Meeting of the Council of Ministers on October 6th, 2021

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers on October 6th, 2021

The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace, in Dili, and approved the Draft Law Proposal for the General State Budget (GSB) for 2022, presented by the Minister of Finance. The 2022 GSB has an amount of USD 1.675 billion and is composed of the Central Administration Budget, the Oe-Cusse Ambeno Special Administrative Region Budget and the Social Security Budget. The 8th Constitutional Government defined six national priorities for the 2022 GSB: 1) human capital development (education, vocational training and health); 2) housing and social inclusion; 3) productive sectors (agriculture and tourism), environment and connectivity; 4) private sector development; 5) rural development; and 6) good governance.

The draft resolution regarding the authorisation to enter into two financing agreements with the Asian Development Bank under the Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport Expansion Project was approved. This draft resolution had already been subject to resolution at the Meeting of the Council of Ministers of September 15th, 2021, however due to the introduction of some amendments in the final drafting phase, it became necessary to submit it to a new resolution.

The draft Government Resolution on the National Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities 2021 - 2030, presented by the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, Armanda Berta dos Santos, was also approved. The National Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities 2021 - 2030 aims to ensure the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities in the decade 2021 - 2030, in accordance with the guidelines set by the National Policy for Inclusion and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, approved by Government Resolution No 14/2012 of May 9th, through a set of actions to be developed in an articulated manner by a wide range of public entities.

The Council of Minister deliberated to authorize the opening of procurement procedures to award two public contracts for the execution of works related to the Laivai irrigation projects, in the Municipality of Lautem, and of Galata, in the Municipality of Baucau, according to the deliberation project presented by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pedro dos Reis. The Galata irrigation project will cover an area of 600 hectares and will benefit 750 families. The Laivai irrigation project will cover an area of 300 hectares, which includes 176 hectares of existing rice fields and will benefit 434 families.

The Council of Ministers decided to approve the procurement procedure for the award of a public contract for the acquisition of three x-ray machines for vehicle, hand luggage and people inspection for use by the Customs Authority in the Integrated Border Posts of Batugadé and Salele, according to the project presented by the Minister of Finance, Rui Augusto Gomes.

A presentation of the Third Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of the application of human rights in the national territory was given to the Council of Ministers by the Vice-Minister of Justice, José Edmundo Caetano. The Universal Periodic Review is a mechanism of the Human Rights Council, established in 2006, which covers the 193 Member States of the United Nations. This will be the third time that Timor-Leste undergoes this evaluation mechanism, with the last Universal Periodic Review of Timor-Leste having taken place in November 2016. In each cycle, progress in the human rights situation in each country since the first review is analysed and each State has the possibility to highlight concrete actions and measures taken to implement the recommendations received in the previous review cycle. It is expected that in January 2022, Timor-Leste will submit the report regarding the progress and challenges of the human rights situation in the country for the period 2017 to 2021.

The Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, and the National Commissioner for the Rights of the Child, Dinorah Granadeiro, presented to the Council of Ministers the Fourth Periodic Report on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, on the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and on the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. The report covers the period from 2015 to 2019 for the Convention and the period from 2008 to 2019 for the optional protocols. For the collection of information, present in this report, on the implementation of the various recommendations made by the Convention, a broad public consultation was carried out with relevant ministries and other State institutions. After finalizing the first draft of the document, the National Commission on the Rights of the Child also heard the views and comments of national and foreign civil society organizations and the various United Nations agencies.

The Minister of Petroleum and Minerals, Víctor da Conceição Soares and the heads of ANPM, Timor Gap and IPG made a presentation on the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals for the period 2021 to 2030 and on the redefinition of the petroleum sector. The Plan presents a set of intentions for the strengthening of the national petroleum industry, namely with the efforts to optimize the Bayu-Undan field with new drilling and to accelerate new oil and gas exploration activities in the country.

Lastly, the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak and the spokesperson of the inter-ministerial committee for the COVID-19 vaccination plan, Danina Coelho, made a general presentation on the COVID-19 vaccination. During the presentation, an update was given on the latest information on the vaccines against COVID-19 in terms of distribution, implementation, effectiveness, side effects and the need for a booster dose. The latest data on vaccination in the country was also presented. 463,644 people throughout the country have received at least one dose of the vaccine, which is equivalent to 61.4 per cent of the population over 18 years old. 38.3% of the adult population in the country has already completed the vaccination. Recommendations were also presented for strengthening prevention of severe cases of COVID-19 and increasing the national vaccination percentage. END