Position Paper Essay, Research Paper
The conflict in the former Portuguese Southeast Asian colony of East Timor, illegally invaded and annexed by Indonesia in September 1975, continues to fester away. Indonesia’s suppression of legitimate East Timorese aspirations for respect of their human rights, including the right of self-determination, has been a cause for continued international tensions. The death toll in East Timor is approximately 250,000. The size of the death toll, combined with Indonesian policies that seem to be explicitly aimed at lowering and diluting the Timorese population have led to accusations stating that this is intentional genocide by the Indonesian regime.
The Indonesian military has established an intense and pervasive presence in East Timor. Weapons have been supplied to the military by many countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. The government of Singapore supports the removal of such weapons as fighter planes, bombers, missiles, helicopters, light tanks, armored personnel carriers, armored water cannons, Bailey bridges, Land Rovers, frigates, patrol boats, naval guns and firing systems. Such actions as reductions to the Indonesian Military Education and Training (IMET) program, an embargo on the sale of light weapons to Indonesia, and a suspension on the sale of certain types of heavy weapons is also supported.
The government of Singapore is giving their full support toward removing troops from East Timor. Not only will this cease the violence, it will also allow the process of self-determination to begin. In December of 1975 and April of 1976, the Security Council of the United Nations passed resolutions which demanded that “the Government of Indonesia withdraw all of its forces from the territory.” Although all United Nations members are bound to abide by Security Council resolutions, Indonesia has been in defiance of this rule for over twenty years. The government of Singapore is showing a willingness to work with the international community towards removing these troops.
Singapore fully believes that peace can not be solely established in East Timor with just the removal of the Indonesian military, but through the process of removing all weapons, and with the reductions of such programs as the IMET.
The Situation in Afghanistan
Singapore, as much of the global community, is concerned with the current crisis in Afghanistan. In August of 1998, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1193, which called for an immediate cease-fire, peace talks, elimination of aid, and the immediate release of any diplomats held by the Taliban. This Resolution has been refused by the Taliban to this date. Because of the many humanitarian issues involved, Singapore, as upholders of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance, believe that the Taliban’s restrictions are a direct violation of many basic human rights, such as freedom of religion. In addition, more economic and humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan is strongly recommended by the Republic of Singapore who encourages all members to support joint resolutions advocating such actions.
As the Taliban’s actions threaten to lead the war between Afghanistan and Iran, Singapore calls upon the Taliban government to answer all of Iran’s complaints honestly and to negotiate a settlement without preconditions to prevent further problems in the future.
The Kosovo Crisis
The government of Singapore is severely concerned with the violent actions which are taking place in Kosovo. On February 28, 1998, Serbian special police launched a brutal attack against the Albanians. From that day on, several massacres of innocent civilians have been committed.
Singapore supports the peace talks taking place in France, which give the international community an historic opportunity to create peace in Kosovo that provides the basis for long-term stability in the region. The government of Singapore will show a willingness to work within the international community to create a resolution in order to gain and retain peace.
The government of Singapore also believes that all Serbian forces should be removed from Kosovo. Removal of the forces will dramatically improve the security situation for international peace-keepers assigned there by removing the target of KLA attacks. The removal will also create an atmosphere of security in which the population of Kosovo can end its reliance on armed resistance. In exchange for the removal of Serb forces, Singapore also believes that the Kosovar Albanians must provide a guarantee of security to all remaining ethnic minorities, including Serbs.
Singapore believes that only a large force, such as NATO, will have the ability to stop killings or to enforce the most basic terms of the agreement entered into by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Only well-armed NATO forces with ample means and mandate to enforce the terms of the peace agreement can provide the necessary security on the ground in Kosovo to stop the killing. The government of Singapore will support the actions of this organization.
The Republic of Singapore is also willing to work within the international community on the issue of war criminals being set free. Singapore supports the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which investigates and prosecutes war crimes in Kosovo. The government of Singapore believes that the parties of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) should agree to co-operate immediately and fully with the tribunal pursuant to all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The parties must also agree to arrest and detain all persons indicted by the tribunal who reside or transit through any part of Serbia or the FRY.
The government of Singapore believes in world peace, and supports peace talks which help bring peace to such countries as Kosovo.