A wide range of international donors have pledged or already committed resources to fund the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation, whose Selection Panel is currently searching for Commissioners to help foster the reconciliation process in East Timor. 

Representatives of missions and donor agencies from Japan, Australia, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among others, yesterday met with members of the Commission’s Interim Office in Dili to discuss a funding proposal put to donors last week. 

A total of US $3.8 million is sought for the Commission for the duration of its life, which is expected to be 2-3 years.  Yesterday’s discussion focused on a request for start up funds of US $1.4 million which will be used for the Interim Office’s immediate priorities, which include salaries for Commissioners, the repair and equipping of offices, the employment and training of senior staff, and community education.

A Selection Panel for the Commission is in the process of consulting with communities throughout East Timor on who should be nominated to sit on the Commission.  The panel is soliciting nominations for 5-7 national commission posts and 25-30 district commission posts, and is scheduled to visit each of East Timor’s 13 districts before the October 31 nomination deadline. 

The Commission will ultimately undertake two primary functions.  It will establish a truth-seeking function inquiring into the pattern of human rights violations committed within the context of the political conflicts in East Timor between 1974-1999.  The Commission will also create a community reconciliation body to facilitate agreements between local communities and the perpetrators of non-serious crimes and non-criminal acts committed over the same period.

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