Subject: UN resolution on E.Timor drops reference to human rights inquiry

UN resolution on East Timor drops reference to human rights inquiry

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 21 (AFP) - The Security Council has dropped a reference to an inquiry into abuses of human rights from its draft resolution to set up the UN administration in East Timor, diplomats said late Thursday.

Two paragraphs were dropped at the insistence of China, the diplomats said after consultations hosted by the British delegation to the UN, which drafted the text.

China's objections had meant that a vote on the resolution to set up the UN Transitional Authority in East Timor (UNTAET) could be delayed.

China is one of the five permanent members of the Council and therefore has the right to veto its resolutions.

The Council is now expected to vote on Friday.

Diplomats said that China had "serious difficulties" with a paragraph calling on all parties "to cooperate with the international commission of inquiry established by the Secretary General."

Deletion of the paragraphs does not affect the composition of UNTAET, which will include 8,950 peacekeepers and a 1,640-strong international police force.

Neither can it prevent the work of the commission of inquiry into abuses of human rights in East Timor, which was appointed on October 15.

Members of the Council also dropped a paragraph in the preamble of the draft resolution recalling the vote on September 27 by the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva which asked UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to set up the inquiry.

"All the Asian countries opposed the vote in Geneva and China is being consistent in its opposition now," a diplomat said.

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