Archives and transitional justice

Medieval Bern, the beautiful capital of Switzerland.

Medieval Bern, the beautiful capital of Switzerland.

A conference I attended in Switzerland in May 2013 made me more aware than ever of the importance of archives in Timor-Leste. Participants from Morocco, South Africa, Argentina, the former Yugoslavia and others explained how records were being preserved and made accessible in their countries to assist victims, combat impunity and promote human rights.

In my presentation on Timor-Leste I explained that a good start has been made by CAVR and others but that national archival legislation, cooperation between existing archives, professionalisation of staff, and the establishment of an Institute of Memory are needed to make further progress.

The visit was also an opportunity to discuss Timor-Leste with the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs and the UN and to visit Timor-Leste’s Permanent Mission to the UN.

Further information:
My report on meetings in Switzerland, May 2013