Current Un Peacekeeping Mission In East Timor

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Current UN Peacekeeping Mission in East Timor

Current UN Peacekeeping Mission in East Timor


The UN's most extensive involvement in peace operations in Asia and the Pacific has been in one of its smallest and poorest territories - now the independent nation of Timor-Leste. The involvement has had several phases. It began with the declaration by the UN General Assembly in 1960 that East Timor? along with other territories under Portuguese administration? was a non-self-governing territory. Fifteen years later? when Portugal's decolonization was overtaken by Indonesia's seizure of the territory? the invasion of December 1975 was condemned by the Security Council and the General Assembly. East Timor was on the General Assembly agenda for 24 years before agreement was reached between Portugal and Indonesia on a process of self-determination. Then followed the mandating of the 1999 UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) to carry out a self-determination ballot? termed the East Timor Popular Consultation. When the overwhelming vote for independence on 30 August 1999 was followed by an orgy of violence against people and property by pro-Indonesian militia and the Indonesian army? Indonesia was pressured to consent to an Australian-led? UN-mandated? multinational force? the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET)? to restore order. The Security Council then mandated the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET)? to administer the territory pending elections and the installation of a sovereign independent government. When this government was installed on 20 May 2002? the UN remained to assist it in the form of the UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET).

This essay summarizes how the successive UN mandates came about? how they were implemented? and what role Asian countries played in each context. Although it focuses on the activities of the United Nations? credit for Timor-Leste becoming an independent? democratic state should go first and foremost to the East Timorese people and their leaders for their courage and determination? and their readiness to suffer tremendous hardship.


East Timor became an independent country on 20 May 2002, marking the end of a three-year process towards independence under the guidance of the United Nations. On that day, the Security Council established UNMISET to provide assistance to East Timor over a period of two years until all operational responsibilities were fully devolved to the East Timor authorities. Subsequently, the Council extended mission's mandate for another year to permit the new nation, which had changed its name to Timor-Leste, to attain self-sufficiency. UNMISET successfully completed its mandate on 20 May 2005 . (

From the years of non-intervention to the 5 May 1999 agreements

From 1975 to 1981 the General Assembly passed annual resolutions reaffirming the inalienable right of the East Timorese to self-determination and expressing concern at the suffering - which was indeed extreme - of the civilian population. Then in 1982 the Assembly mandated the Secretary-General to begin a diplomatic effort to help find a solution to the problem. Thereafter? while the question of East Timor remained on the Assembly's agenda? consideration of the item was deferred each year on the ...
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