Over 350 delegates gathered for the Timor-Leste Development Partners Meeting (TLDPM) held at the Dili Convention Centre on the 19th and 20th of June. Participants including Members of Government, National Parliament, the Diplomatic Corps, Civil Society, the Private Sector, Academia and Development Partners, convened to reflect on the efforts of development partnerships and to coordinate cooperation to improve outcomes for the people of Timor-Leste. Co-chaired by the Chair of the g7+, Timor-Leste’s Minister of Finance H.E. Emilia Pires and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, H.E. Jose Luis Guterres, the meeting resulted in a jointly endorsed “Commitment to Operationalize the Strategic Development Plan”. This document outlines key commitments and actions that will address challenges identified during discussions and contribute to the achievement of the goal of Timor-Leste’s one vision one plan “to transition Timor-Leste from a low income to upper middle income country, with a healthy, well educated and safe population by 2030.” It also confirms commitment to the New Deal and our alignment to it’s themes of country-led and country-owned development, prioritizing and following the principles articulated in the Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals, FOCUS and TRUST. The meeting was broken onto five sessions across the two days with the first four sessions focussed on Timor-Leste’s four strategic sectors of development: Economic, Social, Infrastructure Development and Governance and Institution Building. Achievements and challenges were identified and recommendations proposed for better results. The final session included a policy dialogue on development challenges and the way forward, including consideration of the TLDPM outcome document. A principle theme emerging throughout the meeting was the need for better coordination between all stakeholders in order to achieve the goals of the Strategic Development Plan. To address this and other challenges there will now be benchmarking of progress on a quarterly basis linking the Strategic Development Plan and Government Plans with the New Deal and the Millennium Development Goals, joint commitment to strengthening coordination of the four strategic sectors of development, the establishment of a joint peer review mechanism to be completed in 2014 and lastly an undertaking to execute a 2015 mid-term review, informed by the peer review mechanism, to hold Development Partners, the Government and other stakeholders accountable through reporting on achievements. During the opening ceremony Prime Minister H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, presenting a keynote address on Statebuilding for the Next Decade, noted “We believe in the vision that we have for Timor-Leste, especially because we know our country from one end to the other “ and assured We know that the challenges we must face are immense and that the only way that they can be overcome is through an integrated and sustainable development. The TLDPM has reinforced Timor-Leste’s efforts in holding to the New Deal as the overarching architecture for its development partnerships and has considered how it’s themes and principles can be transferred to sectoral levels of planning and implementation.

 

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