Dili 23rd July 2020
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation as National Authorising Officer for the European Development Fund Mrs. Adaljiza Magno and Ambassador of the European Union Mr Andrew Jacobs launched a Policy Dialogue with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and Ministry of State Administration, linked to the EU’s budget support programmes.
Since 2017, Timor-Leste Government has received budget support from the European Union in the framework of the European Development Fund, with annual disbursements made. On 2 July 2020, Timor-Leste Government received a total amount of 7.6 million USD from EU in recognition of the implementation of strategic reforms in Public Finance Management, Nutrition, Deconcentration and Decentralisation.
In order to assess progress in policy implementation in the three sectors, to identify obstacles, and to hear the views of different stakeholders, including civil society, three dialogues took place: a dialogue on Public Finance Management, to be co-chaired by H.E Minister of Finance and H.E Ambassador of European Union, a dialogue on Nutrition, to be co-chaired by H.E Minister of Health and H.E Ambassador of European Union and a dialogue on the Deconcentration and Decentralisation, to be co-chaired by H.E Minister of State Administration Health and H.E Ambassador of European Union.
The dialogue provided for the discussion of sectoral policies that promote reforms for sustainable development, through greater efficiency, integrity, transparency, responsibility and, above all, that improve livelihoods and services for all citizens, in line with the National Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030.
The Policy Dialogue took place at Xanana Gusmão Auditorium-Ministry of Finance and was attended by H.E Mrs. Adaljiza Magno, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, H.E Mr Fernando Hanjam, Minister of Finance, H.E Mrs. Odete Maria Freitas Belo, Minister of Health, H.E Mr. Miguel Pereira de Carvalho, Minister of State Administration, H.E Mrs. Sara Lobo Brites, Vice Minister of Finance, H.E Mr. Bonifacio Maucoli dos Reis, Vice Minister of Health, H.E Mr. Lino de Jesus Torrezão, Vice Minister of State Administration, H.E Mr Andrew Jacobs, Ambassador of the European Union to Timor-Leste and H.E. Mr. José Pedro Machado Vieira, Ambassador of Portugal.
H.E. Mrs. Adaljiza Magno, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation as National Authorising Officer pointed out: “as the NAO, I acknowledge that, the European Union provided 4.5% as Budget Support out of 100 million US Dollars under 10th EDF for supporting the National Indicative Program of 2007-2014. But in supporting the National Indicative Program 2014-2020, the EU increased the Budget Support to 40% from 105 million US Dollars under 11th EDF by considering the principles of “Country Own, Country Lead and Country System”. This shows that the EU recognizes and has confident on our Public Finance Management System which was built and strengthened in a joint cooperation between the government and the Development Partners. Even though, we have to recognize also that there are still gaps and challenges to be tackled”
H.E. Mr. Andrew Jacobs, EU Ambassador stated “Today’s policy dialogue has been an important opportunity to assess reform progress in the three sectors linked to European Union budget support. The EU favours budget support as an aid modality whenever it is feasible. Its application in Timor-Leste is recognition of the EU’s trust in Timor-Leste’s systems of governance and of the maturity of the partnership between Timor-Leste and the EU. Budget support funds are disbursed when progress is made in the implementation of Government reform policies. Annual indicators of reform that trigger disbursements are agreed in advance between Timor-Leste and the EU. Disbursements are made directly in the Treasury account and become indistinguishable from the rest of the Government budget. Like the rest of the Government budget they are subject to Parliamentary oversight and checks by Court of Auditors.”