Opening Remarks for the g7+ Technical Meeting

H.E.Kaya Rala Xanana Gusmão
g7+ Eminent Person
23 November 2016, 09:00
Novo Turismo Resort and Spa, Dili, Timor-Leste

  • I would like to welcome His Excellency Momudu Lamin Kargbo, Chair of the g7+ and Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Sierra Leone; Her Excellency Virginie Baïkoua, Minister of Social Affairs and National Reconciliation of the Central African Republic, the g7+ Focal Points and Representatives; Representatives from International Organizations, Civil Societies and Development Partners.
  • Ladies and Gentlement, I take this opportunity to congratulate the Central African Republic for the progress being achieved in there. Minister Baïkoua, I congratulate Your Excellency and the people of CAR for the great outcome of the Brussels Conference. I express my happiness as well as my trust in the Government in carrying out effective actions to address the many challenges the country faces. I also express my hope that the g7+ will continue to support CAR and all its member countries.
  • It is a great honor to welcome you all to this first Technical Meeting organized in Dili, Timor-Leste, the home of the g7+ Secretariat.
  • I remind you, ladies and gentlemen, that we first gathered here in Dili, Timor-Leste, in 2010, when we had the inaugural meeting of the g7+. On that occasion, we issued the Dili Declaration, which emphasized the importance of country-led, country-owned development. A year later, in 2011, the New Deal was launched. Six years later, we can proudly say that we have achieved a lot in terms of peacebuilding and statebuilding. At the global level, we have been speaking with one voice, advancing the vision of participative and inclusive development.
  • However, there is still so much to be done. In this moment, my thoughts are with Yemen, South Sudan, Burundi, and Guinea-Bissau. These countries are part of the g7+ family, but the political instability and the conflicts being experienced there are undermining important progress and development. In face of challenges like the ones experienced in our fellow countries, we have to remain determined in our commitment to maintain and promote peace. Peace is in our hands. It is up to us to engender the political willingness to work towards it. In this regard, I cannot emphasize more the vital importance of good leadership. We cannot fail our people expectations.
  • Looking at the world today, we see challenges everywhere: development aid is decreasing, nationalism and xenophobia are increasing, walls are being built and borders are being shut for people in need, including those coming from g7+ countries. Donors are increasingly reluctant to use our national systems that we know must be strengthened to enable us to better serve our citizens. Sadly, more countries are being plunged into conflict and violence. Real and honest efforts for international cooperation and world peace, prosperity and shared development are undermined by power politics and biased by vested self interest among some Nations.
  • However, I am proud to say that initiatives such as the g7+ promises the world there still exists things like Solidarity, Unity and International Cooperation. We, the g7+, are unique in this world order. We are the voice of those who are the immediate victims of the previously mentioned challenges. We exist for a very noble cause; the cause of peace, and building states where our citizens can live with prosperity.
  • Difficult moments require unity and solidarity to overcome problems. These difficulties cannot be addressed in isolation by any single country, be they rich or poor. The g7+ might be small, but we are big in our impact if we consolidate our voice and efforts. We are poor, but we are rich in experience, in knowledge and in natural wealth.
  • The g7+ has been doing an excellent job in voicing the needs and the challenges of countries affected by conflict and fragility at the highest levels of governance. Furthermore, the Fragile to Fragile Cooperation (F2F) is allowing peers to assist each other based on successful experiences. Driven by the principle of solidarity, g7+ members are proving that assistance can come from everywhere, even from fragile states.
  • Last year, we witnessed the launch of 2030 Agenda – the SDGs. This agenda unites all of us against common global challenges. However, the ambitious goals under the 2030 Agenda cannot be achieved unless they are appropriate by each country. We believe in the relevance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for countries in fragile situations. We were at the forefront of advocacy efforts for Goal 16 on peace, justice and effective institutions. As a group, we must now deliver on this goal to prove that our request was valid.
  • We should, therefore, challenge ourselves. At the Kabul Ministerial Meeting, the President of Afghanistan challenged us not to leave our commitments as words in reports. They need to be turned into action. By mobilizing g7+ members to monitor priority SDG indicators and evaluate the achievements reached so far, we keep alive the commitment we made to improve the lives of all. We keep alive the recognition that peace is of paramount importance to achieve all SDG goals.
  • I wish you all a great Technical Meeting and once again, welcome you all to Timor-Leste.
  • With that, I would like to hand over to H.E. Minister Kargbo, our esteemed g7+ Chair.