Last week the Timor-Leste Fragility Assessment Workshop held in the Ministry of Finance received a number of special visitors. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, His Excellency Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão and Chair of the g7+, Timor-Leste’s Minister of Finance Her Excellency Emilia Pires, all spoke about the global and local importance of the g7+, the New Deal and pathways to resilience for conflict-affected countries.
Also present at the meeting were the Director-General of UNESCO Madam Irena Bokovana, the Special Envoy of the United Nations for Global Education, former UK Prime Minister Mr. Gordon Brown, members of Government, a wide range of participants from the Fragility Assessment process and the Timor-Leste Fragility Assessment Team led by Mr. Félix Piedade.
The g7+ group of 17 conflict-affected countries has played the leading role in shaping the New Deal, working with the support of development partners, international organizations and institutions. Their goal: to create an innovative aid architecture outlining a new way of engaging in conflict-affected states to accelerate aid effectiveness and sustainable development. At the forefront is country owned and country-led transitions to building resilient States. Along with six other g7+ countries Timor-Leste is piloting the implementation of the New Deal with its three interconnected founding principles: the Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals, FOCUS and TRUST. The Fragility Assessment, a country-led assessment on the causes and features of fragility and sources of resilience, is the first part of the FOCUS principle. Sierra Leone has recently completed its assessment process; South Sudan and Timor-Leste are well underway.
Minister of Finance, Her Excellency Emília Pires opened the meeting by describing the journey of Timor- Leste from fragility to resilience noting “Timor-Leste, in many ways, has lived the New Deal. We have spent the last decade with a primary focus on peacebuilding and because of it, we now enjoy peace and stability.
Now, our primary focus shift is to Statebuilding and over the next two decades implementing One Plan, One Vision which is our Strategic Development Plan (SDP).”
The Fragility assessment, she explained “allows us to identify any factor in potential derailment – to address, neutralize and act to ensure we stay on course. If we know where we were, where we are now and where we want to be, then we have the key to success.” The Minister of Finance then presented a summary of the preliminary findings of Timor-Leste’s Assessment.
Prime Minister, His Excellency Xanana Gusmão began his speech by thanking Mr. Ban Ki-moon, telling the gathering: “With all the important responsibilities of the Secretary-General, he has proved to be a true champion of developing and fragile nations.” The Prime Minister, who has had a close bond and deep commitment to the g7+ since it’s inception, noted: “The g7+ formed because we recognized that many fragile States face common issues, and have common concerns, about development assistance – but there was no mechanism to discuss these matters independently of donors and development agencies.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was then invited to close the meeting. He used the opportunity to underline that “the New Deal is a significant – and welcome – contribution to a more equitable and productive partnership between fragile states and their development partners.” He continued by stressing, “At the core of the New Deal is mutual accountability” and strongly urged the g7+ “to keep pressure on your partners, bilaterally and at international forums, including the United Nations and the International Dialogue.” As he concluded his speech, Mr. Ban Ki-moon pointed out that the United Nations Development Group has endorsed the New Deal and pledged that “the United Nations will play its part.”
Spokesperson for the V Constitutional Government, Ágio Pereira noted “On behalf of the Government of Timor-Leste and our People, we were truly honored and humbled by the support the UN Secretary-General and his delegation showed during his visit and the kind words expressed in his many appearances and speeches. The visit will always be remembered as a special one at this time in our young nation’s history.” ENDS
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