< Back to H.R. 5253 (106th Congress, 1999–2000)

Text of the East Timor Transition to Independence Act of 2000

This bill was introduced on September 21, 2000, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Sep 21, 2000 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 5253 IH

106th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5253

To provide assistance to East Timor to facilitate the transition of East Timor to an independent nation, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 21, 2000

Mr. GEJDENSON (for himself, Mr. LANTOS, Mrs. LOWEY, Ms. PELOSI, Mr. ACKERMAN, Mr. MCGOVERN, Mr. EVANS, Mr. WEXLER, Mr. KUCINICH, Mr. BERMAN, Mr. CAPUANO, Mr. BLUMENAUER, Mr. HALL of Ohio, Mr. SMITH of New Jersey, Mr. WEYGAND, Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA, Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, and Mr. HOEFFEL) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations, and in addition to the Committees on Banking and Financial Services, and Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To provide assistance to East Timor to facilitate the transition of East Timor to an independent nation, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘East Timor Transition to Independence Act of 2000’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) On August 30, 1999, the East Timorese people voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Indonesia in elections organized by the United Nations Assistance Mission in East Timor (UNAMET). Pro-integration militias, with the support of the Indonesian military, attempted to prevent then retaliated against this vote by launching a campaign of terror and violence. As a result, over 500,000 people, or approximately 2/3 of the population, were displaced. Hundreds were murdered, and many were raped.

      (2) The violent campaign devastated East Timor’s infrastructure, including its schools, water and power supplies, and transportation and communications systems. The militias destroyed or severely damaged 60 to 80 percent of public and private property across East Timor. Virtually all vestiges of government, public services (including sanitation), and public security in East Timor also collapsed.

      (3) The International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) entered East Timor in September 1999 and successfully restored order. INTERFET was organized and led by Australia, with the active participation of the Philippines, South Korea, New Zealand, and Thailand.

      (4) On October 25, 1999, the United Nations Security Council established a new mandate for its operations in East Timor. The United Nations Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET), which replaced UNAMET, was directed to provide overall administration of East Timor, guide the people of East Timor in the establishment of a new democratic government, and maintain security and order.

      (5) The leadership of UNTAET and the East Timorese leadership currently anticipate that East Timor will become an independent nation in mid- to late-2001.

      (6) East Timor is one of the poorest places in Asia. A large percentage of the population live below the poverty line, only 20 percent of East Timor’s population is literate, most of East Timor’s people remain unemployed, the annual per capita Gross National Product is $340, and life expectancy is only 56 years.

      (7) The World Bank and the United Nations have estimated that it will require $300,000,000 in development assistance over the next three years in order to meet East Timor’s basic development needs. Donor countries, including the United States, have pledged a total of $173,000,000 to the Trust Fund established by the World Bank to manage the distribution of donor funds in East Timor, and $37,000,000 to the Trust Fund of UNTAET.

      (8) The United States has been a leading contributor to the development of East Timor since 1994. As a result of the United States Agency for International Development’s funding a successful coffee cooperative project, small farmers have been able to enter the cash economy and to increase the amount of money earned from the coffee they grow.

      (9) The Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2000, provided $25,000,000 for East Timor. Utilizing these funds, the United States Agency for International Development has helped to restart the coffee cooperative project after it ceased to operate during the militia rampage, funded job creation programs for East Timorese, contributed to UNTAET and to the World Bank Trust Fund for East Timor, supported community organizations, and funded forensics, human rights, independent media, and judicial development projects.

SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS RELATING TO SUPPORT FOR EAST TIMOR.

    It is the sense of Congress that the United States--

      (1) should support formation of broad-based democracy in East Timor, and help lay the groundwork for East Timor’s economic recovery, the strengthening of East Timor’s security, and the promotion of East Timor’s ability to play a positive role in the Asia-Pacific region and in international organizations.

