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East Timor: Politics and Government

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken to assist restorative justice and truth and reconciliation initiatives in East Timor; and if he will make a statement. (283950)

Since 1999, we have actively supported the development of East Timor and played a part in ensuring that appropriate assistance was provided by the UN. The UN Mission in East Timor continues to provide peacekeeping support and capacity building to the East Timorese Government and Administration. The UK helps to fund this through our assessed contributions to the UN, and we will continue to offer strong support for multilateral efforts in East Timor. Additionally, the EU is assisting East Timor in promoting its justice sector and reinforcing the rule of law. The UK contributes both technical and financial assistance to the EU programmes in East Timor, currently worth around 18 million euros.

We believe it is for the Governments of Indonesia and East Timor to consider how best to deal with their past history, reflecting the concerns of their citizens. We have raised the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) and the Commission on Truth and Friendship (CTF) with East Timor and expressed the UK's view that it was important for the East Timorese parliament to debate the reports of the CTF and the CAVR as part of the process of establishing accountability. We hope that the adoption of the CTF report by President Yudhoyono of Indonesia and President Ramos Horta of East Timor will be a step forward in cementing the relationship between the two Governments and enabling them to move forward in peaceful co-operation.