segunda-feira, 20 de maio de 2013

SPEECH BY H.E. PRESIDENT TAUR MATAN RUAK ON THE OCCASION OF THE CELEBRATION OF THE 11TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RESTORATION OF INDEPENDENCE

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SPEECH BY H.E. PRESIDENT TAUR MATAN RUAK
ON THE OCCASION OF THE CELEBRATION OF THE 11TH ANNIVERSARY
OF THE RESTORATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Dili, May 20, 2013

Excellencies. Distinguished guests.

Beloved people of Timor-Leste.

The celebration of the 11th anniversary of the 20th of May brings us together again and is an opportunity for us to reflect on our country's current priorities and on what has already been accomplished.

I salute all those who are present and, in particular, the President of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, who joins us this year in the celebration of our independence.

The people of Timor-Leste emerged victorious in the fight for unity and determination, willing to sacrifice everything for liberty and national sovereignty.

We fought, determined to take the construction of our future in our own hands. For 24 years, we were guided by a clear national vision, shared by all our people. This vision united the leaders and the people, the armed, clandestine and diplomatic fronts. We were young, all of us, but we made a serious commitment, without hesitation, to the liberation struggle.

 For us, nationalism and freedom were always instruments for developing society, overcoming poverty, improving living conditions and creating a peaceful, safer and wealthier nation.

This is the work we now have ahead of us. We must know how to pass on to our youth the example of sacrifice, service to the country, resolve in the fight for national sovereignty and other lessons that history taught us in the last few decades.

I salute the Catholic Church, our bishops and our priests and sisters who – through words and deeds – supported the fight for independence, displaying courage and sharing sacrifices. The Timorese identity includes the result of that patriotic action by many members of the Church. Today, the Church develops an important activity in social support and in our nation building in general. The Timorese people rely on the Church to continue contributing towards the national effort to improve Education, improve protection for the most vulnerable, and to instil in us the values of simplicity, honesty and work for the common good. My gratitude goes to all who have been working towards protecting our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.

We celebrate this anniversary of our Restoration of Independence at a moment when our country has entered a new era of development and social and economic achievement. Working together in the construction of the country we envision is the best homage we can pay to the heroes of national liberation.

Over the past year, we took decisive steps towards the consolidation of our democratic State and stability. The people have elected a new President of the Republic and a new National Parliament. Elections had a very high turnout of voters and produced clear results.  I swore in a new government.

The political situation is increasingly characterised by dialogue and coordination. Political differences enrich society and political debate has been helping to find forms of united action, contributing towards the inclusion of everyone's effort in the construction of a new economy and a more dynamic society.

I salute the convergence of political forces – in the government and in the opposition – in support of the State Budget, which includes strategic investments. I salute the constructive attitude of the government and of the opposition, owed above all, to the attitude and vision of our older brothers, Xanana Gusmão and Mari Alkatiri. I salute the former Prime Minister for having accepted to oversee the implementation of the Oecussi economic region project. I extend him the full support of the President of the Republic in the performance of this national task. The conditions have been met for all of us – together – to provide a new and decisive impulse towards social and economic development.

Beloved people of Timor-Leste.

Amongst the priorities that I have been identifying are the increase of the State presence across the country; the establishment of development hubs; the modernisation of infrastructure; and the development of the productive sector.

The country is prepared to decisively advance towards the implementation of two major hubs of regional development: the Tasi Mane project and the Oecussi special economic region project. Other projects must follow, in other regions. We will stimulate the economic dynamism of local communities to create more employment, integrate our youths in the nation building, create conditions for the development of private and family enterprise and gradually increase the income of families.


The country must continue paying attention to the development of Agriculture and Fisheries and to the opportunities for the sustainable exploitation of natural resources. The work of farmers is essential to take full advantage of national wealth, to increase food security and reduce external dependence.

We also require a highly efficient State apparatus in order to boost the national development priorities. We must work towards rapidly improving the quality of Public Administration.

The State is still unable to reach the whole country and we must take public services, as soon as possible, to all districts. We must ensure higher-quality services. The State institutions exist to serve the citizens. We must conduct the reforms that are necessary to reward dedication in the service of the country, to increase the rigour in project implementation and to ensure the quality of infrastructures and budget execution. We must be rigorous and invest in quality, because bad projects and poor-quality work will only make us lose time and waste money.

The development of human resources in Public Administration, and in the country in general, needs a new boost. The activity of the Administration must be assessed on merit. The work of the services must be assessed on quality. The staff members must be rewarded if they fulfil the objectives that are established and be held accountable when those goals are not met.

We must reduce superfluous expenditures, increase investment in strategic sectors and work towards expanding State revenues through the development of non-oil economic sectors, establishing sustainable bases for the future.

The quality of Education and of public Health services must be strengthened and developed. These are strategic services for the objectives of eradicating poverty, increasing national productivity and preparing the youth for a new economy based on information and knowledge. Responsible and effective action of the Administration is essential for us to meet national development goals.

Timor-Leste continues to deepen its international integration, with positive results. The country's international prestige was reinforced by the successes achieved over the last few years.
The intense partnership that we established with the United Nations was a success, acknowledged by the international community.

The UNMIT fulfilled its mandate and our country is in better conditions to deepen its international integration and its relations of friendship and cooperation with all countries, and especially with our friends and neighbours.

We continue to actively work preparing our accession to the ASEAN. This process has been progressing and is currently supported by all of the organisation's member countries.

Timor-Leste's activity in g7+ has been very positive. We are building a new type of relationship with our development partners. 

The CPLP entrusted our country with the presidency of the organisation for the 2014-2016 period.
On Guinea-Bissau, I want to highlight the positive developments that bring the most satisfaction, namely the extension of the United Nations mandate, the progress made in the development of contacts to establish an inclusive government, opening new prospects for the holding of elections and for democratic normalisation in this sister nation of the CPLP. I am pleased to see a child of Timor named as the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General. I reaffirm the strong feeling of solidarity of Timor-Leste towards the sister nation of Guinea-Bissau, and our wishes for success in the ongoing process.

Our country is experiencing a rare and historical moment in which we have the opportunity to help shape our future and modernise our society – reinforcing our identity and the survival of our tradition's finest values. All the children of Timor are called upon to participate in the improvement of our society and our country.

I feel satisfaction for the effort we are making towards social inclusion of all Timorese people, against all types of discrimination, and most of all against the discrimination of women and the most vulnerable social groups.

The promotion of women is essential to the development of the country. Women who are socially active and who have high levels of education contribute to a healthier and happier society. The participation of women elected to the National Parliament is high and amongst the highest in Asia.
The example set by the National Parliament must be followed in other areas of society. The contribution of women to society is still not valued enough.

Domestic violence and sexual abuse continue to demand all our attention and firm measures to protect victims of all ages. I salute the women and men who contribute to the protection of victims of violence. I leave a special message of encouragement and support to the Casa-Vida organisation, for the laudable work it does towards protecting children and women who are victims of violence and abuse. I call on our society to close ranks and fight these situations without hesitation.

I conclude with a word of thanks to all society, and to the State institutions, for the support they have been giving to the President of the Republic during the first year in office. Challenges remain, and the President of the Republic relies on your support in facing them.

May God help us all and protect our country.

Foto de, Presidência da República de Timor- Leste - Facebook - Editor Foto: Paizinho Tilman
Fotógrafo: Abick Carceres
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