Top UN rights official announces technical cooperation programme for East Timor

Top UN rights official announces technical cooperation programme for East Timor

Mary Robinson
Arriving in East Timor today, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, announced that her Office was preparing to launch a two-year programme of human rights technical coordination and cooperation with the Government.

The High Commissioner's announcement came in an address to the East Timor parliament, where she congratulated the members for their efforts to make laws on behalf of the people. Mrs. Robinson also said that she understood that the Government was considering acceding to the core international human rights treaties and may present them on 27 September when the country becomes a member of the United Nations.

"This momentous initiative will undoubtedly reinforce the rebuilding process of East Timor and facilitate the incorporation of human rights into the foundation of the country's development," she said.

Earlier Friday, the High Commissioner began her three-day visit with a meeting with families of the disappeared, following by talks with the Advisor for the Prime Minister on Human Rights, Isabel Ferreira.

The High Commissioner also held different meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Ramos-Horta, President Xanana Gusmão, as well as the President of the National Parliament, Francisco Guterres.

Later, Mrs. Robinson signed a joint communiqué on human rights along with Mr. Ramos-Horta and the Chairperson of the Non-governmental Organization (NGO) Forum, Cecilio Caminha Freitas.