Democratic Governance Workshop Held In Dili

4 Jul 2008

Democratic Governance Workshop Held In Dili

Dili, April 11 2008 – A one-day workshop aimed at strengthening and sustaining democratic governance in Timor-Leste is being held in Dili today.

Central issues to be addressed at the workshop include ensuring a separation of power between the different branches of government; developing an independent judiciary and incorporating respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms into the formation and growth of state institutions.

The workshop is being hosted by the Government of Timor-Leste and the United Nations and will involve more than 200 participants.

It follows successful elections in 2007, and in accordance with the UN's mandate in Timor-Leste, is a step towards assisting the Timorese build strong institutions.

At the workshop's end, participants aim at devising a strategy for strengthening and sustaining democratic governance over the next five years.

The workshop will commence with a plenary discussion led by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão followed by Interim President Fernando do Araujo, Justice Minister Lucia Lobato and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Atul Khare. The Plenary will be moderated by Dr. Aurelio Guterres, Vice Rector from National University of Timor Leste.

"Strong and sustainable governance is based upon democratic principles and participation from all levels of society, including government officials, the judiciary, civil society and the international community.

When implemented, democratic governance results in a society that ensures citizen participation in the national decision making process; a society that values compromise and a society that accommodates debate for resolving conflict.

This workshop is the first such forum in which all these people can come together to plan for greater accountability and sustainability of state institutions," Mr Khare said.

For more information please call Allison Cooper on +670 7230453 or Lito Gama on +670 7311839