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Resolution 1272

The situation in East Timor


S/RES/1272 (1999)
25 October 1999
RESOLUTION 1272 (1999)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 4057th meeting,
on 25 October 1999
The Security Council,
Recalling its previous resolutions and the statements of its President on
the situation in East Timor, in particular resolutions 384 (1975) of
22 December 1975, 389 (1976) of 22 April 1976, 1236 (1999) of 7 May 1999,
1246 (1999) of 11 June 1999, 1262 (1999) of 27 August 1999 and 1264 (1999) of
15 September 1999,
Recalling also the Agreement between Indonesia and Portugal on the question
of East Timor of 5 May 1999 and the Agreements between the United Nations and
the Governments of Indonesia and Portugal of the same date regarding the
modalities for the popular consultation of the East Timorese through a direct
ballot and security arrangements (S/1999/513, annexes I to III),
Reiterating its welcome for the successful conduct of the popular
consultation of the East Timorese people of 30 August 1999, and taking note of
its outcome through which the East Timorese people expressed their clear wish to
begin a process of transition under the authority of the United Nations towards
independence, which it regards as an accurate reflection of the views of the
East Timorese people,
Welcoming the decision of the Indonesian People’s Consultative Assembly on
19 October 1999 concerning East Timor,
Stressing the importance of reconciliation among the East Timorese people,
Commending the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) for the
admirable courage and determination shown in the implementation of its mandate,
Welcoming the deployment of a multinational force to East Timor pursuant to
resolution 1264 (1999), and recognizing the importance of continued cooperation
between the Government of Indonesia and the multinational force in this regard,
Noting the report of the Secretary-General of 4 October 1999 (S/1999/1024),
99-31277 (E) /...
S/RES/1272 (1999)
Page 2
Noting with satisfaction the successful outcome of the trilateral meeting
held on 28 September 1999, as outlined in the report of the Secretary-General,
Deeply concerned by the grave humanitarian situation resulting from
violence in East Timor and the large-scale displacement and relocation of East
Timorese civilians, including large numbers of women and children,
Reaffirming the need for all parties to ensure that the rights of refugees
and displaced persons are protected, and that they are able to return
voluntarily in safety and security to their homes,
Reaffirming respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of
Noting the importance of ensuring the security of the boundaries of
East Timor, and noting in this regard the expressed intention of the Indonesian
authorities to cooperate with the multinational force deployed pursuant to
resolution 1264 (1999) and with the United Nations Transitional Administration
in East Timor,
Expressing its concern at reports indicating that systematic, widespread
and flagrant violations of international humanitarian and human rights law have
been committed in East Timor, stressing that persons committing such violations
bear individual responsibility, and calling on all parties to cooperate with
investigations into these reports,
Recalling the relevant principles contained in the Convention on the Safety
of United Nations and Associated Personnel adopted on 9 December 1994,
Determining that the continuing situation in East Timor constitutes a
threat to peace and security,
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
1. Decides to establish, in accordance with the report of the Secretary-
General, a United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET),
which will be endowed with overall responsibility for the administration of East
Timor and will be empowered to exercise all legislative and executive authority,
including the administration of justice;
2. Decides also that the mandate of UNTAET shall consist of the following
(a) To provide security and maintain law and order throughout the
territory of East Timor;
(b) To establish an effective administration;
(c) To assist in the development of civil and social services;
(d) To ensure the coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance,
rehabilitation and development assistance;
S/RES/1272 (1999)
Page 3
(e) To support capacity-building for self-government;
(f) To assist in the establishment of conditions for sustainable
3. Decides further that UNTAET will have objectives and a structure along
the lines set out in part IV of the report of the Secretary-General, and in
particular that its main components will be:
(a) A governance and public administration component, including an
international police element with a strength of up to 1,640 officers;
(b) A humanitarian assistance and emergency rehabilitation component;
(c) A military component, with a strength of up to 8,950 troops and up to
200 military observers;
4. Authorizes UNTAET to take all necessary measures to fulfil its
5. Recognizes that, in developing and performing its functions under its
mandate, UNTAET will need to draw on the expertise and capacity of Member
States, United Nations agencies and other international organizations, including
the international financial institutions;
6. Welcomes the intention of the Secretary-General to appoint a Special
Representative who, as the Transitional Administrator, will be responsible for
all aspects of the United Nations work in East Timor and will have the power to
enact new laws and regulations and to amend, suspend or repeal existing ones;
7. Stresses the importance of cooperation between Indonesia, Portugal and
UNTAET in the implementation of this resolution;
8. Stresses the need for UNTAET to consult and cooperate closely with the
East Timorese people in order to carry out its mandate effectively with a view
to the development of local democratic institutions, including an independent
East Timorese human rights institution, and the transfer to these institutions
of its administrative and public service functions;
9. Requests UNTAET and the multinational force deployed pursuant to
resolution 1264 (1999) to cooperate closely with each other, with a view also to
the replacement as soon as possible of the multinational force by the military
component of UNTAET, as notified by the Secretary-General having consulted the
leadership of the multinational force, taking into account conditions on the
10. Reiterates the urgent need for coordinated humanitarian and
reconstruction assistance, and calls upon all parties to cooperate with
humanitarian and human rights organizations so as to ensure their safety, the
protection of civilians, in particular children, the safe return of refugees and
displaced persons and the effective delivery of humanitarian aid;
S/RES/1272 (1999)
Page 4
11. Welcomes the commitment of the Indonesian authorities to allow the
refugees and displaced persons in West Timor and elsewhere in Indonesia to
choose whether to return to East Timor, remain where they are or be resettled in
other parts of Indonesia, and stresses the importance of allowing full, safe and
unimpeded access by humanitarian organizations in carrying out their work;
12. Stresses that it is the responsibility of the Indonesian authorities
to take immediate and effective measures to ensure the safe return of refugees
in West Timor and other parts of Indonesia to East Timor, the security of
refugees, and the civilian and humanitarian character of refugee camps and
settlements, in particular by curbing the violent and intimidatory activities of
the militias there;
13. Welcomes the intention of the Secretary-General to establish a Trust
Fund available for, inter alia, the rehabilitation of essential infrastructure,
including the building of basic institutions, the functioning of public services
and utilities, and the salaries of local civil servants;
14. Encourages Member States and international agencies and organizations
to provide personnel, equipment and other resources to UNTAET as requested by
the Secretary-General, including for the building of basic institutions and
capacity, and stresses the need for the closest possible coordination of these
15. Underlines the importance of including in UNTAET personnel with
appropriate training in international humanitarian, human rights and refugee
law, including child and gender-related provisions, negotiation and
communication skills, cultural awareness and civilian-military coordination;
16. Condemns all violence and acts in support of violence in East Timor,
calls for their immediate end, and demands that those responsible for such
violence be brought to justice;
17. Decides to establish UNTAET for an initial period until
31 January 2001;
18. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council closely and
regularly informed of progress towards the implementation of this resolution,
including, in particular, with regard to the deployment of UNTAET and possible
future reductions of its military component if the situation in East Timor
improves, and to submit a report within three months of the date of adoption of
this resolution and every six months thereafter;
19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

The situation in East Timor
Related with resolutions
384 389 1236 1246 1262 1264
Quoted in resolutions
1319 1338 1392 1410
Security Council Composition