11 February 2017

East Timor Council of Ministers’ meeting of February 7th, 2017

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Sixth Constitutional Government

Dili, February 7th, 2017

Press Release

Council of Ministers meeting of February 7th, 2017

The Council of Ministers met on Tuesday at the Government Palace in Dili, and approved the proposals for financing agreements with the European Union for the Afforestation and Sustainable Agriculture Programme and for the Public Finance Management Strengthening Programme, for the period 2017-2021. These financing proposals arise following the adoption, last year, of the indicative programme of the European Union / Africa, Caribbean and Pacific for Timor-Leste. The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Union, concerning the deployment of observers from that international institution for both presidential and legislative elections this year in Timor-Leste, was also approved.

The National Policy for the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) for the period 2017 to 2019, presented by the Coordinator of ICT from the Prime Minister's Office, was approved. It is a cross-sectional policy for the ICT sector, which aims to coordinate functions of different entities with responsibility in that area. With this policy, the Government intends to promote the use of ICT through the provision of government services (Electronic Government), to stimulate and diversify the domestic economy and more competitively integrate Timor-Leste in the regional and global economies. The policy envisages the creation of a consistent and integrated legal regime, formed by a set of laws that can guarantee a safe environment in the use of ICT, including laws on cybercrime, electronic transactions and data protection, as well as regulations and institutions related to them.

The draft law on the establishment of the Asset Recovery Office and the Asset Administration Office, presented by the Ministry of Justice, was approved. That entity will have a mission to help the judicial authorities identify and locate assets related to the practice of crimes and their apprehension for legal purposes.

The Secretary of State for the Support and Socio-Economic Promotion of Women saw two proposals adopted. The first was the Government Resolution approving the National Action Plan Against Gender-based Violence, for 2017-2021. The plan approved in 2012 is now revised according to the governing powers provided for in the Law Against Domestic Violence. The preparation of this Action Plan was preceded by a process of consultation and provides a comprehensive approach. It was developed in accordance with principles of equality, consent, information, protection and security, as well as with the principles and obligations to protect human rights, professional obligations and rules of conduct, responsibility of the government and an approach centred on the victim. It invests in the prevention of gender-based violence, access to justice and the provision of multi-sector services for victims. It also sets coordination mechanisms to ensure effective implementation including monitoring and evaluation.

The second proposal from this Secretary of State approved at this meeting was the signing of the Addendum to the Technical Cooperation Protocol between the Government of the Portuguese Republic and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste on gender equality. This Protocol, signed in 2012, has been developed in order to achieve the goals of sustainable development and other international commitments on human rights; of particular note are the agreements in the field of gender equality, including the Strategic Plan for Cooperation on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the CPLP. The addendum now approved reinforces the principles of knowledge and experience sharing, broadening the scope of activities to be developed between both countries.

The Council of Ministers adopted three proposals presented by the Ministry of Social Solidarity, regarding the contributory scheme of Social Security, recently approved by the National Parliament. The first, the Legal Regime of Disability and Old Age Pensions, regulates protection in situations of disability and old age; the second, the Legal Regime of Protection in Maternity, Paternity and Adoption, regulates protection in situations of maternity, paternity and adoption; and the third, the Legal Regime of Death Benefits, regulates the allowances to which relatives are entitled.

The Registration and Contributory Obligation System was analysed and should soon be submitted for approval by the Council of Ministers.

The Ministry of Finance, together with the Directorate General of the Treasury, took stock of the progress of the monitoring of the financial activity of autonomous services and funds, underway since 2016. This monitoring follows the process of decentralization of financial management, which gave autonomous services and funds of the State full administrative and financial autonomy. These services include the Port Administration in Timor-Leste - PATL, the Airports and Air Navigation Administration in Timor-Leste – ANATL in Portuguese, the National University of Timor Lorosa'e - NUTL, the courts, the Guido Valadares Nacional Hospital, the Equipment Management Institute, the Autonomous Service of Medication and Health Equipments – SAMES in Portuguese, the Institute for Research, Development, Training and Promotion of Bamboo, the Specialized Investment Agency – SIA, the Archive and Museum of Timorese Resistance - AMRT, and the municipalities. ENDS etljb

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