Meeting of the Council of Ministers on October 21, 2020

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers on October 21, 2020

The Council of Ministers met, at the Government Palace, in Dili, and decided to propose to His Excellency, the President of the Republic, Francisco Guterres Lú Olo, the state of emergency renewal, for thirty days. Given the worrying growth of the epidemiological situation and the surge of COVID-19 infection registered cases, both at regional and global levels, and with a view to avoiding and neutralizing the risks of SARS-CoV-2 spreading, thus protecting public health and the National Health System response capacity the Government proposes to the President of the Republic that, through the renewal of the state of emergency statement, the rights of international circulation, movement and establishment of residence and right of resistance’s suspension or restriction may be allowed.

Law Proposal draft, on the Legal Regime for Public Professional Associations, presented by the Minister of Justice, Manuel Cárceres da Costa, was also approved. With the present diploma, the Government proposes to the National Parliament to provide the legal system of Timor-Leste with a legal framework that deepens the essential principles that must be observed in the establishment of future professional orders and professional chambers. It is intended with this legal framework to ensure that professions that, due to their special public interest, should be subject to regulation, that is, within a legal framework that respects their autonomy but also allows their development, in compliance with the Constitution and national sovereignty, and which contributes to reinforce the confidence in the technical and ethical quality of professionals in Timor-Leste.

The Council of Ministers approved the Law Proposal draft, also presented by the Minister of Justice, on the creation of the Timor-Leste Bar Association (OATL) and approval of their respective statute. OATL will be a public association representing lawyers and trainee lawyers from Timor-Leste, with legal personality and is not subject to guidance powers of state bodies or any public or private collective persons, being independent and autonomous in pursuit of its goals. The powers of protection of legality over the OATL provided for in the legal regime of professional public associations are exercised by the Minister of Justice. Among the various duties of OATL, it includes the responsibility for the attribution of the professional title of lawyer and trainee lawyer, as well as regulating the exercise of this profession. OATL will have the responsibility to defend the rights and interests of its members, promote training, updating and professional improvement and contribute to exchange, collaboration and cooperation with similar institutions.

The Council of Ministers approved, with amendments, the Decree-Law draft, presented by the Minister of Petroleum and Minerals, Víctor da Conceição Soares, on the first amendment to the Organic Law of the Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals. This Decree-Law draft creates the Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation National Directorate. With this amendment, the Presidents of the autonomous institutions under the tutelage of the Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals - TIMOR GAP, ANPM and IPG also join the Advisory Board.

The Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion, Maria José da Fonseca Monteiro de Jesus, presented the Deliberation draft, approved by the Council of Ministers, regarding the project against gender-based violence “Preventing and Responding to Gender-Based Violence in Timor-Leste. This project aims to contribute to the prevention of gender-based violence and the availability of sufficient resources for the implementation and monitoring of legislation and policies on gender-based violence in public spaces, with special attention to women in most vulnerable situation, given their physical and mental condition and those residing in areas of greatest risk to natural disasters. The project will have a 48 months’ duration and a total budget of US $7.7 million, to be implemented by UN Women Timor-Leste, in coordination with the State Secretariat for Equality and Inclusion, in partnership with other agencies of the United Nations and in cooperation with other relevant Ministries and public institutions, as well as with civil society organizations. This project, integrated within the scope of the National Action Plan on gender-based violence, has the potential to strengthen the implementation of the multisectoral plans developed and led by the Government.

Lastly, the Minister of State Administration, Miguel Pereira de Carvalho, presented the political-legislative options underlying the Government Resolution draft on the implementation of the strategy of administrative decentralization and installation of representative bodies of Local Power. In order to reach, by the end of the mandate of the 8th Constitutional Government, a Municipal Administration or Authority with a statute of public collective person with an institutional basis, and a local authority, it is intended to redefine some of the actions and projected results, included in the administrative decentralization’s strategy, as well as establish new deadlines, depending on the feasibility and the capacity to execute these actions. END