
3) Whenever necessary and possible, EB in Dili shall consult with the
EB member from the ISC. She or he should maintain regular contact with
the Dili office.
4) The EB shall decide by consensus.
5) The responsibilities of the EB include the following:
EB shall make all decisions regarding emergency situations; and will set
up an "emergency response team" to investigate gross violations of the
May 5 accord and emergencies involving Project observers, and will oversee
documentation of its investigations. The team shall also oversee emergencies
relating to Project observers. The EB shall also decide, based on close
consultations with Project volunteers in particular locales, whether or
not to withdraw an individual volunteer or an observer team from a specific
The EB would be responsible for approving public statements of the IFET
Observer Project, assigning tasks and observation team locations to staff
and Project volunteers, structuring the staff within East Timor, and for
The EB has the authority to call an emergency meeting of the Assembly (see
below) to decide whether or not to extend or to alter the Project in the
case of a significant delay in the vote, or to discontinue the Project
if UNAMET proves unwilling or unable to ensure a process that conforms
to the May 5 accord.
The EB will also decide whether or not to enter into coalition with other
groups observing the UNAMET process. Were IFET to enter into a coalition
with any such group, there would be a need for an appropriate decision-making
mechanism. The EB would have the authority to speak for the Observer Project
in helping to decide what that mechanism should be.
The EB will have the right to reprimand, to confine to Dili, and/or to
disassociate any member of the Observer Project who violates the Project's
principles of neutrality and non- violence, who undermines the organizational
integrity of the Project as a whole or that of an individual observer team,
violates the IFET code of conduct, or disobeys decisions made by the Assembly
or Executive Body.
The EB will select the officers (see below) of the IFET Observer Project
6) If an observer team in the field cannot communicate with the EB in
Dili, the team would have the authority to make emergency decisions within
the basic framework of the Project's code of conduct, principles and mandate.
For example, the team can decide whether to stay in an area of violence
or to return to Dili. On a more mundane level, the team would have the
power to make decisions regarding specific tasks. When making decisions
in the field, teams should operate by consensus.
IV. The IFET Observer Project Assembly
1) The Assembly will consist of members of the EB and a representative
from each constituent group. Each Assembly representative would be required
to be present in East Timor on August 1, as well as around the time of
the official announcement of the results of the Consultation. Constituent
groups can change their Assembly delegate during the course of the process.
2) The Assembly would make decisions by 2/3 vote. Members of the Executive
Body would also be delegates to the Assembly.
3) The Assembly will be responsible for establishing broad policies
relating to the OP's work within the territory.
4) The Assembly will meet in Dili on Sunday, August 1 to review and
assess the Project's existing policies and practices, and would establish
guidelines for the activities of the OP through the time of the actual
vote. The EB would draw up the agenda, subject to the approval of the entire
Assembly. The Assembly would also meet within three days of the actual
Consultation to formulate the OP's response to the vote and the UNAMET
process, and to establish guidelines for the final IFET Observer Project
5) Members of the Assembly may provide input regarding Project-related
issues at any time. The EB would do its best to keep Assembly members apprised
of EB activities and decisions. When feasible, the EB will consult Assembly
members about important matters, and seriously consider their opinions.
6) The Assembly, in conjunction with the ISC, would have to meet and
make the decision to terminate, or to alter significantly the nature and
functions of, the Project in the case of extreme circumstances.
V. Officers of the IFET Observer Project in Dili
The EB will appoint the following officers (who should be multinational,
as far as is practical):
External Liaison: Responsible for relations with UNAMET, "foreign" NGOs,
the Indonesian government, and religious bodies. He/she will also be responsible
for maintaining contact with East Timorese and Indonesian NGOs. In addition,
this person will also keep track of IFET-OP's accreditation process and
communications with UNAMET, and meet with representatives of the Indonesian
government and/or pro- independence actors when necessary.
Logistics Officer: Responsible for keeping track of all IFET-OP volunteers
who arrive in East Timor and what their skills are, and will also determine
the composition of the teams that will be present in different parts of
the territory. As such, the logistics officer will oversee the establishment
of contact with hosts in the districts, will coordinate the housing for
and will arrange the transport of volunteer observers to district towns.
The Logistics Officer will also keep track of where IFET observers are
Two Information/Communications Officers (with support from others as needed):
They will prepare press releases, write periodic reports of IFET's work
in the territory and the general situation surrounding the vote, and serve
as a liaison to journalists within East Timor. The I/CO's, with help from
others, will report violations of the May 5 agreement, evaluate the voter
registration process, voter education, and political campaigns, and receive
information from IFET observers in the field. They will also monitor press
and other reports. One person will be responsible for writing periodic
reports from the IFET-OP. One person will edit and prepare the weekly IFET
Observer Project Bulletins. The I/C Officers, in conjunction with the EB,
will develop procedures to ensure that Observer Project volunteers' input
is included in the comprehensive IFET-OP report on the Consultation that
will be distributed to the UNAMET Electoral Commission, the media and other
Electoral Officer: This person will be responsible for designing IFET Observer
Project's procedures and documents relating to the observation and analysis
of the steps in the Consultation itself: voter registration, the UNAMET
public education effort, the political campaigning, the actual voting,
and the counting of the ballots. The Electoral Officer will be in charge
of relations with the UNAMET Electoral Commission and other UNAMET personnel
regarding Consultation irregularities. In terms of training, the Consultation
Officer will work closely with the Education Officer. 5) Education Officer:
This person will coordinate the training and orientation of the observers
in Dili. This person should be well-versed in human rights and election
monitoring and will also be in charge of ensuring that IFET observers are
conducting themselves in a manner consistent with the project's mission.
Chief Officer: This person will be responsible for overseeing and ensuring
the smooth running of the overall IFET-OP mission in East Timor, and coordinating
and delegating tasks to the other officers.
House Manager: This person is in charge of orienting people to the house
in Dili, and to the city itself. The House Manager will, among other things,
explain to newcomers how things work around the house, will ensure that
the cooks and helpers receive their pay, and will ensure that there are
enough places for people to sleep, that we have drinking water, that the
water tanks are full, that the bathrooms work, and that we have gas for
Office Manager: The Office Manager will be responsible for the computers
(to manage the computers; and work out usage schedules), the fax machine,
the phones, office supplies, and the files.
Treasurer: Make disbursements, keep track of financial records and balances,
prepare financial reports for the EB and the ISC, and be ultimately responsible
that money is spent appropriately.
Conflict Resolution Officer/Mediator: The IFET-OP agrees to deal with all
conflicts in a constructive manner. The EB will do its utmost to make available
at all times a suitable mediator who will support parties to work towards
mutually agreeable outcomes. Conflicts may include those between members
of IFET-OP, between members of IFET-OP and outside bodies, including such
organizations as UNAMET, Indonesian government officials, East Timorese
individuals and/or organizations.
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