Subject: Joint Statement of the heads of state of the Republic of Indonesia and Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

Joint Statement of the heads of state of the Republic of Indonesia and Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

We, the Heads of State/Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste meet in Bali on 15 July 2008 to receive the final report of the Commission of Truth and Friendship which was established and mandated by us. We hereby make the following statement: * Our two countries have come a long way in overcoming the pain of an unfortunate chapter of our shared past. As close neighbors, our countries are determined to work together to promote peace and friendship, thereby laying a solid basis for building a stable, friendly and mutually beneficial neighborly relationship. In this regard, we underscore the importance of resolving residual issues. * Guided also by the spirit of the UN Charter, we have agreed, with respect to matters pertaining to the events of 1999, to establish a Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF). The creation and exercise of the Commission is our way of working together to reveal the factual truth of the nature, causes, and the extent of reported violations of human rights that occurred in the period leading up to and immediately following the popular consultation in East Timor in 1999. * Learning and benefiting from our shared experience, and motivated by our strong desire to move forward, we are determined to bring a closure to a chapter of our recent past through joint efforts. The Commission of Truth and Friendship is an unprecedented and unique mechanism created by two sovereign countries in order to resolve their bilateral issues by seeking truth and promoting friendship through a non-judicial process emphasizing institutional responsibilities. Apart from promoting friendship, it is also our aim to ensure that such events will never occur again. * We are heartened at the progress of our bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. Apart from the work of bilateral consultation mechanisms covering, inter alia, border issues; legal matters; trade, investment and finance; transport and communication; and social, education and cultural issues; all elements of society, including government officials at the highest level, have been engaging in intensive and direct contacts. During the two and half years that the Commission was at work, the two countries made tremendous progress in addressing residual issues and in pursuing further bilateral cooperation. * The Commission's mandate began in 2005. Its inquiry entailed a document review and a fact-finding process. The documents included the report by the Indonesian National Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations in East Timor in 1999 (KPP-HAM) and the Ad-hoc Human Rights Court on East Timor in Indonesia as well as the Special Panels for the Serious Crimes (SPSC), and the Commission of Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) in Timor-Leste. The fact-finding process included public hearings, closed hearings, statement takings, interviews and written submissions. * We take into account that the events leading up to and immediately after the popular consultation of 1999 had been greatly influenced by the complexity of the prevailing situation in Indonesia as well as in East Timor at that time. * We accept the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Commission and recognize that gross violations of human rights occurred prior to and immediately after the popular consultation in East Timor in 1999. * On behalf of the Government of Indonesia and the Government of Timor-Leste, we express remorse to all those who suffered immeasurable pain and physical and psychological wounds as direct or indirect victims of violations of human rights that occurred in the period leading up to and immediately following the popular consultation in East Timor in August 1999. * We commit to the faithful implementation of the Commission's recommendations and to taking other necessary initiatives to further promote friendship and reconciliation between the peoples of the two countries. We both understand that these recommendations shall be comprehensively integrated in a Plan of Action with emphasis on victims' oriented programs, among others, and shall be given top priority on the agenda of the Joint Ministerial Commission for Bilateral Cooperation. The implementation of the Plan of Action, where appropriate, would welcome the participation of relevant stakeholders, including civil society. * We highly appreciate the work of the Commission and acknowledge the daunting difficulties that it had to overcome as it carried out its tasks. Moreover, we commend the way it promptly developed the mechanisms stipulated in its TOR thereby facilitating its work. By working as it did, the Commission contributed to the growth of peace and prosperity in the two nations. We also admire the commitment, dedication, integrity and professionalism with which the Commissioners carried out their tasks. * We thank the Commissioners for their report and declare that the mandate of the Commission is fulfilled and concluded. * We the two Governments shall forward the report to our respective National Parliaments and make it available to the public. * We shall task our respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs to make joint presentations of the report to the international community. * Finally, we call upon our peoples to join hands and work for a better future in the spirit of reconciliation and friendship.

Done in Bali on the fifteenth day of July in the year two thousand and eight.

www.isria.info/RESTRICTED/D/2008/JULY_18/diplo_16july2008_34.htm 


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