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|Saturday, December 09, 2000, updated at 17:33(GMT+8)|
UN General Assembly President to Visit East TimorUN General Assembly President Harri Holkeri will visit East Timor early next year to get first-hand knowledge about the territory, he announced in New York Friday.
"The purpose of my visit is to familiarize myself with the situation in East Timor and with the work of United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET)," he told an assembly session marking the 40 anniversary of the adoption of a declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples.
UNTAET, established in October 1999, is helping East Timor transit to independence after a UN-sponsored direct vote two months before.
Following a visit to East Timor in November, a UN Security Council mission concluded that strong international presence in the territory is needed to give it financial, technical and security assistance.
Echoing the view, UNTAET chief Sergio Vieira de Mello said that even long after its independence, due to happen in the latter half of 2001, East Timor still needs UN protection and financial support.
East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, was integrated with Indonesia in 1976. Despite the fact that the territory has already exercised its right to self-determination and chosen the path to independence, it is still included in the UN list of 17 non-self- governing territories to which the declaration applies.
The UN General Assembly adopted the declaration in 1960, proclaiming the necessity of bringing colonialism in all its forms and manifestations to a speedy and unconditional end.
The assembly will "continue to give its full attention" to these territories, Holkeri said.
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