Our Perspective

      • A very high portion of Timor-Leste’s population is young. How can we unlock their full potential?

        16 Jun 2016

        Timor-Leste is one of the eleven countries in the Asia Pacific region blessed with a large portion of young people.

        By: Claudio Providas, Country Director of UNDP Timor-Leste Timor-Leste is one of the eleven countries in the Asia Pacific region blessed with a large portion of young people. Almost 70 per cent of its population is young people aged under twenty-five. Many of these young people are neither studying nor working. The unemployment rate is on the rise. Young people are often perceived as the group who causes ‘problem’, but they are actually the next generation of decision makers, leaders and workers who if educated, skilled and employed, will help boost the economic growth and sustainable development of this country. If we don’t invest in youth and priorities their meaningful and productive participation in the economy and society now, we will lose the opportunity to have a better and prosperous future. Our recent Regional Human Development Report 2016 (RHDR) explores how governments can take this great demographic opportunity to nurture the potential of young people, boost their productivity through decent work opportunities, and achieve government’s’ commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report calls the governments to take three policy actions to empower youth and boost economic gains through productive employment: Policy Action 1: Invest in basic capabilities such as  Read More

      • Changing Climate: Do the Timorese need to worry about it?

        22 Mar 2016

        Climate resilient small infrastructure built in suco Leguimea, Ermera to prevent flood and landslide

        “One of the top 10 countries most at risk of disaster…; Annual mean temperature consistently increasing at a rate of about 0.0160C per year; Sea level rising at the average rate of 6-9 mm per year, and in over 100 years the sea level rise may reach 76cm; Pacific Ocean acidification increasing in Timor-Leste’s water; Agriculture sector contributes to 65% of the total national greenhouse gas emissions; Vulnerable communities have limited COPing mechanisms and adaptive capacities; El Niño worsening water availability and causing intensified water scarcity, food security and health impacts” The above information on Timor-Leste have been shared by researches and assessments for the last 10 years or so. Who is the target audience? Are we contributing to better prevention? Adaptation? Policies or behavioral change? How well are the different target groups informed about the looming climate change risks and its impacts to their livelihood, development work, health, nutrition, ecosystems and the future generations, and where are we as a nation in preparing ourselves against these odds? Questions as these are valid and more importantly, more and more people have started asking such questions, and answers are due.  Every other year seems to have a record of high temperature. Just  Read More

      • A New Era of Opportunity

        17 Dec 2015

        By Ban Ki-moon Seventy years ago, the United Nations was created from the ashes of the Second World War.  Seven decades later, in Paris, nations have united in the face of another threat – the threat to life as we know it due to a rapidly warming planet.  Governments have ushered in a new era of global cooperation on climate change – one of the most complex issues ever to confront humanity.  In doing so, they have significantly advanced efforts to uphold our Charter mandate to "save succeeding generations". The Paris Agreement is a triumph for people, the environment, and for multilateralism.  It is a health insurance policy for the planet.  For the first time, every country in the world has pledged to curb their emissions, strengthen resilience and act internationally and domestically to address climate change. Together, countries have agreed that, in minimizing risks of climate change, the national interest is best served by pursuing the common good.  I believe it is an example we could gainfully follow across the political agenda. The victory in Paris caps a remarkable year.  From the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, from the  Read More

      • From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals: A new joint commitment to create progress for everyone

        29 Sep 2015


        Today, most people live a better life than what their parents and grandparents experienced. There are many reasons for this, but one important factor is our global efforts for human development. It has worked! But in spite of good results so far, there are many remaining challenges and we know we can do better. One thing we know has worked is the focus of our common energies on jointly agreed goals, and the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are giving us that new, joint focus. The 17 new Sustainable Development Goals and its corresponding 169 targets are meant to build on and succeed the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and serve as the foundation of the post-2015 development agenda. Although some of the MDG targets were reached, others, such as halving the number of people affected by hunger, or the target of halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/Aids by 2015, has not been met. The SDGs will continue to build on the achievements of the MDGs and has declared ambitious targets in three highly interlinked areas, namely, to end poverty through inclusive and equitable economic growth, transform lives with broad-based social inclusion, and protect the planet and environment  Read More


        10 Dec 2014

        On Human Rights Day we speak out. We denounce authorities who deny the rights of any person or group. We declare that human rights are for all of us, all the time: whoever we are and wherever we are from; no matter our class, our opinions, our sexual orientation.  This is a matter of individual justice, social stability and global progress. The United Nations protects human rights because that is our proud mission – and because when people enjoy their rights, economies flourish and countries are at peace. Violations of human rights are more than personal tragedies. They are alarm bells that may warn of a much bigger crisis. The UN’s Human Rights Up Front initiative aims to heed those alarms. We are rallying in response to violations – before they degenerate into mass atrocities or war crimes. Everyone can advance the struggle against injustice, intolerance and extremism. I call on States to honour their obligation to protect human rights every day of the year. I call on people to hold their governments to account. And I call for special protections for the human rights defenders who courageously serve our collective cause. Let us respond to the cries of the exploited,  Read More