      (2) should continue to support the provision of bilateral and multilateral assistance to East Timor, with such assistance targeted to creation of jobs, promotion of civil society, preparation for East Timor’s first elections, development of East Timor’s educational and health care systems, and support for East Timor’s judicial system and the truth and reconciliation process;

      (3) should begin to lay the groundwork, prior to East Timor’s independence, for an equitable future trade and investment relationship with East Timor, including trade and investment promotion activities to be carried out by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Trade and Development Agency, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States;

      (4) should officially open a diplomatic mission in East Timor as soon as possible to ensure that the United States can continue to play a leadership role

in building East Timor’s political and economic future; and

      (5) should support the efforts by the United Nations to ensure justice and accountability related to past atrocities in East Timor through United Nations investigations, United Nations support for the development of East Timor’s judicial system, and the possible establishment of an international tribunal for East Timor.

SEC. 4. BILATERAL ASSISTANCE.

    (a) AUTHORIZATION- The President, acting through the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, is authorized and encouraged to provide assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.) and other applicable laws to support the transition to democracy and self-government in East Timor.

    (b) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS- Assistance provided pursuant to subsection (a)--

      (1) shall support the development of civil society, including nongovernmental organizations in East Timor;

      (2) shall promote the development of an independent news media;

      (3) shall support job creation and economic development in East Timor, including support for microenterprise programs and technical education, as well as environmental protection and education programs;

      (4) shall fund efforts to promote reconciliation, conflict resolution, and prevention of further conflict with respect to East Timor, including establishing accountability for past gross human rights violations;

      (5) shall support the repatriation and reintegration of refugees into East Timor; and

      (6) shall support political party development, voter education, voter registration and other activities in support of free and fair elections in East Timor.

    (c) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $25,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2001, 2002, and 2003.

      (2) AVAILABILITY- Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations under paragraph (1) are authorized to remain available until expended.

SEC. 5. MULTILATERAL ASSISTANCE.

    The President shall instruct the United States executive director at each international financial institution to which the United States is a member, in particular the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Asian Development Bank, to use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States to ensure that the institution provides timely and appropriate resources to help East Timor to continue to develop its economy, meet basic human needs, and evolve toward economic self-sufficiency, pluralism, and democracy.

SEC. 6. PEACE CORPS ASSISTANCE.

    (a) AUTHORIZATION- The President, acting through the Director of the Peace Corps, is authorized to carry out a program in East Timor under the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2501 et seq.) which shall include the use of Peace Corps volunteers--

      (1) to provide English language and other technical training for individuals in East Timor as well as other activities which promote education, economic development, and economic self-sufficiency; and

      (2) to quickly address immediate assistance needs in East Timor using the Peace Corps Crisis Corps, to the extent practicable.

    (b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- In addition to amounts otherwise available to carry out subsection (a), there are authorized to be appropriated $2,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2001, 2002, and 2003 to carry out such subsection.

      (2) AVAILABILITY- Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations under paragraph (1) are authorized to remain available until expended.

SEC. 7. TRADE AND INVESTMENT ASSISTANCE.

    (a) OPIC- Beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall initiate negotiations with the United Nations Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET), the National Council of East Timor, and the government of East Timor (after independence for East Timor)--

      (1) to apply to East Timor the existing agreement between the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and Indonesia, or

      (2) to enter into a new agreement authorizing the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to carry out programs with respect to East Timor,

    in order to expand United States investment in East Timor.

    (b) TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Director of the Trade and Development Agency is authorized to carry out projects in East Timor under section 661 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2421).

      (2) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS-

        (A) IN GENERAL- There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $1,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2001, 2002, and 2003.

        (B) AVAILABILITY- Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations under subparagraph (A) are authorized to remain available until expended.

    (c) EXPORT-IMPORT BANK- The Export-Import Bank of the United States shall expand its activities in connection with exports to East Timor.

SEC. 8. GENERALIZED SYSTEM OF PREFERENCES.

