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Human Rights Commissioner Nooke leaves for Indonesia and Timor-Leste

09.02.2009 - Press release

Günter Nooke, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, leaves today (9 February) on a ten-day trip to Indonesia and Timor-Leste (9-20 February).

In Indonesia the Commissioner will first hold talks in Jakarta with representatives of the Government, the Constitutional Court, the National Human Rights Commission and non-governmental organizations. The main focus of the talks will be the human rights situation in Indonesia as well as developments on Papua. Following up his visit last year to Batam to attend a conference of the United Evangelical Mission, Mr Nooke is also due to meet religious leaders to find out more about relations between the country's different religious communities. He is also planning to meet Mrs Suciwati, the widow of the prominent human rights defender Munir.

The next leg of his trip will take the Commissioner to Indonesia's Aceh Province to see for himself how the reconciliation process there is faring in the run-up to the regional and general elections to be held on 9 April. Large parts of the Province were devastated by the December 2004 tsunami and the Commissioner wants to see how the reconstruction work is going ahead. In addition to the considerable sums raised by private donors, the Federal Government made available a total of 500 million euro for post-tsunami reconstruction, including 243 million euro for Aceh Province alone.

The last leg of his trip will take the Commissioner to Timor-Leste, where he will meet Prime Minister Gusmao and other government officials as well as parliamentarians and representatives of the churches. The main focus of the talks will be the efforts to stabilize the country, which since independence in 2002 has experienced repeated crises. Günter Nooke will also be briefed on Germany's development cooperation activities in Timor-Leste, which have concentrated on rural development and maritime transport to date, but which in future will give greater priority also to crisis prevention.

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