MSS Leaders return from study tour of Nepal

Jul 26, 2013

imageUNDP Country Director Ms. Shoko Noda and Timor-Leste's Minister for Social Solidarity Ms. Isabel Amaral Guterres (second from right) pose with other members of UNDP Nepal Country team and Timor-Leste official delegation. Photo: John Narayan Parajuli/UNDP Nepal

Dili – Leaders from the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MSS) returned on Monday 5 August from Nepal where they had been learning firsthand about that country’s peace-building and social cohesion practices. The week-long study tour provided both of the post-conflict countries with a rare opportunity to share the challenges, opportunities and best practices each has experienced in peace-building and state-building.

Participating in the tour were H.E. Isabel Amaral Guterres, Minister of Social Solidarity and of its Directorate of Assistance and Social Cohesion, Mr. Amandio Amaral Guterres, Minister of Social Solidarity and Director of the National Directorate for Assistance and Social Cohesion, and Mr. Agostinho Cosme Belo, Head of the Department of Peace Building and Social Cohesion (DPBSC).  It was supported by the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) through its Conflict Prevention and Recovery Unit (CPRU).

The MSS leaders met with their counterparts within the Nepalese government as well as with key staff from Nepal’s Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MoPR) and Ministry of Foreign and Local Development (MFaLD), each of which has experience in strategy development and implementation that supports conflict mitigation, conflict prevention and peace building.

Nepal is one of the first South Asian countries to be guided nationally by a Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI) Strategy, which is implemented through the MFaLD. The MoPR focuses on social cohesion and conflict management by providing assistance to displaced populations and post conflict reconstruction needs as well as support for local and decentralized dialogue through the development of Local Peace Committees (LPCs). Nepal also has a well-established history of utilizing community mediation as a tool to promote more effective decentralized local governance and to promote conflict resolution at the local (village) level.

Like Nepal, Timor-Leste has been engaged in a global transition from post-conflict to peace-building and state-building. The New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States (‘New Deal’) is a global process led by conflict affected host countries around the world designed to change the paradigm of aid effectiveness, particularly in states classified as ‘fragile’. Timor-Leste is the Chair of the g7+, a group of nation states of which Nepal is also a member. Both countries have peace-building and state-building goals that provide the foundation to accelerate efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Furthermore, the Timor-Leste Government, through the MSS and in partnership with UNDP, has been working to prevent conflict and build peace through modern as well as traditional conflict resolution methods such as community mediation and dialogue, and the traditional conflict prevention mechanism known as Tara Bandu

UNDP, through the Crisis Prevention and Recovery Unit (UNDP-CPRU) has been providing technical and financial support to MSS to address both the drivers of conflict and to create institutional capacity within the Government of Timor-Leste to address conflict resolution and prevention systems at the local and national level.