    (a) SENSE OF CONGRESS- It is the sense of Congress that the President should encourage the United Nations Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET), in close consultation with the National Council of East Timor, to seek to become eligible for duty-free treatment under title V of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2461 et seq.; relating to generalized system of preferences).

    (b) TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE- The United States Trade Representative and the Commissioner of the United States Customs Service are authorized to provide technical assistance to UNTAET, the National Council of East Timor, and the government of East Timor (after independence for East Timor) in order to assist East Timor to become eligible for duty-free treatment under title V of the Trade Act of 1974.

SEC. 9. BILATERAL INVESTMENT TREATY.

    It is the sense of the Congress that the President should seek to enter into a bilateral investment treaty with the United Nations Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET), in close consultation with the National Council of East Timor, in order to establish a more stable legal framework for United States investment in East Timor.

SEC. 10. SCHOLARSHIPS FOR EAST TIMORESE STUDENTS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of State, $1,000,000 for the fiscal year 2002 and $1,000,000 for the fiscal year 2003 to carry out an East Timorese scholarship program under the authorities of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948, the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Reorganization Plan Number 2 of 1977, and the National Endowment for Democracy Act. The Department of State shall make every effort to identify and provide scholarships and other support to East Timorese students interested in pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies at institutions of higher education in the United States.

SEC. 11. PLAN FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF DIPLOMATIC FACILITIES IN EAST TIMOR.

    The Secretary of State shall develop a detailed plan for the official establishment of a diplomatic mission in Dili, East Timor.

SEC. 12. SECURITY ASSISTANCE FOR EAST TIMOR.

    (a) AUTHORIZATION- Beginning on and after the date on which the President transmits to the Congress a certification described in subsection (b), the President is authorized--

      (1) to transfer excess defense articles under section 516 of such Act (22 U.S.C. 2321j) to East Timor in accordance with such section; and

      (2) to provide military education and training under chapter 5 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2347 et seq.) for the armed forces of East Timor in accordance with such chapter.

    (b) CERTIFICATION- A certification described in this subsection is a certification that--

      (1) East Timor has established an independent armed forces; and

      (2) the assistance proposed to be provided pursuant to subsection (a)--

        (A) is in the national security interests of the United States; and

        (B) will promote both human rights in East Timor and the professionalization of the armed forces of East Timor.

SEC. 13. REPORTING REQUIREMENT.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Not later than three months after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every six months thereafter until January 1, 2004, the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, the Secretary of the Treasury, the United States Trade Representative, the Secretary of Commerce, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Director of the Trade and Development Agency, the President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and the Director of the Peace Corps, shall prepare and transmit to the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report that contains the information described in subsection (b).

    (b) INFORMATION- The report shall include--

      (1) significant developments in United States relations with East Timor;

      (2) developments in East Timor’s political and economic situation in the period covered by the report, including an evaluation of any elections occurring in East Timor during this period and the refugee reintegration process in East Timor;

      (3) activities undertaken in East Timor by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Asian Development Bank, and an evaluation of the effectiveness of these activities;

      (4) the status of United States trade and investment relations with East Timor, including a detailed analysis of any trade and investment-related activity supported by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and the Trade and Development Agency during the period of time since the previous report and the status of any negotiations with the United Nations Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET) or East Timor to facilitate the operation of the United States trade agencies in East Timor;

      (5) the nature and extent of United States-East Timor cultural, education, scientific, and academic exchanges, both official and unofficial, and any Peace Corps activities;

      (6) with respect to the first report, a detailed plan for the establishment of diplomatic facilities in East Timor in accordance with section 11, which may be submitted in classified or unclassified form, and including a timetable for the official opening of a facility in Dili, the personnel requirements for the mission, the estimated costs for establishing the facility, and its security requirements; and

      (7) with respect to the first report, a 3-year plan for United States foreign assistance to East Timor in accordance with section 4, prepared by the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, which outlines the goals for United States foreign assistance to East Timor during this 3-year period, and in subsequent reports, describes in detail the expenditure of United States bilateral foreign assistance during the period covered by the report.