20 June 2017

East Timor Council of Ministers meeting on June 13th, 2017

Council of Ministers meeting on June 13th, 2017

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Sixth Constitutional Government
Press Release

The press release of the meeting of the Council of Ministers on the 13th of June did not include, by mistake, a Government decision very relevant to the country: the recognition of the right to equal pay for men and women for work of equal value (see last paragraph).
Council of Ministers meeting on June 13th, 2017

The Council of Ministers met this Tuesday at the Government Palace, in Dili, and approved a working paper with proposals for amendments to the Legal Regime of Procurement, Public Contracts and its Regime of Infractions. The document summarizes the main policy guidelines for the revision of the procurement regime in force since 2005, which has been reviewed by a national working group. Next steps in the process include internal consultations, followed by public consultations. The Ministry of Finance will verify the financial and budgetary impact of any new legislation coming into force. The current regime consists of three distinct legal diplomas (procurement, public contracts and infractions). This revision seeks to simplify and update its contents, in a single, clear, simple, objective, rigorous and transparent regime for the agents of the State and Public Administration and for the public.

The National Employment Strategy 2017-2030, presented by the Secretariat of State for Employment Policy and Vocational Training, was approved. Based on the Strategic Development Plan (SDP) 2011-2030 and on the Sixth Constitutional Government’s Programme, the Strategy recognizes the importance of formal employment for the country's economic development, seeking to increase demand, to improve labour market supply and to strengthen institutions.

The Council of Ministers approved the signing of the memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime in force in Timor-Leste, as part of the process of accession to the World Trade Organization. The document was presented by the Minister of State, Coordinator of Economic Affairs, in order to conclude another step in the process of accession to this organization.

Three legislative pieces presented by the Ministry of Social Solidarity were also approved.
The first, the Legal Regime of Social Solidarity Institutions, attributes to these institutions a specific status, based on requirements and procedures now defined. The diploma defines the institution’s obligations and rights, as well as the possibility of receiving State support and contracts to provide social responses. It also defines the special monitoring regime to be applied by the State.

The second, the Legal Regime of the combatants for national liberation’s special cemeteries “Jardins dos Heróis da Pátria" (Gardens of the Heroes), establishes the rules governing the operation of these special cemeteries and the funeral services provided for in the Statute of the Combatants for National Liberation.

The third, defines the structure, the objectives and the competencies of the Combatants for the National Liberation Council. This body was created in 2011, with the amendment of article 35 of the Statutes of the National Liberation Combatants, to advise the Government on issues related to defending the interests of Veterans and other issues regarding Combatants for National Liberation.

The Legal Regime of the interconnected functioning between the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of UNTL and the hospitals and units of the National Health Service was approved. This interconnection between Health and Education aims to improve teaching, scientific research and the ongoing training of health professionals.

Proposed by the Minister of State Administration, the Decree-Law on the Licensing of Advertising Messages was amended, in order to reduce the rate applied to the broadcasting of advertising messages.

The Council of Ministers appointed Sabino Henriques as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Civil Aviation Authority of Timor-Leste (AACTL). Pedro da Costa Freitas and Ricardo da Costa Ribeiro were appointed to the board of this body.
The Council of Ministers also approved the recognition of the right to equal pay for men and women for work of equal value. This right was initially recognised in 1919, by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), as a key element for social justice. In 1951 the international convention known as the Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951, was adopted by the ILO’s General Conference. According to the ILO, the salary difference between payments to men and women, for the same activity, worldwide, is 22.9% on average. This means that women earn, on average, almost a quarter less than men, to do the same work. In Timor-Leste, the National Employment Strategy 2017-2030, which was also approved in this Council of Ministers meeting, recommends the adoption of measures to eliminate discrimination towards women at recruitment and promotion and the inclusion of concrete measures to monitor and apply legislation in the public and private sector. Concurrently, the Government Resolution that recognises the right to equal pay for work of equal value takes a decisive step to implement this measure. It allows analysing if equal pay for men and women for equal work is being carried out in the institutions that are a part of the indirect administration of the State, an important measure since many of these workers are subject to the Labour Code and not to the rules applicable to civil servants. ENDS ETLJB

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