Our Perspective

UN Resident Coordinator’s Message on International Women’s Day

08 Mar 2017

With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, world leaders placed gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at the heart of the new global development Agenda 2030. Timor-Leste’s leadership made SDG 5 a priority goal for 2017, thereby recognizing that the achievement of the Global Goals rests upon gender equality and unlocking the full potential of women. Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and throughout all levels of economic activity is both critical for achieving gender equality, and a cornerstone for the sustainable development of a nation. Yet, the world of work is still shaped by gender roles, globally and also in Timor-Leste. Data illustrates that men and women tend to do quite different forms of work. A range of factors influence how these gender roles are formed, including the high fertility rate in South East Asia and Pacific, a large rural population (70%), and limited job opportunities - particularly in rural areas. In Timor-Leste subsistence agriculture is the main form of work for one in four Timorese men and women (15 and above). As the country develops, and economic activity moves towards more market-oriented production, people are leaving subsistence  Read More

The Secretary-General Massage on IWD

08 Mar 2017

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Women’s rights are human rights. But in these troubled times, as our world becomes more unpredictable and chaotic, the rights of women and girls are being reduced, restricted and reversed. Empowering women and girls is the only way to protect their rights and make sure they can realize their full potential. Historic imbalances in power relations between men and women, exacerbated by growing inequalities within and between societies and countries, are leading to greater discrimination against women and girls. Around the world, tradition, cultural values and religion are being misused to curtail women’s rights, to entrench sexism and defend misogynistic practices. Women’s legal rights, which have never been equal to men’s on any continent, are being eroded further. Women’s rights over their own bodies are questioned and undermined.  Women are routinely targeted for intimidation and harassment in cyberspace and in real life. In the worst cases, extremists and terrorists build their ideologies around the subjugation of women and girls and single them out for sexual and gender-based violence, forced marriage and virtual enslavement. Despite some improvements, leadership positions across the board are still held by men, and the economic gender gap is widening, thanks to outdated attitudes and entrenched male chauvinism.  Read More

Giving Timorese Youth a Voice and Opportunity in Development

21 Dec 2016

image Inspirational Talk by the Novel Peace Laurate Professor Muhammad Yunus on 8 October

By Claudio Providas, Country Director of UNDP Timor-Leste After fourteen years of independence, Timor-Leste welcomes development and shows progress in peace, stability and economic development. A smooth government transition in 2015 is a further signal of the country’s readiness to move forward. Timor-Leste is blessed with a large portion of young people, the second largest in the region in relation to the total population. They are the future decision makers, leaders, and workers who if educated, skilled and employed, will play a critical role in the sustainable development of this country. While approximately 1.2 million people live in Timor-Leste, it is also one of the world’s most rapidly growing populations, with over 60% of the population under the age of 30. Timorese  are interested in expanding the economic opportunities to provide employment for new labor market entrants. Youth are also eager in a young and vibrant economy sustained mainly by the oil revenues, to participate in the economic and political life of the country. UNDP Timor-Leste and the Government of Timor-Leste have partnered in a programme targeting Youth focused on 2 pillars: “Youth voices” (political, economical and social citizenship) and “Youth opportunities” (skills development, employment, and entrepreneurships). The Social Good Summit kicked  Read More

The wellbeing of Timor-Leste’s young people is pivotal to the success of the young nation Timor-Leste

25 Sep 2016

image Timorese youth are pivotal to the success of the young nation Timor-Leste.

By Claudio Providas, Country Director of UNDP Timor-Leste ‘The wellbeing and success of Timor-Leste’s young people is pivotal to the success of the young Nation of Timor-Leste’, said H.E. Mr. Agio Pereira in his key note speech from July 2016 at a conference held at Flinders University, Australia. The future of Timor-Leste and its sovereignty rests on the wellbeing of its younger generation. World leaders are increasingly acknowledging that GDP alone cannot provide a full picture of a country’s performance. The UN Secretary General noted in 2012 the shortcomings of using wealth alone as an indicator. As individuals, we are a part of our families, communities and our nation. We are also a part of the eco-system. Our wellbeing is shaped by many factors and the role of the state in improving the lives of citizens is fundamental. The public policies and programs success however cannot simply be measured based on economic terms. Enhancing wellbeing means providing people the opportunities and means to live a healthy, happy and satisfactory life. In the context of sustainable development this requires that similar opportunities are being preserved for future generations to come. UNDP’s Human Development Reports are at the forefront at steering the global  Read More

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

16 Jun 2016

image 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