Timor-Leste and ASEAN to Discuss Technical Readiness for Joining the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC)

Mon. 07 of September of 2020, 09:25h

Dili, Timor-Leste (September 7, 2020) – Timor-Leste will participate in a virtual interface meeting with ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) senior officials on 8-10 September 2020. Organised by the ASEAN Secretariat, the meeting will be chaired by Viet Nam as Chair of ASEAN in 2020.

Given the current global health situation, the Senior Officials Committee of the ASCC (known as SOCA) has decided to bring forward a series of meetings between the ASCC sectoral bodies and corresponding ministries and agencies of Timor-Leste by videoconference.

The meetings will be an important milestone towards Timor-Leste’s accession to ASEAN. Timor-Leste and ASEAN have been exchanging detailed information on the way in which Timor-Leste would participate in the ASCC’s multiple work programs. These cover cooperation on areas as diverse as sport, human rights, environmental challenges, education, health and many more.

The virtual meeting will provide a platform where focal points of SOCA and ASCC sectoral bodies and corresponding ministries and agencies of Timor-Leste can connect and communicate prior to the actual fact-finding mission (FFM) to discuss Timor-Leste’s responses in the FFM questionnaire.

Timor-Leste’s corresponding ministries and agencies that will participate in the virtual meeting include the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Inclusion; the Ministry of State Administration; the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports; the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Culture; the Ministry of Health; the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries; the Secretariat of State for Civil Protection; the Secretariat of State for Vocational Training and Employment; the Secretariat of State for Equality and Inclusion; the Secretariat of State for Youth and Sports; the Secretariat of State for Arts and Culture; the Secretariat of State for Social Communications; the Secretariat of State for the Environment; the Civil Service Commission; the Child Rights Commission; and the Information and Communication Technology Agency. The representatives of these ministries and agencies will convene at the Institute of Diplomatic Studies in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MFAC). The Directorate-General for ASEAN Affairs in MFAC will serve as Timor-Leste’s coordinating agency.

The Government of Timor-Leste remains strongly committed to achieving a smooth accession to ASEAN, and will continue to enhance coordination with ASEAN, to build on the great strides towards technical preparedness.

The completion of technical readiness assessments by ASEAN in 2020 will pave the way for accession in the near term.