Prime Minister hails compact as a platform
for unity, 22 March
Prime Minister Dr José Ramos-Horta today hailed the Compact
between Timor-Leste and the international community as a platform
"It brings all people who care for Timor-Leste's development
and future together into a common cause," Dr Ramos-Horta
said. "In general, it is designed to harness the capacities
and goodwill of all parties who have a long-term involvement in
Timor-Leste, and to ensure the leaders of Timor-Leste take a long
hard look at why the crisis eventuated..
"The Compact will be an accord with the United Nations,
World Bank, Donor Countries, International Agencies, Church and
Civil Society, which pre- determines unity of approach to common
problems so that the past can be put behind to build today and
"Unity is precisely what the people want and have demanded
of us. They are correct - it is time for national unity not only
in words that are important, but in practice. What better way
to do this then to build it into our development and governance
programs and management," he said.
The Prime Minister said that many of the Government and donor
programs developed before the crisis addressed the central challenges
of poverty reduction and institution-building, and form a strong
basis on which to build. These programs and the mechanism developed
to implement them can be retained.
"However, the Compact was born because a process of reflection
was needed to draw lessons on what has and has not worked, review
the new priorities emerging from the crisis, and factor these
into a common platform for recovery," Dr Ramos-Horta said.
The Prime Minister said that he is acutely aware of the fact
that building a strong and stable democratic society requires
a concerted effort to address the more deep-seated origins of
the recent upheaval.
He said that numerous studies all point to the importance of
such things as poverty reduction, improved food and income security,
job creation, and strengthening the institutional capacities of
the country, including in particular, the national security forces,
the judicial system, the resolution of land and property disputes,
along with continued emphasis on improved infrastructure, health
and education services. Improved communications within and among
government agencies, communities, donors and civil society are
also seen as essential, and badly lacking, as is the ability to
spend the budget, a critical factor in the lack of services available
to people, especially outside Dili.
Former Secretary General Kofi Annan in a report to SC indicated
that a compact among all actors - including the Government, the
United Nations Mission, and multilateral and bilateral actors
- was the platform for a focused transition and a long-term framework
"I agreed with his view and to that end I promoted the idea
and the process to make such a compact a reality," the Prime
Minister said. "I then delegated the mechanics to Deputy
Prime Minister Estanislau da Silva and I thank him for all the
efforts put to date.
"The Compact has progressed well," the Prime Minister
"The Compact Committee had its first large consultation
meeting on February 6 at which the following priorities of the
Government were announced as the "priorities of priorities",
to be the focus of attention (resources, political will, implementation)
over the two year life span of the Compact.
" Elections, Public Safety and Security
" Public Sector Strengthening (including human resource development,
decentralization, improved budget execution)
" Youth Employment and Skills Development
" Justice System Strengthening
" Social Reinsertion (including housing and shelter, humanitarian
assistance, mutual acceptance, healing of societal trauma and
support to vulnerable groups)
"The priorities agreed so far, are the ones that the community
has made clear the Government and all supporters must address.
Before the final agreement is reached, further consultation with
civil society and the Church will take place.
"We need to ensure that their needs are fully reflected
in the implementation of the Compact," Dr Ramos-Horta said.
"To successfully develop and implement programs across these
five "priorities of priorities", to ensure the community
has services, has access to information, has a say in how they
are governed, whatever Government is in power, can only do so
within a framework of national unity. This is the first and overwhelming
lesson to emerge from the crisis, and one that we must all be
mindful of in the upcoming elections," the Prime Minister