see final letter and
congressional media release
East Timor ACTION Network ALERT
Urge Congress to Support Democracy & Peace
in E. Timor
U.S. Must Support Strong UN Mission in Timor-Leste
Call, fax or write Congress today!
The UN Security Council will soon debate the nature of the next UN
mission for Timor-Leste (East Timor). Amidst violence and political
turmoil, East Timorís prime minister has resigned. Dozens have been
killed, houses have been burned or looted across the city, and most of
the capitalís population has fled their homes. The reasons for this
instability are many and complex, but UN involvement remains crucial.
The U.S. must support a robust UN mission to enable the new nation to
achieve peace with justice and economic prosperity.
Both ETAN and the Timorese government have consistently advocated for
more effective UN activities. The U.S. government, however, has
repeatedly pushed the UN to rapidly reduce its
presence since 2002. U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton recently
stated his belief in
this unwise approach. But, several
Representatives are pushing Ambassador Bolton and Secretary of State
Rice to support a robust UN mission. Urge your Representative
to sign their letter.
What YOU Can Do:
Contact your Representative and tell her/him to:
- Sign the bipartisan Dear Colleague letter to Secretary of State
Rice urging her to support a robust United Nations mission to East
Timor. The letter is being circulated by Representatives Allyson
Schwartz and Patrick Kennedy.
- East Timor's potential to succeed remains strong,
but the recent violence is an indication that the UN must
continue to play a critical nation-building role.
The deadline for the letter is July 14. To sign the letter, offices
should contact Aaron Brand in Rep. Schwartz's office or Dominic Nguyen
in Rep. Patrick Kennedy's office.
Co-signers so far include: Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ), Tom
Lantos (D-CA), Lois Capps (D-CA), and Adam Schiff (D-CA).
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); Betty McCollum (D-MN); Jim McGovern (D-MA); Howard
Berman (D-CA); Jim Oberstar (D-MN); Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); Mike McNulty (D-NY); Barney Frank (D-MA); Eliot Engel (D-NY); Donald Payne (D-NJ);
(D-WA); Brown (D-OH), Capuano (D-MA); Crowley (D-NY);
Faleomavaega (D-AS); Farr (D-CA); Grijalva
(D-AZ); Hinchey (D-NY); Honda (D-CA);
Kucinich (D-OH), Langevin (D-RI); Lofgren
(D-CA); Lowey (D-NY); Maloney (D-NY); Markey
(D-MA); McDermott (D-WA); McNulty
(D-NY); Moran (D-VA); Oberstar (D-MN); Pitts (R-PA);
Towns (D-NY); Waxman (D-CA); Wexler (D-FL)
Phone calls and faxes are generally more effective than emails. The
congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121 (ask for the office of
your Representative), or check
http://www.congress.org on the internet
for direct phone, fax or e-mail contact information. Every call makes a
difference, so please contact your Representative today!
A copy of the letter follows.
Thanks for your support. Please let us know the results of your
efforts. Send updates to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also fax Ambassador Bolton directly from
Support Democracy and Stability in East Timor
Urge Secretary Rice to support a U.N. Mission to East Timor
Deadline: COB Friday, July 14
After months of violence, last week, the United Nations Security
Council voted to renew its political mission in East Timor, and U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan has indicated that the return of
peacekeeping forces is under consideration. Please join us in writing to
Secretary of State Rice urging her to support a robust United Nations
mission to East Timor.
Just months ago, East Timor was viewed as a model for international
nation-building; however, today, the progress East Timor has made as a
young and vibrant democracy is under serious threat. The United Nations
played an instrumental role in the nation's early stages - providing
peacekeeping, humanitarian, and reconstruction assistance, and capacity
building. However, as the United Nations has rapidly scaled back its
mission post-independence, serious problems within East Timor's police
and military infrastructure have been exposed.
East Timor's potential as a young democracy and its prospects to
succeed remain strong. However, the recent violence is an indication
that the United Nations cannot draw-down its presence precipitously, and
that it must continue to play a critical nation-building role. We
believe the United States' interests in building strong and
self-sustaining democracies would be best served by supporting a renewed
United Nations commitment to East Timor.
We hope you will join us in this effort. If you have any questions or
would like to sign the letter, please contact Aaron Brand in Rep.
Schwartz's office (5-6111 or Aaron.Brand@mail.house.gov) or Dominic
Nguyen in Rep. Patrick Kennedy's office (5-4911 or
|Allyson Y. Schwartz
Member of Congress
|Patrick J. Kennedy
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
|Adam B. Schiff
Member of Congress
July xx, 2006
The Honorable Dr. Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Madam Secretary:
We have been watching the violence that has ensued in East Timor with
a great deal of concern. Just months ago, East Timor was viewed as a
model for international nation-building. However, today, the progress
East Timor has made as a young democracy is under serious threat. The
United Nations Security Council recently voted to renew its political
mission in East Timor, and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has
indicated that the return of peacekeeping forces is under consideration.
At this crucial juncture, we urge you to support a robust United Nations
mission that includes a significant police and peacekeeping presence -
with all foreign troops under UN command - to ensure that East Timor
continues to make progress on the path to democracy, stability, and
self-sustainability. The East Timorese government has requested such a
As you know, following East Timor's vote for independence from
Indonesia in 1999, militias backed by elements of the Indonesian
military ravaged the country. Yet East Timor - with significant support
from the United Nations and international community - was able to
restore order and has made substantial strides toward stability and
democracy as evidenced by a United Nations report stating that East
Timor has "made remarkable progress in laying the foundations for a
functioning civil society." Additionally, an agreement with the
Australian government on shared revenues from offshore oil and gas
fields is beginning to provide critical funds to the government and in
February 2006 members of the U.S. House of Representatives Democracy
Assistance Commission visited East Timor to provide advice on
structuring an accountable and transparent government.
However, much work remains and as the United Nations has rapidly
scaled back its mission post-independence, serious problems within East
Timor's police and military infrastructure have been exposed. The recent
violence is an indication that the United Nations cannot draw-down its
presence precipitously, and that it must continue to play a critical
nation-building role - assisting East Timor with its efforts to
consolidate and expand on the gains it has made. Therefore, we
respectfully request that U.N. Ambassador Bolton strongly support a
United Nations mission to help maintain order and provide support at
least through next year's crucial parliamentary and presidential
elections. This mission should focus on enhanced police assistance and
training to prevent violence. Additionally, a United Nations mission
should help East Timor address the deeply-rooted poverty and
unemployment that plagues the nation; build strong public institutions
that will ensure a stable and lasting democracy and promote rule of law;
bring justice and reconciliation for crimes against humanity committed
during the Indonesian military occupation; and investigate the recent
Supporting the development of strong and self-sustaining democracies
throughout the world is a vital component of U.S. foreign policy. In
this case, this goal would be best advanced by supporting a robust
United Nations mission working in cooperation with a sovereign East
Timorese government. We thank you for your attention and we look forward
to working with you on this matter.
cc: Ambassador John R. Bolton