United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor

United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor

Infobox Former Country
native_name = Timór Lorosa'e
conventional_long_name = East Timor
common_name = East Timor
continent = Oceania
region = Melanesia
country = East Timor
status = Special territory
event_start = Security Council Resolution 1272
year_start = 1999
date_start = October 25
event_end = Independence
year_end = 2002
date_end = May 20
p1 = Indonesian occupation of East Timor
flag_p1 = Flag of Indonesia.svg
s1 = East Timor
flag_s1 = Flag of East Timor.svg
s2 = United Nations Mission of Support to East Timor
flag_s2 = Flag of the United Nations.svg

image_map_caption = Map of East Timor
common_languages = Tetum, Portuguese, Indonesian and English
capital = Dili
title_leader = Transitional Administrator
leader1 = Sérgio Vieira de Mello
title_deputy = Chief Minister
deputy1 = Mari Alkatiri
year_deputy1 = 2001 – 2002
currency = U.S. Dollar
stat_pop1 = 947,000
stat_year1 =

The United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) provided an interim civil administration and a peacekeeping mission in the territory of East Timor, from its establishment on October 25, 1999UN document |docid=S-RES-1272(1999) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=1999 |resolution_number=1272 |accessdate=2008-04-12] until its independence on May 20, 2002 following the outcome of the East Timor Special Autonomy Referendum. Security Council Resolution 1272 [http://www.unmit.org/UNMISETwebsite.nsf/p9999/$FILE/1272.pdf] established the transitional administration in 1999, and its responsibilities included providing a peacekeeping force to maintain security and order; facilitating and coordinating relief assistance to East Timorese; facilitating emergency rehabilitation of physical infrastructure; administering East Timor and creating structures for sustainable governance and the rule of law; and assisting in the drafting of a new constitution and conducting elections. It was led by Brazil's Sergio Vieira de Mello (Special Representative of the Secretary-General for East Timor) and the Philippines's Lieutenant General Jaime de los Santos (Supreme Commander of the United Nations' Peacekeeping Force (PKF)).

A coalition of nations sent troops to support the peace keeping mission. The forces were led by Australia, which provided the largest contingent and the out of theatre base for operations, supported by New Zealand, who sent the second largest contingent, and took responsibility for the more volatile southern half of the main border, France, whose special forces joined the ANZACs on the first day, as well as contingents from Argentina, Brazil, Denmark, Fiji, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Portugal, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. While the United States supported the transition authority, it did so mainly by underwriting contracts to replace destroyed infrastructure and thus avoided a direct military involvement, allowing the ANZAC led force to take the lead. The United States did, however, deploy a contingent of American police officers to serve with the International Police.

UNTAET was established on October 25, 1999 and was abolished on May 20, 2002 with most functions passed to the East Timor government. The military and police forces were transferred to the newly created United Nations Mission of Support to East Timor (UNMISET).

Initial administrative structures

A National Consultative Council was established in December 1999 by UNTAET REG 1999/2, [ [http://www.un.org/peace/etimor/untaetR/etreg2.htm United Nations] ] and served as a forum for East Timorese political and community leaders to advise the Transitional Administrator and discuss policy issues. The Council had eleven Timorese members and four international members. A Transitional Judicial Service Commission was also established to ensure representation of East Timorese leaders in decisions affecting the judiciary in East Timor. The Commission was made up of three Timorese representatives and two international experts. [ [http://www.un.org/peace/etimor/untaetR/etreg3.htm United Nations] ] Security was initially provided by the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) but was assumed by UNTAET Peace-Keeping Force (PKF) in February 2000. Law and order was maintained by a United Nations Civilian Police Force (CIVPOL) until an East Timorese Police Service was established in April 2000.

First Transitional Administration

In July 2000 the membership of the National Consultative Council was expanded to 36 members including, one representative from each of the 13 districts of East Timor, and the body was renamed the National Council. [ [http://www.un.org/peace/etimor/untaetR/Reg2400E.pdf United Nations] ] All the members were now Timorese and represented the main political parties and religious communities of East Timor. The National Council became a legislature style body and had the right to debate any future regulations issued by UNTAET.

The following month an executive body, the Transitional Cabinet of East Timor, was formed comprising four Timorese members and four international members. [ [http://www.un.org/peace/etimor/untaetR/Reg2300E.pdf United Nations] ]

Progress was made in the development of a judicial system with a Prosecutor General's Office and a Defender Service established. District Courts and Court of Appeal were also established.

In September 2000, the Transitional Cabinet approves the establishment of an East Timor Defence Force. The force was formally established in February 2001 [ [http://www.un.org/peace/etimor/untaetR/reg20011.htm United Nations] ] and the guerrilla movement FALINTIL was officially disbanded with many of its members joining the new force.

A voter registration process was completed during this period and preparations were made for elections to a Constituent Assembly that would prepare East Timor for independence expected in 2002.

econd Transitional Administration

Elections for an 88 member Constituent Assembly [ [http://www.un.org/peace/etimor/untaetR/reg20012.pdf United Nations] ] were held on August 30 2001, the second anniversary of the autonomy referendum, which resulted in a plurality of seats for the FRETALIN party. The Assembly nominated a transitional Council of Ministers [ [http://www.un.org/peace/etimor/untaetR/2001-28.pdf United Nations] ] the following month. The Council of Ministers had 24 members and was led by transitional Chief Minister Mari Alkatiri.

The Constituent Assembly completed work on a draft constitution and this was promulgated in March 2002, [ [http://www.constitution.org/cons/east_timor/constitution-eng.htm constitution.org] ] the Assembly would serve as the parliament of East Timor following independence.

Presidential elections were held in April in which Xanana Gusmao was elected president of a future independent East Timor.

East Timor became an independent state on May 20 2002.

Post Independence

UNTAET was wound up upon East Timorese independence but a United Nations presence in East Timor would continue through a newly established The United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET).

ee also

* International Force for East Timor
* Timeline of UN peacekeeping missions
* UNTAET Crime Scene Detachment
* United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, a similar arrangement for Kosovo


External links

* [http://www.un.org/peace/etimor/etimor.htm Archived official website]
* [http://www.un.org/peace/etimor/Untaetchrono.html The United Nations and East Timor - A Chronology]
* [http://www.un.org/peace/etimor/UntaetB.htm UNTAET Mission Summary]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20010803092021/www.gov.east-timor.org/english.html Archived web-site of first Transitional Administration]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20020123122805/http://www.gov.east-timor.org/ Archived web-site of second Transitional Administration]

Further reading

* cite journal
last = Goldstone
first = Anthony
year = 2004
title = UNTAET with Hindsight: The Peculiarities of Politics in an Incomplete State
journal = Global Governance
pages = 83–98

* cite journal
last = Martin
first = Ian
coauthors = Alexander Mayer-Rieckh
year = 2005
month = Spring
title = The United Nations and East Timor: From Self-Determination to State-Building
journal = International Peacekeeping
volume = 12
issue = 1
pages = 125–145
doi = 10.1080/1353331042000286595

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