Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs in a high level meeting at the ASEAN Regional Forum

Thu. 11 of June of 2015, 17:03h
ARF SOM in Malaysia 2015

The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Roberto Soares, attended the meeting of ministerial level of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on June 10th, 2015, in Kochi, Sarawak, Malaysia.

This meeting represented an opportunity for Member States to exchange views and perspectives on security matters, both regional and global.

During the meeting, the Timorese Vice Minister transmitted to the Member States of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) information on the development of Timor-Leste in all sectors. Timor-Leste has been independent for only 13 years, and is now one of the most stable countries on political and safety perspectives.

In the global context, Timor-Leste adopts an active foreign policy, to be present and include the country in the global circuits.

"Timor-Leste takes an active foreign policy posture, open and attentive to the outside. It is member of the United Nations, CPLP, founder of the g7+ and other regional and global organizations. It also contributes to the UN peacekeeping force, particularly in the Congo, Sudan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone. Dr. José Ramos Horta, former president of Timor-Leste, is now leading the prominent personalities panel that evaluates and prepares recommendations on UN peace operations, at the behest of the Secretary-General of that organization", recalled Roberto Soares.

In his speech, the Vice Minister said to the Member States that the process of accession to ASEAN remains a high priority of our country’s foreign policy. Taking this opportunity, he conveyed that, in May, Timor-Leste signed a visa waiver agreement with the EU. This is an important step for the country, which also strengthens the political, economic and immigration services cooperation. This agreement enables to deepen the connection with the European Union, not only at government level but also the connection between nations.

On security issues, regional and global, the Vice Minister conveyed some views and concerns of Timor-Leste on issues such as climate change, disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, the South China Sea, Korean Peninsula and the Islamic State (ISIS).

On the South China Sea, Timor-Leste asks all parties involved not to rush action and resort to practices compliant to international principles of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, from 1982, in order to resolve the underlying issues and adhere to ASEAN’s DOC (Declaration on the Conduct) policy.

In debate on the future direction of ASEAN’s Regional Forum (ARF), Timor-Leste declared to trust that ARF’s architecture will continue to strengthen and that it will continue to be a constructive platform for all nations in the region, creating and consolidating peace and stability.

Timor-Leste recommended to all Member States to support the ideas that make the mechanisms of the ASEAN’s Regional Forum more efficient and effective, thus contributing to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.