Subject: East Timor's Government Position on the Invasion of Iraq




The Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste watches with consternation the diminishing of possibilities to find a peaceful and consensual solution to the Iraqi crises. The Government shares the opinion that more time ought to have been given to the UN to complete their work.

Timor-Leste is a country that has suffered and had to wage a war to free itself and, above all, suffered its consequences, experienced the indifference of the world and the complicity of the greatin the genocide against our defenceless People.

Every East Timorese patriot called for an intervention from the civilised world; this intervention came twenty years later after the death of over 200,000 of our beloved people.

Our country was equally a victim of the UN apparatus, a slow-moving system, which is unable to accompany the major changes worldwide and proves to be incapable of preventing and dealing with conflict thus, adopting belated Resolutions, which often are not implemented.

Such a system enables the deepening of internal conflicts of Member States and turning them into major humanitarian tragedies of which Rwanda is but a striking example.

However, this system, when willing to act and to accelerate procedures has proven to be able to restore international law, to safeguard human dignity and to rescue people as was the case of Timor-Leste during the dark days of September 1999.

We are a peace-loving country that urges for the build-up of wide consensus within the community of Nations, seeks for a negotiated solution of problems and, as a small country, greatly values the multilateral nature of decision-making.

The UN system must work in a way that it does not enable unilateral decisions by any one country or groups of countries when trying to find solutions for problems that have an impact on all Humankind.

Because we reject war and look towards the implementation of Peace we are profoundly committed to cherishing a good neighbourly relationship with Indonesia, a country we know is a fraternal one. We follow the on-going democratisation process in Indonesia with great interest.

We are committed to the national reconciliation process and consider it to be the sound foundation for social harmony and the stability of our young Nation as it is undertaken based on Justice.

Timor-Leste was accepted as a member of the United Nations on 27 September 2002.

The time has come for us, the Member States, to seriously examine conflict prevention strategies.

It is time to perfect the UN system, to seek an ever-greater involvement of all, small and great, Muslims, Christians, Hindus & in the quest for humane solutions, for peaceful solutions.

It is time to wage a vigorous battle against all forms of terrorism.

It is time to act.

To act as we wished the International Community had when Timor-Leste was fighting for Freedom, Justice and Democracy.

To act in view of the right to intervene for humanitarian reasons against a regime that leaves no room for Peace, that oppresses its People, commits genocide against minority ethnic groups, invaded and occupied Kuwait and, attacked Iran.

To act for the democratisation of the UN system so that every State, without exception, may be equal and that there is a genuine search for consensus and the building of a multilateral will.

It is time to assist the children, women, youth, the elderly and the men suffering in Iraq. It is time to reflect upon how to render support to the new Iraq after the intervention that will lead to inevitable destruction and mourning.

It is time, finally, to help build Peace in Iraq and bring justice to the Middle East, in particular, to the Palestinian People.

Mari Alkatiri

Prime Minister

(Original Statement in Portuguese Official translation is of the exclusive responsibility of the Office of the Minister of State, Presidency of the Council of Ministers)

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