Saturday, 21 May 2011

Dr. Zacarias Albano da Costa's Speech delivered during the LDC Summit in Istanbul



Heads of Government, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen’s

Thank you for bringing us up to date on the negotiations,

At the outset, allow me to thank the government of Turkey for its generosity in supporting the LDCs through the hosting of this important conference, as well as its contribution to ensure our participation.  Such generosity is indicative of Turkey’s strong commitment to the LDCs, and we hope that this commitment will be reflected in a successful conference with a strong outcome document that is focused on deliverables and action oriented. 

Let me begin by expressing our gratitude to Nepal for its excellent leadership and coordination of the LDC group, in their tireless efforts negotiating on our behalf, especially his Excellency Ambassador Acharya the Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

The Istanbul Programme of Action is crucial to the development of the LDCs and we hope to see commitments made by the development partners on key deliverables.  An ambitious goal has been set for this Programme of Action, in that by 2020 at least half the LDCs should meet the criteria for graduation.  Such ambition requires focus and resolution on behalf of both the development partners and the LDCs themselves.

We believe that the Outcome Document must reflect a strong commitment in all areas especially in mobilizing financial resources, enhancing trade and productive capacities, and supporting agriculture and rural development along with human and social development.  Good governance must also be supported in line with national priorities.

Development partners must help us build our institutions and our capacities in an integrated manner.  This includes not only financial resources but also technical assistance and technology transfer to our countries, as building capacity is the only way to ensure sustainable development in the long-term.

Timor-Leste’s focus this year is on developing infrastructure and human capital.  As a post-conflict nation our institutions need time to grow, but the commitment to building strong institutions is clear and evidenced through the turnaround in our economic growth.  We have gone from registering negative GDP growth in 2006 to having positive economic growth rates for the past three years.    

These successes allowed us to say “goodbye to conflict, welcome development,” which is now our nation’s motto.  As a post-conflict state Timor-Leste knows firsthand the specific development challenges faced in building institutions from scratch while simultaneously rebuilding the public’s trust and creating stability.  Our National Priorities Process embodies a national homegrown strategic response to our challenges and will take ownership over the delivery of aid and internationally supported programs to ensure that such mechanisms are applicable, suitable and compatible with our agendas and priorities.

LDCs must have ownership over this process and we urge partners to deliver on commitments made to date and to have a forward-looking vision for the Istanbul Programme of Action.  

Let me conclude by emphasizing the need for the unity of the group to ensure an outcome  that reflects our strong interests and desire to graduate.