Two decades have passed since we restored National Independence in a solemn ceremony in Tasi Tolu on May 20, 2002, in the presence of the highest international authorities, making Timor-Leste the youngest country in the world.

And if we have come out of a long struggle to achieve freedom and independence, since then, the struggle to build the state and consolidate democratic institutions has been no small challenge.

We have been laying the foundations for the creation of a system of total transparency and accountability, in the finance and administrative acts of governance and the recruitment of civil servants, all to put Timorese on a secure path to development.

The IX Constitutional Government is committed to conducting a public administration that gives priority to the objectives of efficiency and effectiveness in providing services to the people and accountability to the State. It wants to make the necessary corrections, do more, and do better, always guided by the principles of good governance, inclusion and the principle that everyone must obey the law.

We will work in dialogue with the political parties, economic agents, civil society, citizens, and the other Organs of Sovereignty. The IX Government counts on everyone's constructive participation in the sustainable development of East Timor.

We will govern with a strategic vision, investing in education and health, administrative decentralization, infrastructure, and agricultural and rural development.

We will develop human resources and elevate the nation's social and cultural sector, also paying greater attention to young people and capitalizing on their potential.

We will invest in economic diversification, in an integrated and sustainable way, betting on the development of the private sector, the creation of industries and entrepreneurship, and promoting and preserving foreign investment.

We will also seek innovative and sustainable solutions for inclusive development, including a commitment to the growth of the Blue Economy, which also aims to help preserve our biodiversity and marine environment.

Only with vision will we be able to develop a policy of economic growth that will create jobs, increase incomes, and reduce external dependence on essential goods, while also improving the provision of essential services to the population and managing Timor-Leste's natural resources wisely and sensibly.

To the Timorese people, old and young, women and men, I send a special message: we face the great challenge of developing the nation we have fought so hard to obtain. With the same principles, values and commitments that we all carried in body and soul during the long struggle for independence, it is a duty for all of us to continue working together to make our dreams come true, under the slogan: "Mehi Povo nia mehi!"

This is not an easy task, but the Living Heroes, old and new, have already taught us that united we can face much greater difficulties!

In unity and cooperation, we can put East Timor and the Timorese on the path to development.


Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão