This resolution was passed by the General Board of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA in Oakland, California on November 17, 1995. The National Council is composed 33 Protestant and Orthodox denominations, with more than 49 million Christians belonging to churches that hold membership in the NCCC-USA.

WHEREAS the National Council of Churches of Christ (USA), as part of its long commitment to human rights, has continually advocated the rights and protections of peoples to self-determination; and

WHEREAS Indonesia's brutal invasion of East Timor in 1975 and subsequent occupation caused the deaths of approximately 200,000 people, fully a third of the population; and

WHEREAS neither the United Nations nor the international community has recognized East Timor as being an integral part of Indonesia; and

WHEREAS through its program of "transmigration" the Indonesian government has encouraged thousands of Indonesians to settle in East Timor, resulting in a gradual, yet alarming marginalization of the indigenous East Timorese by taking away jobs and land; and

WHEREAS the physical development which has taken place under Indonesian rule has done little to benefit the East Timorese and is resulting in the destruction of their culture; and

WHEREAS human rights organizations and independent observers have documented a continued pattern of severe human rights abuses against the East Timorese including beatings, torture, rape, abductions and extrajudicial executions; and

WHEREAS in January 1995 a delegation from the National Council of Churches visited East Timor and concluded that the situation there had not improved over the past decade but was, in fact, getting worse; and

WHEREAS in March 1995 the United Nations Commission on Human Rights expressed its "deep concern over the continuing reports of violations of human rights in East Timor";

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the General Board of the NCCC/USA

DEPLORES the continuing occupation of East Timor and the resultant abuse of human rights and climate of oppression;

SUPPORTS the rights of the East Timorese to self-determination and calls for the full participation of the East Timorese people in the just resolution of the political status of East Timor;

URGES the United Nations Secretariat to intensify efforts to resolve the political status of East Timor;

SUPPORTS the East Timorese people and the East Timorese churches who struggle for justice, dignity, and freedom from fear and the preservation of their ethnic and cultural identity;

CELEBRATES the membership of the Christian Church of East Timor (GKTT) in the World Council of Churches and its participation in ecumenical bodies in order that the East Timorese church may have an independent voice;

ENCOURAGES in the spirit of partnership, the Indonesian churches and the Communion of Churches in Indonesia to stand in solidarity with those who are oppressed in East Timor; and to support the East Timorese in the globally recognized right of all people to self-determination;

CALLS on the United States government to cease military aid, including military training, and the sale of arms to Indonesia as long as it continues its de facto military occupation of East Timor.

COOPERATES with other religious bodies and concerned groups to increase the awareness of the on-going crisis in East Timor among U.S. policy-makers, the general public and local congregations.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the General Secretary of the NCCC/USA be requested to send copies of this resolution to the Secretary General of the United Nations, the President of the UN General Assembly, the President of the United States, all U.S. Senators and Representatives and all appropriate ecumenical colleagues.

Policy Base: Policy Statement on Human Rights, adopted by the General Assembly December 6, 1963.

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