Prime Minister launches new 20-year development strategy:eighth annual development partners meeting.

7 Apr 2010

Prime Minister launches new 20-year development strategy:eighth annual development partners meeting.

Dili, 7 April 2010 - Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão today launched a summary of his country's new 20 year strategic development plan, "From Conflict to Prosperity", at the eighth annual Timor-Leste Development Partners' Meeting in the capital Dili.

"We are determined to take Timor-Leste out of the list of fragile and poor States and make it a medium income country in 15 to 20 years," Gusmão told the meeting which included delegates from around 30 partner countries, and representatives of international financial institutions, as well as government ministers and representatives of civil society and the business community.

Prime Minister Gusmão stated his government's commitment to investing the human capital, infrastructure and key sectors such as agriculture in Timor-Leste, emphasising its intention to utilise funds from the country's oil and gas resources to realise the country's vision.

Ameerah Haq, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Timor-Leste, addressed the meeting after the Prime Minister. Highlighting that "the Timorese economy is at a turning point from recovery to development," Haq encouraged the Prime Minister's move toward a bolder approach to investing oil and gas revenues for development. She emphasised, however, the point made by world-renowned economist Jeffery Sachs during his recent visit to Timor-Leste that "this requires an implementation strategy, a managerial team, control mechanisms, and (that) those do not exist right now."

Pledging strengthened UN focus on capacity development, and congratulating the government on its accomplishments, Haq stressed the "socio-economic challenges, particularly high population growth, youth unemployment and lack of equity between urban and rural areas" which, she said, "can become triggers for future tension and, even, violence."

This year's TLDP Meeting will be followed by the 3-day Dili International Dialogue: an international dialogue between donors and fragile states to address the challenges of peacebuilding and statebuilding. Participants include delegations from Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Haiti and Ivory Coast..