United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Timor-Leste

Palácio do Governo,
Avenida Presidente Nicolau Lobato
Dili, Timor-Leste
(+670) 331 1243/ 331 0479
gabmecae.rdtl@gmail.com
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF TIMOR-LESTE
VI CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT
STATEMENT BY
HIS EXCELLENCY THE MINISTER OF STATE,
COORDINATING MINISTER FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS, AND
MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES,
ENG. ESTANISLAU ALEIXO DA SILVA,
AT THE
THE UNITED NATIONS THE OCEAN CONFERENCE
TO SUPPORT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 14
PARTNERSHIP DIALOGUE 5:
INCREASING ECONOMIC BENEFITS TO SMALL ISLANDS DEVELOPING STATES AND LEAST DEVELOPED
COUNTRIES AND PROVIDING ACCESS FOR SMALL-SCALE ARTISANAL FISHERS TO MARINE RESOURCES
MARKET
New York, United Nations, 05 – 09 June 2017
[Check Against Delivery]
Palácio do Governo,
Avenida Presidente Nicolau Lobato
Dili, Timor-Leste
(+670) 331 1243/ 331 0479
geral@mecae.gov.tl
- 1 -
Distinguished Co-Presidents and Co-Facilitators;
Excellencies;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is a pleasure to be here and participate in this
Partnership Dialogue. Timor-Leste strongly feels that we
must cement a solid basis for partnership. The oceans
do not know borders. We must work together and better
manage our marine resources to provide economic
benefits to our citizens and serve the international
community.
As current leaders of a Small Island Developing State, it
is our firm conviction that the formal mandates we
democratically receive from the People impose upon
ourselves a moral obligation to work hard and take all
necessary actions to ensure a better quality of life, both
to the current generation and to generations to come.
Palácio do Governo,
Avenida Presidente Nicolau Lobato
Dili, Timor-Leste
(+670) 331 1243/ 331 0479
geral@mecae.gov.tl
- 2 -
For Timor-Leste, our dreams and aspirations have been
translated into a Strategic Development Plan 2011 –
2030, mobilizing the entire country to implement reforms
and build the required infrastructure necessary to boost
sustainable development, and generate opportunities
and concrete benefits to all. As a relatively young
country, we continue to lay down the foundations of a
modern State, with a democratic system of government,
and the rule of law. We are developing an enabling
environment for doing business and trade, both in goods
and services, within an environment of peace, stability,
and security.
As a SIDS, we know the challenges are enormous. It is
essential for us to ensure our marine area is secure in all
its various aspects through: protecting key marine areas
for biodiversity, food security, and climate change;
ensuring port security to improve trade; taking up our
option of exploitation and exploration of our Exclusive
Economic Zone; combating Illegal, Unreported and
Unregulated fishing activities; as well as illegal
immigration, and pollution, among others points.
Palácio do Governo,
Avenida Presidente Nicolau Lobato
Dili, Timor-Leste
(+670) 331 1243/ 331 0479
geral@mecae.gov.tl
- 3 -
From an economic point of view, a major challenge
facing Timor-Leste is the preparation for an
advantageous and dynamic integration into the world
economy. As a SIDS, who has been working towards an
effective membership of the Association of Southeast
Asia Nations (ASEAN) and the World Trade Organization
(WTO), we are aware of the pressure on productiveness
and competitiveness, while catering for the sustainable
management of resources. This is one of the greatest
challenges humanity faces today.
The theme of this Partnership Dialogue is to encompass
a wide range of issues surrounding the ocean, its
resources, and the economic benefits we must ensure to
our citizens. In particular the small-scale artisanal fishers
whose very livelihoods depend upon the sustainable
production and health of the oceans.
Timor-Leste looks forward to the outcomes of the Ocean
Conference, especially as we are now finalizing our
National Ocean Policy to be a more consistent, coherent
and effective country in terms of implementing our 2030
Sustainable Development Agenda.
Palácio do Governo,
Avenida Presidente Nicolau Lobato
Dili, Timor-Leste
(+670) 331 1243/ 331 0479
geral@mecae.gov.tl
- 4 -
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Timor-Leste is aware that besides enabling maritime
transportation, the ocean is a source of important
resources, such as food, renewable energy, minerals, oil
and gas.
In Timor-Leste, we also look at the ocean as an important
contributor to coastal and marine nature-based tourism,
which is an important key option in our efforts to
diversify the economy from an oil based one. We are
therefore faced with the urgency of coastal planning and
the protection of vital reef, seagrass, and mangrove
habitats in order to enhance and conserve our valuable
natural and cultural heritage.
The sustainability of fisheries is a key concern of my
Government, as an important contributor to food
security and increased economic activity. Timor-Leste
has placed a focus on promoting marine ecosystem
based management approaches, which when combined
with adequate and effective policies, is keeping inshore
fish harvesting at sustainable levels.
Palácio do Governo,
Avenida Presidente Nicolau Lobato
Dili, Timor-Leste
(+670) 331 1243/ 331 0479
geral@mecae.gov.tl
- 5 -
A strategy for the development of marine resources
cannot be adopted in isolation. The environment has no
border and recognizes no manmade boundaries! We
deem it crucial to develop appropriate and effective
cooperation with neighboring States, and the
international community, and hope this Partnership
Dialogue continues to shed light on this issue.
Furthermore, we have to face the key challenge of
fostering marine based economic development without
causing irreversible harm to the marine environment.
Combating upstream pollution, and environmental
degradation of the oceans and seas is therefore another
priority for national and regional agendas. To that end,
Timor-Leste has adopted a “Zero Plastic Policy” as one
of its Deliverables under the Voluntary Commitments,
and we are working towards alternatives to plastics
which will enhance and not disrupt current economic
activities.
Palácio do Governo,
Avenida Presidente Nicolau Lobato
Dili, Timor-Leste
(+670) 331 1243/ 331 0479
geral@mecae.gov.tl
- 6 -
The results of marine activities depend to a large extent
on the “good health of the seas and oceans”. Scientific
and technological research is also essential for the
sustainable development of marine economic activities.
It is fundamental that we seek broad and solid knowledge
of the existing marine resources in order to promote
sustainable fisheries, and understand the characteristics
such as marine subsoil, if we are going to promote
sustainable exploitation in our Exclusive Economic
Zones.
Thank you all for your kind attention.
New York, June 2017.
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