Mon, 29 Aug 1994

UN rights body drops E. Timor resolution

JAKARTA (JP): For the first time ever, a United Nations sub- commission on human rights rejected a draft resolution on East Timor, the Antara news agency reported.

The UN's Human Rights sub-commission against discrimination and the protection of minorities in Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday by secret ballot failed to adopt a resolution which would again subject Indonesia to criticism towards the integration of East Timor into the Republic.

"We are happy to be able to foil the attempts of anti- Indonesian groups," said Soemadi D.M. Brotodiningrat, the head of the Indonesian delegation, in Geneva following the vote.

The resolution titled Situation on East Timor actually resulted in a draw with 11 for and 11 against.

"According to the rules, if a ballot ends in a draw then the draft resolution cannot be adopted," Soemadi said at the end of the sub-commission's 46th session.

The UN Human Rights Commission in its annual meeting has regularly criticized Indonesia for alleged abuses in East Timor.

However a fervent diplomatic campaign has succeeded in toning down the Commission's attitude towards the issue of Indonesia's youngest province.

Soemadi revealed that this year's resolution was sponsored by a British representative and supported by representatives from France and the United States.

Soemadi also said the various Non-Governmental Organizations and the head of the East Timor independence movement overseas, Ramos Horta, also played a troublesome role in facilitating the whole affair.

Victory was twice as sweet in Geneva as another unfavorable resolution on Indonesia was also rejected. The resolution which touches on the issues of Aceh, Maluku and Irian Jaya separatist movements was defeated by a clear margin of 14 to seven.

The Antara report did not say which countries initiated the two resolutions against Indonesia.

Evaluating his recent diplomatic success, Soemadi said it signified a positive step forward and contributes to the tripartite talks sponsored by UN Secretary General Boutros- Boutros Ghali between Portuguese and Indonesian foreign ministers early next year.(mds)