|Subject: UN Appeals For $16 Million For
East Timor's Budget
Associated Press June 21, 2000
UN Appeals For $16 Million For East Timor's Budget
LISBON (AP)--The U.N.'s administrator in East Timor asked the international community Wednesday to donate an additional $16 million to meet budget demands for the fledgling nation.
Sergio Vieira de Mello told reporters in Lisbon that "certain expenses" weren't foreseen when a preliminary budget was presented at a donors' conference last December in Tokyo. He didn't elaborate.
At the Tokyo meeting, international donors pledged more than $520 million to help rebuild East Timor.
Vieira de Mello's appeal came as those donor countries and organizations convened again at a three-day conference in Lisbon. World Bank and U.N. officials are to brief them on progress made in East Timor since the Tokyo conference and report on their goals for the next six months.
Earlier, the World Bank's director for East Timor, Klaus Rohland, said an appeal for further resources would be launched only at the next donors' conference in January 2001.
Rohland wasn't immediately available for comment on Vieira de Mello's appeal.
The U.N. administrator and East Timor's independence leader Jose Alexandre Gusmao on Wednesday held separate talks with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres and Foreign Minister Jaime Gama as World Bank officials discussed East Timor's trust fund with donors.
The Lisbon meeting marks a turning point from providing humanitarian assistance for East Timor to implementing reconstruction programs in key sectors such as education, health and agriculture, Rohland said.
The World Bank will be urging donors to express their support for the reconstruction program and for the East Timorese leadership, and also to renew the World Bank's mandate for East Timor, he added.
Gusmao said a vote of confidence for the East Timorese would be "extremely important for us to believe that we're up to it, for us to think about the responsibility we have towards the international community."
The East Timorese share the task of rebuilding their homeland with a transitional U.N. administration, which will prepare the Southeast Asian nation for self-rule.
East Timor was heavily damaged in September by anti-independence militias who rejected a U.N.-sponsored referendum in which an overwhelming number of East Timorese chose to break free from Indonesia's rule.
Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975, after Portugal hastily pulled out its 400-year-old colonial administration.
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