31 August 2001



NEW YORK, 30 August (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of today’s message from Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the people of East Timor:

I congratulate you on the success of today's Constituent Assembly elections.

The level of popular participation in the vote proved exceptionally high, an estimated 93 per cent, which is far greater, in fact, than that of most democratic nations. I commend the spirit of peace, maturity and tolerance shown by each and every one of you and by all political parties -- both throughout the campaign period and at the polls. It provides a glowing example to the world community.

Over the past two years, your unique determination has been the catalyst for all the support that the United Nations, its agencies, non-governmental organizations and the international community have given East Timor in reviving lives and livelihoods and in re-establishing the institutions of government. The conviction which you have shown in embracing democracy only strengthens our commitment to your cause, as you now set about drafting your first Constitution that will soon lead to independence.

The United Nations stands with you in the challenging months that follow as you embark upon the complex second phase in the establishment of government institutions and an economic structure that are sustainable well into the future.

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