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Peacekeeping in East Timor: UNTAET (United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor)

Fact sheet released by the Bureau of International Organization Affairs
U.S. Department of State, March 30, 2000

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Key Dates

Staffing

 

Authorized

Actual (as of 2/29/00)

   

Total

U.S.

Troops

8,950

6,837

0

Observers

200

193

3

Police

1,640

652

41

Financing (Peacekeeping assessments and voluntary contributions)

 

Total UN Cost

U.S. assessment (at 25%)

FY 1999

0

0

FY 2000*

$788 million

$197 million

FY 2001 estimate

$744 million

$186 million

* The Administration has made a supplemental budget request for FY 2000 for CIPA of $107 million, including $16 million for UNTAET.

Mandate

UNTAET provides an interim civil administration in the territory of East Timor. Its responsibilities include: replacing Australian-led multi-national force (INTERFET) with 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 conduct elections.

U.S. Interests

The U.S. has critical security, political, financial, and economic/commercial interests in Indonesia. Indonesia's size and location, population of 220 million (fourth largest in the world), and natural resources (notably oil and gas) give it broad strategic value. Indonesia is undergoing a transition from the authoritarianism of the Suharto era to a more democratic society. The decision in October by the newly-elected National Assembly (MPR) to relinquish Indonesia's claim to East Timor and the democratic selection of a new President and Vice-President are key steps in that direction. It is in our interest to see the Indonesian government complete this transition as well as to support the transition of East Timor to an independent state. We also want to support our close ally Australia.

[end of document]

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