The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Dr Dionísio da Costa Babo Soares and the Ambassador of the European Union Andrew Jacobs chaired the second Steering Committee of the cooperation partnership between the EU and Timor-Leste.
Dili, 18 October 2019 - The European Union and Timor-Leste held the second annual steering committee meeting to review progress in the implementation of EU-Timor Leste cooperation in the focal sectors of good governance and rural development, including nutrition, as well as support to civil society.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Dr Dionísio da Costa Babo Soares, in his capacity as National Authorising Officer (NAO) of the European Development Fund (EDF), and the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) Andrew Jacobs, chaired the second Steering Committee of the cooperation partnership between the EU and Timor-Leste. The meeting took place on 17 October at the Ministry of Finance in Dili. Representatives of the Timorese Government and Institutions, the Portuguese Ambassador José Pedro Machado Vieira and several implementing partners, UNICEF, ILO, GIZ, UNDP as well as Camões I.P attended the event.
The purpose of the Steering Committee meeting was to monitor and evaluate progress in the implementation of initiatives in the areas of good governance and decentralisation, rural development including nutrition funded by the European Development Fund (EDF) within the framework of the EU's National Indicative Programme for Timor-Leste. The consultation was also an important opportunity to share information on progress of the projects financed through the Multiannual Indicative Programmme PALOP-TL (Regional programme for Lusophone countries) and the Pacific Regional Indicative Programme, as well support for civil society and to strengthen human rights and democracy.
The results achieved by the EU funded programmes implemented in 2019 in Timor-Leste include:
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Dr Dionísio da Costa Babo Soares said: “I would like to emphasize that most of the European Development Fund financed projects are directly and indirectly supporting to the mentioned 5 programs of the 8th Constitutional government and in line with the National Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030. The government programs are aligned with the European Union’s global developmental objectives enshrined in the Cotonou Agreement as well as with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.”
Ambassador Andrew Jacobs said: "I am honoured to have just started work as EU Ambassador to Timor-Leste and am excited the very close and successful EU-Timor-Leste partnership. Today's meeting has highlighted how much we have achieved together during the last year through our cooperation programme. We have improved many lives as we strive together to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, and our discussions have helped us to identify how we do even better."
Ambassador also emphasized, the need to meet Timor-Leste's ambitions in relation to its integration in ASEAN countries - Cross border cooperation between the South East Asia countries and the Pacific.
In 2014, the European Union and the Government of Timor-Leste signed the National Indicative Programme for the 11th EDF, worth 95 million euros (about 105 million dollars). Negotiations are currently underway for a new agreement between the European Union and the African Caribbean and Pacific countries that will replace the Cotonou Agreement that ends in 2020 and covers EU-Timor-Leste cooperation.