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Timor-Leste thanks Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for appointing Dr. Noeleen Heyzer as his Special Advisor to Timor-Leste

Díli, June 13, 2013

On June 7, 2013 the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, wrote to the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, His Excellency Xanana Gusmão, confirming the appointment of Dr, Noeleen Heyzer as his Special Advisor to Timor-Leste. The overall objective of the appointment is to support Peacebuilding, Statebuilding and sustainable development in Timor-Leste.

The Secretary General also confirmed aligning continued UN support to the principles of the New Deal and assisting Timor-Leste in leading the g7+. This is the first time the United Nations has implemented this innovative modality by appointing a Special Advisor to support development.

The non-resident role of Special Advisor to Timor-Leste will ensure a direct link between Timor-Leste and the Office of the Secretary General. Dr. Heyzer will work closely with the leadership of Timor-Leste on the development agenda, both domestically and with regional participation.

The proposed UN-Country model is considered an innovative and exemplar concept to promote social and economic development cross sectors while linking the country with UN systems, both locally, regionally and globally.

Dr. Heyzer will serve as Special Advisor to Timor-Leste concurrently with her role as the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission of Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP]. She has a lauded career that spans three decades in development and leads the organization as an Under Secretary General. Dr. Heyzer has been asked by Timor-Leste to focus her efforts, amongst other activities, on three main areas.

Firstly, to assist Timor-Leste in fast tracking skills and education with institutions of excellence in the region; specifically to link job creation and employment opportunity for youth so they can more readily participate in development and nation building. Secondly, to promote Timor-Leste in the Asia Pacific region, providing opportunity to knowledge share, transfer experience cross sectors, and increase social, economic and development programs to benefit the People of Timor-Leste and thirdly, to assist Timor-Leste in preparing for adherence and entry into ASEAN.

Dr. Heyzer will make her first official trip to Timor-Leste to attend the Timor-Leste Development Partners Meeting [TLDPM] in the third week of June to socialize her role into the existing UN development mechanisms, begin strategic planning on integrating her role as Development Advisor, hold meetings cross sectors with a range of stakeholders and deliver a keynote address.

Agio Pereira noted “The United Nations should be applauded for being flexible and adapting to our country requests. We thank His Excellency Ban Ki-moon for his wisdom and foresight to see the opportunity in this innovative working model. We also are very proud to have Dr. Heyzer on our team working towards long term, sustainable development and regional integration. We welcome her and this new model as a fresh approach to development.”

Díli, June 13, 2013
Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and
Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

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