Resolution on the Nobel Peace Prize Awards

ROME COUNCIL, 21-22 January 1997

Considering that 7 December marked the 21st anniversary of the occupation of East Timor by the Indonesian army, which has caused the slaughter of one third of the Timorese population;

Considering that in spite of the international community's appeals to the Indonesian authorities to allow access to the territory of East Timor for impartial observers, United Nations humanitarian and assistance organisations, and independent journalists, an arbitrary climate of repression still exists in that non-autonomous territory;

Considering the Socialist International resolution of October 1993 in Lisbon, the Tokyo resolution of May 1994, the Manila Declaration of February 1995, and the General Congress Resolution of September 1996 in New York, concerning the human rights situation in the territory;

Noting that it is still necessary for the international community to maintain a vigilant attitude and to alert public opinion to the dramatic repression and intolerance suffered by the Timorese people, the Socialist International:

Expresses its satisfaction at the Nobel Committee's decision to award the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize to Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo and to José Ramos-Horta, who honour the cause of peace, justice, human rights, and the right to self-determination of the people of East Timor;

Congratulates the Nobel Peace Prize laureates for their continued efforts in support of the East Timorese cause, urging them to pursue their struggle to defend the legitimate rights of the people of East Timor, and to publicly denounce the atrocities perpetrated by the Indonesian authorities in the territory;

Appeals for a change of policy on the part of the Indonesian authorities towards a more constructive attitude of respect for the cultural, linguistic and religious rights of the people of East Timor, as well as towards a rapid improvement of the human rights situation in the territory.