Meeting of the Council of Ministers of January 29, 2020

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of January 29, 2020

The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace in Dili and approved the proposal for a Government Resolution, presented by the Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion, Maria José da Fonseca Monteiro de Jesus, on the implementation of the Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls. The Spotlight Initiative is an initiative launched by the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls around the world. The initiative puts the issue of violence at the heart of global efforts for gender equality and women's empowerment. The Programme will be implemented in Timor-Leste as a joint action between the Government, Civil Society, the European Union and the United Nations.

The Council of Ministers approved the proposal for a deliberation, presented by the Minister of Legislative Reform and Parliamentary Affairs, Fidelis  Manuel Leite Magalhães, on the amendment to the Grant and Implementation Agreement between the Millennium Challenge  Corporation  (MCC) and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste for the Development and Facilitation of implementation of a Compact Millennium Challenge. This programme specifically aimed at responding to the economic challenges of the country, as identified jointly by Timor-Leste and the MCC, aims to combat poverty and increase national economic growth and its four components are: clean water supply, sanitation and drainage; education; nutrition; and resolution of trade disputes.

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Culture, Longuinhos dos Santos, presented a draft Decree-Law, approved by the Council of Ministers, which regulates the Human Capital Development Fund. This Decree-Law aims to change the composition of the Board of Directors, in order to include the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Culture, to regulate the organic and functioning of this support body and establish rules and criteria for programs, projects or activities that may be financed by the Fund.

The Council of Ministers approved the Government Resolution, presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dionísio da Costa Babo Soares, which defines a set of measures to prevent and control the Coronavirus 2019-nCoV outbreak in Timor-Leste and protection of the Timorese community residing in Wuhan city, Hubei Province, in the People's Republic of China. With this Government Resolution, money will be allocated to support expenditure on the acquisition of equipment and clothing, as well as the preparation of specific physical space for the diagnosis of possible clinical cases, for the prevention and control of the risk of propagation of Coronavirus 2019-nCoV in national territory, as well as to support expenses with the withdrawal of Timorese citizens residing in the critical areas of the affected Chinese province and with their travel to the cities of Beijing or Shanghai, their accommodation and related expenses. The Acting Minister of Health was mandated to instruct supply services for the urgent acquisition of body temperature measurement equipment and personal protective equipment to strengthen the control and identification of suspicious cases at border crossing stations. The Government resolution approved, also states that in the response to a suspected case of illness, there will be restricted areas of isolation at border posts, with exclusive bathrooms, furniture, water and some non-perishable food, until the activation of transport from the border post to the Reference Hospital.

The Acting Minister of Petroleum and Minerals, Agio Pereira, and the President of the National Petroleum and Minerals Authority, presented the proposal for a Government Resolution, approved by the Council of Ministers, which approves the extension of the area of Block A and Block C onshore, and partially amends Government Resolution No. 39/2016 of November 23. The adopted Government Resolution will allow the development and exploitation in areas adjacent to Blocks A and C, in which evidence of the existence of geological formations with development and exploration potential have been identified.

Finally, the Minister of Defense, Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus, received full powers for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and an Agreement between the Ministries of Defense of Timor-Leste and China. The Memorandum of Understanding will be signed for the development and strengthening of cooperation relations between the two countries in the arrea of defense, optimizing the use, sustainability and development of the defense capabilities of the two countries. Under this memorandum, exchanges of defense and military delegations, cooperation in military training and exercises and cooperation in military health will be carried out. The Agreement between the Ministries of Defense of the two countries aims to provide free military assistance by China to Timor-Leste, to supply equipment to the national armed forces, including protective equipment, light weapons, vehicles and transmitters. ENDS