Ministers of State participate in events in Canberra

Fri. 20 of November of 2015, 15:09h
Timor-Leste update

The Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers,  Agio Pereira and the Minister of State, Coordinator of Social Affairs and Minister of Education, Antonio da Conceição, participated in the biannual Timor-Leste Update at the Australian National University in Canberra on the 19th of November. Both Ministers of State delivered keynote addresses at the conference which brings together academics, public officials, development partners and students from around the region.

Minister of State Pereira spoke of the national development of Timor-Leste within this historical context, touching on “our colonial past, our current government and the doctrine of consensus democracy and, of course, the priorities of ourIMG_5623 country for the years ahead.” He also spoke to the issue of maritime boundaries noting that “we are hopeful the new Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, will revisit his government’s position and offer Timor-Leste the same opportunity to settle maritime boundaries, similar to what past Australian governments have offered to Australia’s other maritime neighbours. All that Timor-Leste is seeking to discuss with Australia is an equitable solution, founded on international law.”

In his address Minister of State Conceição noted the Government's commitment to “enhancing social development throughout Timor-Leste”, a commitment reflected in both the Strategic Development Plan and the Program of the Sixth Constitutional Government “with a view to promote a people-oriented welfare and development, including the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged groups.”

Some initiatives in the area of Social Affairs were presented in his keynote speech as achievable and already delivering “real results for real people.”

Both Ministers of State participated in question and answer session, a gesture highly appreciated by those attending.

IMG_5607On the evening of the 19th of November the Ministers of State joined by the Ambassador of Timor-Leste to Australia, Abel Guterres , the Darwin based Consul-General, Francisco Filipe and several hundred official guests at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Proclamation of Independence held at the Australian National Museum.

On this occasion Ambassador Guterres spoke of the many positive dimensions of the bilateral relationship that Timor-Leste enjoys with Australia and highlighted the excellent people to people connections. He also noted that “as a neighbor, friend and ally, Timor-Leste remains hopeful that Australia and Timor-Leste can settle this dispute and delimit our maritime boundaries.”