Preparatory Conference on Peace and Reconstruction in Aceh
On December 3, 2002, Japan, the United States, the European Union, and the World Bank co-chaired in Tokyo a Conference on Peace and Reconstruction in Aceh.
The co-chairs expressed their appreciation to the Government of Japan for the excellent logistical arrangements for this meeting, especially on such short notice.
Participants at today's meeting expressed their strong support for a peaceful resolution of the Aceh conflict and called upon the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) to continue their ongoing dialogue with a view toward concluding an agreement on cessation of hostilities on December 9, 2002.
During the meeting, representatives of the Government of Indonesia described the progress of dialogue and the government's plans for the reconstruction of Aceh. Representatives of civil society in Aceh spoke of their desire for peace, reconciliation and justice. The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and UN organizations jointly presented a preliminary assessment of the current situation in Aceh and the prerequisites for the restoration of sustainable economic growth.
Support for the Ongoing Dialogue and a Lasting Political Settlement
Delegates strongly supported the ongoing dialogue between the Government of Indonesia and the CAM, as facilitated by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. Delegates expressed the hope that the dialogue and the proposed Framework Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities will create a basis for a lasting settlement of the conflict.
Delegates noted that a cessation of hostilities is a necessary first step but will not be sustainable without concrete actions towards a fair and democratic election that would allow the people of Aceh to choose their leaders in 2004. Delegates urged both parties to the agreement to commit to its full and rapid implementation and to exercise maximum self-restraint.
Delegates were moved by the eloquent statements by civil society representatives who spoke of the urgency of completing the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and restoring a sense of security to the people of Aceh.
Support for the Monitoring Process
Success of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement will depend upon both parties' mutual commitment to peace and the development of a series of confidence building measures. Key among these is the tripartite monitoring process, whereby representatives of the Indonesian Government, the Free Aceh Movement, and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue would oversee adherence to the agreement.
Delegates discussed how the monitoring arrangements would be financed, and a number of donors expressed their commitment to provide financial support, together with the Government of Indonesia, for this purpose. The detailed budget for the monitoring arrangement is currently being prepared, and delegates expressed expectation of finalizing financing arrangements in the coming weeks. Delegates welcomed the commitment of the Governments of Thailand and the Philippines to contribute monitors to the program.
Support for Reconstruction and Development in Aceh
International agencies presented a preliminary assessment of the current social and financial situation in Aceh, and of the types of support, which will be required to restore growth, reduce poverty, build confidence and help ensure a sustainable peace. In addition to the monitoring efforts these include short-term humanitarian assistance, support for demobilization of combatants, quick impact community-driven investments, improved health and education facilities and longer-term infrastructure provision.
While no specific pledges were requested, participants at today's meeting expressed their clear commitment to provide assistance for social and physical reconstruction and for building the institutions required for just and sustainable development in Aceh.
Shortly after the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, a multi-agency mission will visit Aceh to carry out a preliminary assessment of needs. Several donors already have development funds committed to health, education, and infrastructure projects that have been delayed or frozen because of the violence. These can be quickly re-started. Community-based reconstruction and recovery programs for victims of the violence can also be expanded.
Participants noted that Law 18/2001 on Special Autonomy for Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) has already provided the provincial government with significant new financial resources in the form of revenue sharing. The Government of Indonesia emphasized that a long-term foundation for peace and reconstruction will require effective, transparent and accountable use of finds, whether from the Government of Indonesia or donors, and the rapid re-establishment of local government services to the people of Aceh. Participants echoed these remarks, noting that effective use of funds is more important than the amount of funding. Delegates also emphasized the importance of the strong involvement of civil society and local communities. This would help build confidence and trust, as well as promote efficient use of funds. Delegates noted that development must be conducted in a manner that provides for sustainable use and management of the environment and natural resources.
Delegates expressed the view that an effective system of justice, rule of law and respect for human rights is critical to successful development. Delegates noted that a trusted and professional legal system is especially important in post-conflict situations in order to establish trust in the system of governance. Donors offered to provide support for legal and governance reform.
Participants agreed to a process of coordination between bilateral and multilateral donors and the Government of Indonesia in which the CGI will play a central role. This will help to ensure that assistance goes to the people of Aceh as quickly as possible. Participants committed to convene a meeting shortly after the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement to initiate this process.
December 3, 2002
The Statement of the Government of Japan
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