Security Council starts process for East Timor's admission to UN

Security Council starts process for East Timor's admission to UN

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has circulated a letter from the Democratic Republic of East Timor, which gained independence earlier this week, requesting membership in the United Nations, setting in motion the process of enabling the new nation to join the world body later this year.

The letter, signed by both Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri and President Xanana Gusmão, was forwarded to the Security Council and the General Assembly. It requests that East Timor be admitted as a new member during the last week of September after the Assembly’s next session, fifty-seventh, gets under way.

According to the text of a declaration enclosed with the letter, which was released today at UN Headquarters in New York, East Timor "accepts the obligations contained in the Charter of the United Nations and solemnly undertakes to fulfil them."

The Security Council met behind closed doors today to consider the application. According to past practice, the Council will refer the matter to its Committee on Admission of New Members, which will then make a recommendation to the full UN Assembly.