UN envoy urges international support for East Timor’s economic plan

UN envoy urges international support for East Timor’s economic plan

The head of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) today called on a meeting of donor countries and multilateral agencies to support the economic development plan outlined by the soon-to-be independent territory's leaders.

The head of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) today called on a meeting of donor countries and multilateral agencies to support the economic development plan outlined by the soon-to-be independent territory’s leaders.

In opening remarks at today’s meeting in Dili, UNTAET chief Sergio Vieira de Mello urged the international community to remain engaged in East Timor after the territory becomes fully independent on 20 May.

“Targeted development assistance will be needed for many years to come if the East Timorese are to achieve the development goals they have set for themselves – in particular, to have a lasting impact on poverty and to improve the quality of life and well-being of all East Timorese people,” Mr. Vieira de Mello said.

President-elect Xanana Gusmão and Chief Minister Mari Alkatiri also made opening statements at the conference, and Minister for Foreign Affairs José Ramos-Horta presented the National Development Plan, which includes strategies for poverty reduction and economic growth.

Representatives of 27 countries, the European Commission and a wide range of multilateral groups are attending the conference, set to wrap up tomorrow with a pledging session.

Speaking to the press on Monday, both Mr. Alkatiri and Mr. Ramos-Horta expressed confidence that donors would meet the requirements outlined by the Government in its proposed budget, which seeks $90.9 million for direct support over the next three years.