International Federation for East Timor
Observer Project

General Principles:

1. Support for the United Nations Goals in East Timor

We are committed to the principles of the May 5 agreements between Indonesia and Portugal, that a free and fair consultation of every East Timorese voter should be the basis on which their political status is decided. We go to East Timor to observe and support the U.N. process agreed to on May 5th, and to help realize the East Timorese people's long-awaited goal of voting on their political future without intimidation or restriction.

2. Local Empowerment and Self-Determination

We are committed to the belief that a lasting end to the conflict in East Timor can not be imposed from outside but must be based on the will of the local East Timorese people. It is inappropriate for us as outsiders to influence decisions made by local groups. We respect the right of the East Timorese and all people to self-determination, and contribute our effort to create an environment in which the people of East Timor can freely exercise their right to self-determination.

3. Nonviolence

We are committed to giving the highest consideration to human life and its defense. We respect everyone's basic human rights and freedoms. We are committed to the nonviolent transformation of conflict in East Timor and everywhere.

4. Neutrality/Nonpartisanship

As an international third party, we act in an independent and nonpartisan manner. We are open to all sides of an issue. Through listening and respecting all perspectives, we are able to form a better understanding of the situation and carry out our mandate. Nonpartisanship does not, however, mean indifference or passivity toward injustice or towards violations of any individual's basic human rights, including the right to self-determination.

5. International Community

Our work represents the concern of the international community in relation to the conflict and crisis in East Timor. We are volunteers committed to developing international ties between East Timor and individuals from around the world. We endeavor to guarantee internationally recognized human rights for all involved in the decolonization process of the territory.


We are committed to realizing our basic principles through:
  1. Consultation Process Observing
    IFET personnel will observe the registration process, the campaign, the actual day of balloting (including polling sites, people travelling to and from voting, and other related matters), as well as the transportation of ballots and the tallying of votes. We will issue a report.

  2. Human Rights Monitoring and Reporting
    Our people in the field will monitor the human rights situation by personal observation and by interviews with religious personnel, public officials, local non-governmental organizations, political activists, and the population in general. These monitors will communicate their findings to an IFET office in Dili which will regularly report the information to U.N. Officials, journalists, national governments and other appropriate authorities.

  3. Organized Protective Accompaniment
    We will provide organized accompaniment, when requested, for East Timorese human rights workers, high-profile personnel associated with local religious institutions, East Timorese people campaigning nonviolently for the consultation, and others who feel threatened.
At present, the IFET Consultation Observer Project will continue until the end of the consultation process, at which time, we will evaluate the feasibility and need for a new mandate.

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