Subject: UN Press Briefing - March 18, 1999
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 1999 09:23:36 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <>

18 March 1999

Press Briefing



The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today's noon briefing by Fred Eckhard, Spokesman for the Secretary-General:

**UN Mission to Jakarta and East Timor

A team of six United Nations Secretariat staff, led by Francesc Vendrell, Director of the Asia and Pacific Division in the Department of Political Affairs, is leaving today for Jakarta and East Timor. The mission, announced by the Secretary-General just last week, will carry out a preliminary needs assessment for the consultation of the East Timorese, through direct ballot, of the autonomy proposal. As you recall, the consultation mechanism was agreed to by the Foreign Ministers of Indonesia and Portugal during their meeting with the Secretary-General last Wednesday and Thursday (10 and 11 March).

After their visit to Jakarta and East Timor, the team will go on to Australia, New Zealand and Portugal. They will be back in New York at the end of the first week of April to prepare a report in advance of the next senior officials talks to be held here at Headquarters on 14 and 15 April.

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