Development and reconciliation: G�nter Nooke in In

Development and reconciliation: Günter Nooke in Indonesia and Timor-Leste

Günter Nooke, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, visited Indonesia and Timor-Leste from 9 to 20 February 2009. Nooke spoke with representatives of the government and civil society in Jakarta about the human rights situation and the coexistence of different religions in Indonesia. He acknowledged the progress the Indonesian government had made in protecting human rights, but encouraged his partners at the same time to take further steps and specifically called for an improvement of the situation in Papua.

Post-tsunami reconstruction in Aceh

In Aceh the Human Rights Commissioner was briefed on the status of the reconstruction projects comprehensively supported by Germany, as well as on the political situation in the run-up to the regional and national parliamentary elections planned for 9 April. The tsunami of 26 December 2004 had a severe impact on Aceh province; tens of thousands of people died and the province's infrastructure was largely destroyed.

Visit to Timor-Leste

Nooke's visit to Timor-Leste at the end of his trip was met with great interest. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao thoroughly explained the government's efforts to stabilize and develop the country to Nooke and expressed his gratitude for the support Germany has provided so far. Since 1999 Germany has supported the development of the war-torn Timor-Leste with a total of 35.1 million euro.

The Future needs a memory

During talks Nooke stressed the importance of coming to terms with the past for the long-term social stability of Timor-Leste. Immediately after the country gained independence from Indonesia in 2002, an independent truth and reconciliation commission was established which was active until 2005.