Timorese meet UN secretary-general

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Timorese meet UN secretary-general

By Chris Slee

MELBOURNE — Some 100 East Timorese and members of the Australia-East Timor Association rallied outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel on April 27. Inside, United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali was meeting representatives of non-government organisations.

Two members of Melbourne's East Timorese community were able to attend the meeting with Boutros-Ghali. They were Abel Guterres, the president of the East Timor Relief Association, and Emilia Pires of the Timorese Association of Victoria.

They asked Boutros-Ghali to open a permanent UN human rights office in Dili to investigate abuses and enable the UN Human Rights Commission to monitor the situation in East Timor.

Boutros-Ghali said this would depend on the amount of support amongst UN member countries for the proposal. Abel Guterres later commented that this highlighted the need to put pressure on the Australian government to support the idea.